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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

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