food

Michelle Bridges on food, fitness and her 'tough love' approach.

Image: Getty

Between her role as trainer on TBL, her 12 Week Body Transformation program and the release of her new Delicious and Nutritious meals, Michelle Bridges is one of the most well known (and busiest) women in Australia.

Known for her ‘tough love’ approach, Michelle is a force to be reckoned with, which is why I have to admit I was nervous about interviewing her. But nothing could have prepared me for the truth bomb that is Michelle Bridges

Ruby Thomas: “Before you got into fitness and created your 12-week program, did you succumb to any fad diets?”

Michelle Bridges: “I know that’s where everyone loves to hang their hats on, ‘Oh I can get the weight off in five minutes’, ‘Three days until my bikini body.’ But we all intrinsically know that doesn’t work.

“It’s not sustainable, it’s not realistic. Now, obviously I very much promote cooking from scratch. However, that being said, I’m a realist. There are days where it just doesn’t work – the wheels fall off, you get busy, you get called late back to work, you have to go and take the kids to sport, you find it’s Thursday and there’s no food left in the fridge. And that’s called life. So this is where Delicious Nutritious really steps up and comes to the fore, with regards to understanding and appreciating that not every day you can cook from scratch.

"Obviously I very much promote cooking from scratch. That being said, I’m a realist" Image: Instagram @mishbridges

"Most people are trying to eat healthily, and so on those days when it would be very easy to use takeaway, or go out for a quick bite, you have your plan B of Delicious Nutritious, which is a whole balanced meal. It’s got three serves of vegetables, healthy grains and protein - RSPCA-approved chicken and beef with no added hormones. It can fill the gap of what would be, otherwise, a potential disaster of going out for takeaway and eating more than you wanted and probably spending more than you wanted."

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R: "That’s definitely something I can relate to. I am relatively overweight, and, I often come home and just get takeaway because it’s easy. That said, I’m about to try your food, which I’m really excited about. I just wondered what do you think would be the best tip for someone like me who needs to lose weight?"

M: "The question that I would say to you is, what is your ‘why?’ Why do you want to lose weight? What is it about losing weight that is going to make your life better? And I don’t want to hear, ‘Oh because I want to get into my new dress for the weekend’, that’s too airy-fairy. I want to get into the guts of it. I want to know, emotionally, what is it that’s been eating at you."

R: "I’ve recently being diagnosed as having insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), so that’s been a big push to make a change."

M: "Now we have something here that is life-altering and really matters. Because the reason I want to know your ‘why,’ is because, if it’s real, and it means something to you, and it’s pretty emotive, that’s going to be the thing to get your butt out of bed at five o’clock in the morning. Do you know what I mean? That’s a much deeper reason to get this thing done, than, ‘Oh I just want to have a better set of abs’, or ‘Yeah, I really want to look cute in my new dress.’"

There needs to be a deeper reason, something more than 'I want to look good in my new dress.'." Image via Instagram @mishbridges

R: "I often think to myself, ‘I’ve been so good I deserve this slice of pizza.’ In your opinion, what is the best way to handle those sorts of cravings?"

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M: "Sometimes, you’ve just got to grow up. If you have kids, would you allow them to just eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted?

And what is this thing about the reward that I deserve? Really? Why? Why do you deserve that? And is that really a reward? Because, come tomorrow, will you be feeling rewarded, because you ate that pizza last night? Probably not. You’re actually probably going to be feeling disenchanted. So where’s the reward in that?

I’ll tell you what you deserve. You deserve a better quality of life. You deserve to be happy when you look in the mirror. You deserve to be able to walk into a store and be able to buy clothing off the rack. You deserve not to feel judged by yourself or by others. You deserve to have a life full of vitality and energy. That’s what you deserve. You don’t deserve a pizza."

We know your tummy is rumblin' for some Delicious Nutritious (post continues after gallery).

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R: "That’s a home truth for me and I think I needed to hear that. I’m going to be trying your meal range shortly, but what else do I need to add to my shopping list for my other meals?"

M: "Okay, so clearly you want to have your plan B, Delicious Nutritious, a couple of them in your freezer for when the wheels fall off, or when you think ‘I deserve to have a night off’, there’s the ‘I deserve’ thing. Just so you know, the Chicken Pesto Pasta is amazing. Think succulent chicken in a Napolitano sauce with whole grain pasta topped with a creamy pesto sauce.

"Outside of that, what you would always find in my fridge would be a nice selection of green leafy vegetables, an onion, some sweet potato, some corn perhaps, and I’m just thinking for dinners you could make a frittata, so let’s add some eggs and a lean protein to the shopping list. I don’t eat a lot of red meat and I don’t encourage any of my clients or contestants to eat a lot of red meat. So we usually have it once a week, maybe twice. Outside of that we’d have white protein, such as chicken or fish.

"But I guess the real idea about Delicious Nutritious is ensuring that people still get whole balanced meals that are healthy and tasty, but certainly for those times when life just turns into a bit of a mess.

"What you would always find in my fridge would be a nice selection of green leafy vegetables, an onion, some sweet potato..." Image via Instagram @mishbridges
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R: There are a lot of good and bad things being said about diets like paleo, cutting out carbs and the ‘I Quit Sugar’ diet. What do you think about those trends?

M: Well, I guess me doing a product like Delicious Nutritious pretty much says it all. It speaks volumes. It’s a whole balanced meal. It’s got three serves of veg, protein and healthy grains. So, I mean, Delicious Nutritious is pretty much what I stand for. I still believe you need to have carbohydrates in your diet - some people work and operate on them much better than others. It’s always a good idea, I think, to check in with your body and see what feels right for you. But I’m talking about real food, whole food, and balanced meals, that are sustainable, for the long term.

How do you maintain a healthy diet?

Here's the best from Michelle Bridges and Steve "Commando" Willis  on Instagram:

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