Clarissa Lenherr: My Food & Fitness Regime

From getting the low-down on how they work out to discovering how they maintain balance in their diet, here’s the latest instalment in our series where we ask industry experts to share the ins and outs of their weekly food and fitness regimes.

If there’s anyone that knows a thing or two about a balanced way of life, it’s nutritional therapist Clarissa Lenherr. Based on Harley Street, Clarissa focuses on personalised and preventative nutrition, specialising in digestive health, weight management, auto-immune conditions and thyroid health. Advocating the power of nutrition, botanical supplements and lifestyle habits, Clarissa believes we can support our innate healing abilities for long-term wellness. Here, she tells us what an average day-in-the-life looks like, as well as how she keeps her mental health in check…

I’m a serious coffee drinker. I love making my morning drip coffee with almond milk froth – it’s the perfect start to the day. I try not to look at my phone for the first half an hour after waking and spend the time listening to the birds outside my window, thinking about what I’m grateful for. I notice when I get into the habit of checking my phone as soon as I wake up, it can really taint my mood.

A morning walk boosts my energy levels. During lockdown, I’ve been making sure I get a walk in before I start my working day. Even if it isn’t sunny, the natural light really ignites my energy levels. 

I love a breakfast bowl. I like to have a base of plant-based, live yoghurt topped with any kind of berry, a variety of seeds and nuts and some of my homemade granola. On the weekend, you’ll often find me making an egg shakshuka. 

The right snack will keep your blood sugar balanced. I try to limit it to just one a day in the afternoon and make sure I’m eating well-balanced meals so I don’t constantly graze. If I’m in a savoury mood I’ll opt for some hummus with crudités or homemade roasted chickpeas. If I’m in a sweet mood, I love Larabar’s peanut and chocolate chip bars, RX bars and my homemade banana bread

I aim for variety at every meal. This is incredibly important for supporting the bacterial diversity in our gut. I love to make Buddha bowls, which tend to be a mixture of different veggies, a protein source (often tempeh), some complex carbs like quinoa and a good dressing. Dressings make a salad – my go-to is tahini, tamari, garlic, apple cider vinegar and a touch of maple syrup. 

I’m a creature of habit. Every week, without fail, I’ll buy either tempeh or tofu, hummus, blueberries, Rude Health oat cakes and Plenish oat milk.

I haven’t eaten dairy for 15 years. As a teenager, I suffered with terrible digestive issues. After years of seeing dieticians, gastroenterologists and doctors, and many failed diagnoses, I decided to try and figure it out myself. After playing the guinea pig, I realised the problem was dairy. I hope to re-introduce dairy slowly now I’ve managed to restore my gut health.

I’m a big fan of baking. I always try to whip up something delicious and nutritious on a Sunday to keep in a jar or in the fridge for the week ahead. Sometimes I’ll bake something and freeze it for when the cravings kick in. I like to make oat cookies, protein balls, banana bread and dark chocolate bark. There’s nothing wrong with craving something sweet – it’s when the habit slowly creeps up and you need something sweet at every meal that it might be a habit worth kicking. If I want to quash my cravings, I’ll either review my meals and make sure they’re well balanced (often my clients skimp on fat and wonder why they crave energy dense, sugary foods), or I’ll have a small bite of something sweet with a herbal tea.

I aim for variety at every meal. This is incredibly important for supporting the bacterial diversity in our gut.

A balanced diet has space for a few drinks. I love a good glass of red wine and will have a glass or two per week. When I’m out, my absolute favourite is a Tommy’s margarita. 

My guilty pleasure is freshly baked bread. My husband bakes bread a few times a week and I can never resist. The softer and warmer the better, ideally dunked in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. 

I’ll often treat myself to a weekly takeaway. During lockdown, I tried to cook as much as possible, but cooking 21 meals a week gets tiring, so I like to treat myself by ordering in every Saturday evening. My go-to is Vietnamese – I love summer rolls and dim sum. I’ve never mastered making either of these at home, so they feel like a real treat. 

I take a tailored approach to supplements. For the last year I’ve been taking Bioniq’s personalised supplements, which are tailored to your blood results. I also go through stages of adding in an omega-3 fish oil and a probiotic, and occasionally take rhodiola (an adaptogen for stress support) when I’m feeling particularly stressed. 

For me, exercise is about feeling good. When I was younger, I used to think exercise was all about weight loss. Now, I understand movement is so much more than burning calories, it’s about feeling good in your body, producing energy and lifting your mood. Spinning is my absolute go-to, but I’ve recently been loving online classes done to some great music. I try to incorporate at least one slow movement class per week such as Pilates or yoga, too. 

A sleep routine is important. I know if I drink alcohol later at night, eat sugar before bed, have caffeine after 4pm or use electronics late at night that my deep sleep will be impacted. Pretty much every evening, I have a mug of Tulsi tea, which I believe calms my active brain and helps me switch off.

I prioritise rest when I can. To unwind from a busy or stressful week, I try to limit my phone and email use over the weekend and actively try not to look at it on Sundays. Getting creative is my form of meditation – I enjoy colouring, experimenting in the kitchen or doing a puzzle. I also find spending time in nature hugely restorative – studies have shown getting into nature can reduce stress hormone production. I’m lucky enough to live near Hampstead Heath and try to go on a long walk every weekend. I’ll also always end the week with a glass of red wine.

I’m all about a good sports massage. Pre-Covid, I liked to treat myself to a deep tissue massage once a month. Because I exercise a fair bit and carry my life in a backpack (when travelling between my clinic and workplaces), I am prone to tight muscles. Massages offer such relief. 

Visit ClarissaLenherr.com and follow @ClarissaLenherrNutrition​

*Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programmes.

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