A Big Lifestyle Change



So if you follow me on snapchat (username: tijanserena for those that don’t) then you’ll have noticed me talking a lot about food and my new diet.

Last Sunday I felt really low, my skin was looking and feeling horrible which I suspect was only natural following consecutive trips to Venice, Los Angeles and then Paris. Three cities where gluten, sugar and dairy are out in full force. My skin felt horrible, I felt horrible and I realised that I was in a nutritional rut. My husband and I both have inconsistent schedules that change daily, so we find it hard to plan, shop and cook evening meals – this has resulted (over the past 3 months) in high levels of Deliveroo ordering, usually a thai takeaway from one of my two favourites (Rosa’s or Busaba) at great cost to my bank account, mind and skin. I tried cutting out sugar in January, but did it half heartedly and my skin didn’t reap any rewards. This time I’m back at it with full force.

No more crap diet where having french fries sometimes twice in one day occurs, or where a treat thai takeaway becomes the norm. I picked up a copy of Dr Nigma Talib’s Reverse The Signs of Ageing – I found that it really just spoke to me – way more than any Deliciously Ella (sorry vegan folks, just can’t stomach it) ever could. Dr Nigma’s philosophy on well being and recipe ideas made my mouth water and super excited to say goodbye to sugar and gluten for good (already cut dairy out of my diet long ago).

I marched to my local supermarket the next day and filled my fridge with a variety of superfoods – chia seeds, buckwheat, avocados, carrots, turmeric, red peppers, blueberries, celery and instantly felt inspired. What I love about Dr Nigma is that her recipes just seem so normal – rice stir fry anyone? Simply change the white rice to brown or quinoa and take out sugary sauces – instead flavour with spring onions and mushrooms and a dash of chilli sauce (sugar free) and you have a delicious meal that doesn’t feel in the slightest “diety”. I find adding fish sauce to most sir fries takes away my craving for soya sauce (even the gluten free ones aren’t great for you). I love Dr Nigma’s whole approach and I truly do believe that good skin stems from the gut. I’ve mentioned before my digestive issues and I have long been convinced that my stomach and skin troubles are one and the same.

I haven’t seen any changes in my skin yet as I’m only on my third day, but so far I’ve noticed that I feel more satisfied and fuller for longer and way less bloated. I also have been waking up feeling really light and excited for the day ahead and all my healthy meals. I don’t miss chocolate, donuts, spaghetti or anything really (although I’m sure I will next time someone is sat next to me devouring) as I feel fully satisfied. Here’s what my basic day to day diet is at the moment:

Breakfast: Gluten free oats in almond milk sprinkled with chia seeds and cinnamon powder and decked with blueberries.

Lunch: Some kind of meat stir fried with fish sauce, spring onions, baby chestnut mushrooms, carrots, baby corn (whatever veg I can get my hands on) with a bag of microwavable gluten free brown rice/quinoa.

Dinner: Usually a tad lighter than lunch, think home made Pho – broth with rice noodles and meat with some leafy green veg.

Snacks in the middle of the day: Green juice or buckwheat crisp breads or for a treat a Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter sachet.

As you can see the diet is packed with calories, good fats and plenty of carbs. I’m doing this diet for my skin and overall wellbeing and not interested in shedding any weight as I’m extremely happy with my current weight. I’m probably eating more than I was before and feeling better than ever! I’ll film a video soon for those interested!



  1. Gaya
    April 13, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Hi Tijan! I’ve read Dr Nigma’s book and I find it to be great too! It’s really interesting learning about the digestion process and impact of hormones on the body. I just saw that she released a new book, a 4-week program. Gonna check that out too.
    Have nice evening!

  2. April 14, 2016 / 12:52 am

    Happy to hear you’re making a lifestyle change in regards to your diet and health! I went vegan this year from a decade as a vegetarian and it’s truly been transformative. When it turned 2016, I didn’t expect that my big lifestyle change would be my diet but it’s been a change for the better. I had no idea that just my limited dairy diet of cheese and Greek yogurt really slugged me down. Feels great to take charge of your health and have so much more energy and clarity 🙂

    xoxo – Kelly

    • May 4, 2016 / 8:35 am

      Sounds awesome Kelly! Good luck with your vegan voyage! x

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