21/10/2014 08:45 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Calgary Avansino On Healthy Eating, The No Sugar Diet And Switching Off

No matter how many promises we make to go to the gym, get more sleep and kick that afternoon chocolate habit, these healthy intentions don't always go to plan.

That's where Calgary Avansino comes in. The lifestyle expert and Vogue contributor gives Gwyneth Paltrow a run for her money when it comes to advice on eating, living and feeling well. From juice recipes to the benefits of positive thinking, her website and Twitter page provide endless inspiration on how to live a happier, healthier life.

Calgary Avansino

We caught up with Calgary to find out what she likes to eat when she's feeling under the weather, her views on the recent no sugar diet and uncover a few of her guilty pleasures...

What do you keep in your fridge?
In my fridge I have things like avocado, blueberries, greens and lots of veggies. There are always apples and I'm also a huge fan of almond butter. I like to always have healthy items to hand that I can make something out of or snack on at any time.

What is your favourite juice and why?
My main concern with juice is that it's vegetable based and not fruit juice based. People too readily buy into the idea that fruit juice is really good for you if it's cold pressed and the best quality - but it's still sugar that spikes your insulin levels so large quantities should be avoided. It's fine to put in an apple, or half an apple, for a little sweetness, but in my juices I like to add a peeled lemon, kale, cucumber, fennel and ginger. Sometimes I'll add celery or a couple of carrots, depending on what's in my fridge. I'm really open to trying new recipes but that's the base of what I usually go for. And that extra lemon really helps!

MORE: Work-life balance - what's the secret to making it a success?

What do you recommend eating when feeling run down?
It's all about keeping your sugar levels regular, so it's important to snack and not wait until you're so starved that you'll reach for something sugary that will make you crash later. If I'm on the go I always try to keep nuts, seeds or an apple in my bag. I also loved gluten free oat cakes or chopped vegetables with hummus or other dips. I also sometimes snack on half an avocado or a delicious treat is half an apple with almond butter.

Savory pumpkin rosemary hummus with carrots.

Which three beauty products can't you live without?
Coconut oil - I use in my hair, as a make up remover and as a moisturiser. Organic natural face oils - I love any that have relaxing, natural scents to them and lipstick - it makes you feel like a new woman every time you put it on and there are some great brands out there that are chemical free, including ILIA and Beauty Counter.

What's your guilty pleasure?
I have two: cheese and staying up too late and watching box sets. I just finished House of Cards and am starting on The Americans, which is about CIA spies.

MORE: Is the no sugar diet destroying our relationship with food?

Is the 'no sugar' diet just another fad?
No. I really firmly believe this debate will be something that eventually changes what we eat forever. Tackling sugar is the only way we're going to beat obesity, type two diabetes and heart disease. Sugar and processed food are linked; without sugar there is no processed food - it's sugar that gives it its flavour. I believe that regulation will come into play when it comes to processed, sugary foods – especially in kids' foods. And the biggest issue is that it's hidden and it's everywhere - there are so many things that you wouldn't think of as being as bad as the teaspoon of sugar you put in your coffee but there's just as much sugar and more in everything from marinades and salads dressings and soups to yoghurts and any kind of dried fruit bar. It's a huge problem; it's an epidemic and I don't think it'll go away.


How do you switch off?
I change my clothes - that's a big thing to me. I come home and change what I'm wearing and that marks a shift in personality. I go from working Calgary to home mommy Calgary and it helps me to relax and switch off. I also try to take a bath if I'm really stressed out. Most nights I'll just drink a cup of Matcha green tea, sit down and put my phone away - that last bit is really important!

What keeps you motivated?
Doing what I believe in. I firmly believe in what I'm doing and am passionate about spreading goodness and trying to get people to lead a happier, healthier life - I feel motivated by that every day. I am also hugely motivated by the feedback I get from people who follow my tips and advice - that's something that's great about social media. I don't mean about getting personal comments; the feedback that motivates me is when someone tells me that they tried a new eating philosophy or exercise class that I've recommended and it has made a positive change for them. That's what I just love to hear.

Want more wellbeing inspiration? Don't miss the latest diet and fitness tips and tricks here.