How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

Posted in Blog on 14.08.2017

How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

Phil (Him) and I (The Cook) are just 2 ordinary people living ordinary lives.  Overweight and significantly less than healthy ordinary lives though.  We’ve been trying to diet for longer than we’ve known each other and we’re experts at finding excuses as to why we don’t start/fall off the wagon/fall off the wagon again/give up and start again Monday!

But I HATE being overweight.  I HATE everything hurting and being out of breath just from walking up the stairs.  I HATE the sideways looks and hurtful comments and being surprised when someone’s nice to me because I just expect them to be rude and mean.

Now I don’t know if I have an unhealthy relationship with food or not.  I’ve been involved with/loved food for as long as I can remember – from nagging mum to let me make chocolate rice krispie cakes as a kid, to food as a career, to currently feeding friends and family and spending lots of hours photographing it all!

How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living
How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

Lots of carbs.  Lots of refined sugar.  Noticing a trend?!

Then I watched my Mum who could NOT have eaten healthier if she’d tried, die from complications arising from bowel cancer.  I don’t drink, I’ve never smoked.  I had a rather raucous 20’s but now in my somewhat dreary 40’s eating is something I actively look forward to!  And unlike Phil I don’t really enjoy exercise that much

But we could keep finding excuses or we could just flipping get on with it.  And it all started December 2015 with juicing.  We were introduced to the benefits of juicing in a couple of ways – by a real friend and a ‘virtual’ friend.  One was positively evangelical about the positive effect of juicing and the other (a confirmed carnivore whose plate mostly consisted of meat and potatoes) had the attitude of ‘well if it gets more fruit and veg into me it can’t be bad’.

The latter was very much Phil’s role-model as they would egg each other on to eat even more meat and potatoes.  But with Phil’s type 2 diabetes spiralling out of control our two friends juicing recommendations were enough to prompt him to buy a juicer.

I honestly never thought it would last.  I thought he’d take his first slurp of the very murky looking liquid, wrinkle his nose and chuck it down the sink!

How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

Never in his life had Phil even tried such things as beetroot, celery, spinach and kale – having already decided he wouldn’t like them.  But lo and behold, the juice was gone and not down the sink!

This all happened just before Christmas and while we indulged in the food festivities we were also being experimental with our juices and having at least two a day.  Post Christmas and realising that as well as having all those healthy juices I’d also consumed more mince pies than should be legal we decided to do a juicing detox.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t easy.  Seven days of consuming nothing but fresh juice was not the puppies and butterflies party some juicing protagonists will have you believe.  Maybe it’s different for others but we were H.U.N.G.R.Y.

How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

In hindsight, doing our first even juice detox in the bitter depths of January probably wasn’t wise either.  My overriding memory of the experience (other than the hunger) was the cold and the sweet.  Nothing warming you from the inside, just cold, sweet liquid.  And I NEVER thought I’d EVER say I’ve had enough of sweet things!

But we did it.  And the results were beyond any expectation we might have had because between us we’d lost 20lbs!  In a week!  And that turned out to be the catalyst we needed for change.  SO spurred on by this were we that for the first time in our lives we’ve managed to sustain weight loss, get off our damn backsides more and for Phil embrace all things vegetable as something actually tasty rather than the thing he pushed onto my plate with a look of abject terror!

How It All Started - The Keys To Healthy Living

So, it’s almost 2 years later and I won’t pretend it’s been easy.  We’ve been juicing pretty much every day since, even doing regular juice fasts/detoxes.  We’ve tried to be as healthy as we can, eating better, moving more, sitting less – you know the score right?  There have also been lapses.  Sometimes major ones.  We’re human and we both love our bellies.  We’ve also been introducing more and more supplements into our daily diet and reaping their benefits.  And it was from this we decided to build The Cook & Him because what’s good for us can be good for everyone else!

Sure, we’ve encountered the sceptics … “you can’t live on that” … “that looks disgusting” …“what about all that sugar” … “where are you going to get your calcium/protein/fibre”

Why did none of these people care about our nutritional or dietary requirements when we were eating crisps, chocolate and all the takeaways we could get our hands on??

The best answer we gave to all the naysayers was losing over 100lbs between us in around 7 months, maintaining that healthy weight loss and Phil being told he’s now in diabetic remission and off all his medications – despite all those sugary juices huh?

So don’t give up.  There are plenty of reasons why people will try and make you feel bad or wrong for what you’re trying to do on your healthy journey.  But their ‘reasons’ are their excuses for not having the balls to make positive changes in their lives.  They don’t have to be your excuses too?

If you need some extra motivation like we did, why not start by downloading our free e-book? It’s full of tasty and healthy recipes for you to try!


  • This is really an inspiring article. Staying fit and healthy is a choice and it everyone must choose it in order for them to be free from diseases and live a happier life.

    • Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment! Yes, we’ve finally learnt over the years that eating as healthily as we can is a cornerstone to feeling better in so many ways as well as being more active and not just expecting doctors to ‘fix’ us! Thank you again and have a great week 🙂

  • Sarah Radbone says:

    I love reading your page and ideas. Of course being January I’m trying to be good. I’m going to try juicing ?

    • Hi Sarah!

      Glad you’re enjoying our page and ideas, we always LOVE hearing that! As for juicing, it’s not the be all and end all to being healthy – it was just the thing that kick started us. We saw incredible results in terms of weight loss in just a short period. But it’s not easy to consume nothing but juice for a period of time, even if it’s just a few days. I don’t know about you, but Phil and I aren’t programmed to not enjoy actual food! Cold, sweet liquid can get dull very quick! But the short term gains were enough of a motivation to not want to undo them. So now we enjoy at least 1 juice or smoothie per day as a meal substitute with healthy food the rest of the time. Juicing also helps get more fruit and veg into our diets (and is a good way to incorporate superfoods for extra oomph!) and has helped Phil reverse his type 2 diabetes and made my clothes feel looser, nails stronger and has really helped clear up my eczema!
      Please let us know if you want any ‘been there, done that’ help or juicing recipes, we’ve got tonnes!
      Happy New Year! 🙂

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Hello and welcome to The Cook & Him.

We are Sam (The Cook), Phil (Him) and our little dog Meg. What started with a plan to shed a few pounds back in 2016, soon became obvious that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland and boring.

So, combining Sam’s 15 years of experience working within Michelin starred restaurants and our love for deliciously healthy food, we’re creating recipes for you to make and enjoy. We’ve added our own unique spin on traditional and contemporary vegetarian and vegan recipes that keep you (and your pets!) healthy and full.  And we make sure they just work.

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