Model turned nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson was a ubiquitous presence in the fashion industry in the nineties. A favorite of photographer Corinne Day, and best friends with Kate Moss, Rosemary was a part of the fabric of Cool Britannia whose influence remains to this day. After stepping back from the industry, she studied homeopathic and complementary medicine, and embarked on a new career as a nutritionist. I spoke with her about her 5 Day Plan and the challenges people face in an increasingly harried society.
Tell us about how you became interested in complementary medicine.
I come from a homeopathic and complementary medicine background and I have always been interested in what food can do for you; I’m obsessed. After 15 years of modeling, my inner nutrition nerd led me to study at The College of Naturopathic Medicine. I qualified as a naturopath and nutritionist in 2009 and now run a clinic on Harley Street in London.
What does wellness means to you?
Wellness means well in mind and body. Support your body with the right nutrition—as well as being mindful of what our mind needs—whether that is going for a big Sunday lunch, a run, yoga, meditation, or a good night out!
What inspired you to create your 5 Day Plan?
I often use food plans in my clinic to help get people back on track. I tell them what to eat, what supplements to take, when to take them, and for how long. These plans last anything from 7 to 14 to 30 days long. They are designed as a reset, and to get people on the right track. The food and supplements support the liver, the kidney, hormone and sugar balances, and are super anti-inflammatory. Do you feel amazing? Yes. Does everyone have the time or motivation to make the food themselves? No! And so The 5 Day Plan was born.
We started in the country with four of my friends. They always asked for my help on how to get back on track—they felt they didn’t have the time to achieve this—and weren’t knowledgeable about what to eat. After talking to friends and clients it became clear that people were desperate for someone else to fix them. Between raising kids and busy weekends, this needed to happen during the working week. I stuck to 5 days as that seemed the most realistic time frame that people could cope with.
Tell us about how the 5 Day Plan differs to other diet plans.
The 5 day plan is a process—there is method to the madness—and each day has a different focus and contributes to the end feeling of Fresh by Friday. Monday and Tuesday are slightly heavier on complex carbohydrates. This helps bring your blood sugar levels into balance as you leave the world of refined food behind you.
Monday is all about supporting the liver and kidneys so there are lots of healing herbs and spices, a green juice, and hydrating veggies to help with water retention.
Tuesday is a little more carb heavy and high in nutrients that support the liver and will help get you ready for Wednesday’s liquid only day.
Yes; Wednesday is a liquid only day. It is always a turning point in the plan—some people love it and some people hate it—but by Thursday everyone feels great. They have a flat tummy, their mind and body feel lighter, and surprisingly they are full of energy. A liquid day allows the gut and digestive system to rest so your body can get on with other repairs. 50% of our energy is used by digesting food.
Thursday is always high in fibre and this helps the removal of waste to maximize the effects of the liquid day.
Friday is always gut focused. During the first 4 days you’ve worked hard to get your gut to a state of calm and encourage the good bacteria colony to grow. We make sure it includes lots of prebiotic food to continue the process.
How do you think social media has influenced people’s relationship with food?
I think it’s mostly a positive influence. People are getting back in the kitchen and reconnecting with food. Social media is a great platform for free content which is so accessible to all.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to cut through all the noise surrounding fad diets and embark on a more holistic approach to nutrition?
It’s not rocket science; it’s about balance and sustainability. Keep it simple. Live by the perfect plate rule of one-quarter complex carbs, one-quarter lean protein, and one-half vegetables. This ensures your meals are always balanced.
Is there a commonality between the challenges your clients face when embarking on a lifestyle change?
Time is a big one! Everyone is working so hard that they think they don’t have time to look after themselves. Making time can be the hardest first step to take.
What projects are you working on that you can share with us?
The 5 Day Plan will be back in New York in the New Year,. We are hoping to start on a book with The Plan and everyone’s favorite recipes. There are some nutritional powders for the skin in development too. On another note, we are excited to be launching Filth, a healthy food restaurant for hedonists, in the New Year too.
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