Digital Packs

Digital Packs Banner Digital Packs Banner

Fit For Success

‘I have to practice what I preach’

Jane Michell, 47 lives in London with her husband Andrew and their three children William, 17, Olivia, 16, and Tom, 11.  She’s the Jane in Jane Plan, a programme of healthy, portion-controlled and home-cooked meals delivered to your door.  Here she tells Healthista how losing two and a half stone led to the birth of Jane Plan and how a glass of wine and some Made in Chelsea is the ultimate guilty pleasure

jane michell

Why do you keep fit and healthy? Because I love it! If I’m not taking exercise and eating well, everything else seems to go down hill – I start to feel low and sluggish and it affects my behaviour (I get rather grumpy!). I have a very very busy life, running my own business. I’m also writing a book and do a lot of after dinner speaking.  Jane Plan is all about looking and feeling the best you can be, so it’s important that I practice what I preach. I also have a family who need my love and attention. If I wasn’t healthy, I simply couldn’t do it all. For me, it’s an essential part of life.

JaneFF5Describe your body. I’m 5ft 7, and I think I’m what’s known as an inverted triangle -in other words, I have broad shoulders and narrow hips, with no waist! I’m about 8st 12 – on a good day!

jane plan fat

Ever been overweight? Yes, I was overweight in my late teens and early 20s (see pic below). I lost weight because I had a boyfriend who weighed less than me. That was 25 years ago – and now he’s my husband!  That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but in reality I had been feeling unhappy about my weight for a while, unconfident and uncomfortable.  I lost two and a half stone using a meal replacement plan, the food was revolting, but I didn’t care!

What’s a typical training week? I attend Bikram Yoga every Sunday afternoon for an hour and a half (I go with my daughter – it’s bliss). If I can squeeze in a mid week session I do, but that’s rare. My personal trainer comes every Thursday at 6:30am and occasionally on Saturday at 6:30am too. I run for 20 minutes with her – we run along the Thames – again it’s wonderful so early in the morning. Then we do resistance training for the remaining 40 minutes. I then do another 1 hour run myself at least once a week.

JaneFF1    JaneFF2

Body role model? Elle Mcpherson – she’s a similar age to me and she’s kept looking slim and fit throughout her life.

NBC Universal 2012 Winter TCA Press Tour All-Star Party - Arrivals

What’s on your playlist? I don’t have one – I like peace and quiet when I work out. Or a good gossip with my trainer.

Essential piece of kit? My Asics trainers – I have a knee injury and they keep me going!

Describe your diet I eat the world’s most normal diet – BUT, always with an eye on my portions. I am strict about portion control, that way I can have a little of what I fancy, but not too much!  I try and fill three quarters of my plate with veggies or salad (I like salad more the veggies – love raw food actually), and the remaining quarter of my plate with protein. I try and make sure my protein – chicken, steak even fish is about the same size as my I phone!  If I am adding carbs – I make sure they don’t amount to more than a tennis ball in size.

JaneFF3Breakfast – usually a banana or yoghurt (eaten in car en route to work). At the weekend I have 1 slice of toast and marmalade or Jane Plan porridge. I try an avoid coffee – it makes me grumpy, although I do love the odd cup.

Lunch –  If I’m out and about I get sushi or a healthy soup. If I have to have a sandwich, I will – but I never enjoy them, and would rather go without anything at all. I love a cup of tea mid afternoon and usually have a Jane Plan cookie with it.

Dinner – I eat with the children in the evening – last night I did fish cakes with salad. I had one fish cake with lentils and green beans, my sons had several with baked beans too. I try and eat lots of fruits and vegetables – I eat meat occasionally, but never enjoy it as much as fruits and veg. I avoid bread if I can. If I’m late from work, I’ll have a Jane Plan Thai Curry. It’s quick, easy and delicious.

Favourite healthy recipe? Roasted vegetables. I love them because they are so flexible – you can eat them on their own, add potatoes, for the hungry teenagers, and grilled meat, if you like, for extra protein.  For the roast veggies: preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Cut all the vegetables into even sized wedges, put in a roasting tin and scatter over the garlic. Pour over two tablespoons of olive oil and ensure all the vegetables are coated. Add salt and pepper. Roast in a pre heated oven for 40 minutes, or until tender. You can add a little extra oil if it becomes to dry.

JaneFF4Favourite healthy fix? I often have Slimline tonic in the evening – with ice and a slice – stops me reaching for a glass of wine.

Got a health mantra? You are what you eat – and you are ‘how’ much you eat.

How do you get motivated? I remind myself that it helps me feel less knackered – I always feel energised after taking exercised.

JaneFF6Any guilty pleasures? Oh dear – it’s got to be the wine! Also, I love Made in Chelsea – can I admit to that? There’s nothing like curling up with my teenage daughter for a session on the sofa. Got a soft spot for Miranda too. And I love Thai food.

Energy tip? Stay hydrated! Water is oil to your engine.

What is the best bit of health advice you ever got? About six years ago I was very run down. I tend to push myself hard and had been hospitalized with pneumonia.  Just after I came out I went to see my GP. I wasn’t really resting at the time, which is very important after a bout of something as serious as pneumonia and I remember my GP saying ‘Jane you have to look after yourself’. Those simple words were enough to make me think and realise we are all responsible for ourselves. If I didn’t look after myself, how could I look after anyone else.

Find out more about Jane Plan at janeplan.com

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Healthista Content