Eat Shop Save - The Glens

The Glen family from Newton Abbot are made up of Jena and Aaron, and their two sons Louis and Rory.

The family all follow a meat free diet, but there isn’t a huge abundance of vegetables in the household (in fact, the pet rabbit gets more veg than they do) and instead, they have a freezer full of meat replacements. 

On top of this, no one was eating the same thing - making mealtimes chaotic and sending their shopping bills rocketing to around £220 a week.Presenter Ranvir Singh met the Glen’s in March, they told her they were feeling stuck in a rut and wanted to feel like a family again. 

Ditching the diet shakes

Ranvir sends top chef and nutritionist, Dale Pinnock in to rescue the messy eating habits - starting first with Mum, Jena. 

Jena’s diet consisted of diet shakes for breakfast and lunch, rice cakes with peanut butter for her evening meal, and snacks of fruit and chocolate inbetween. Despite not eating any ‘proper meals’, Dale reveals that she has been exceeding the recommended daily calorie intake for a woman.

The powder alone that was making up her diet shakes, totalled to around 365 calories a day - which is MORE calories than your average cheeseburger from McDonald’s or Burger King!

Dale shows Jena how to ditch the diet shakes and in turn, dramatically reduce her calories and sugar intake.

Not wanting to leave the rest of the family out, Dale makes it his mission to unite them at mealtimes, where no one is eating the same thing. He introduces the Glen’s to the benefits of lentils, an ingredient that Jena admitted she is scared of, and has never cooked before.

By showing them how versatile they can be, Dale cooks up three seemingly very different dishes, all with one thing in common - that’s right, you guessed it - lentils!

  • Lemongrass lentil dhal

  • Aubergine and courgette lentil lasagna

  • Lentil hummus wrap

You can get the recipes for all three dishes, here.

Putting their money where their mouth is

Before their challenge, the Glen family spent on average, £25 a week on meat replacement products. Savvy shopper Kate Hardcastle challenged herself to spend the same amount of money on natural plant based ingredients. She ended up with a whopping 150 portions of food, compared to the 36 portions of meat replacements.

Fighting fit

Next up is personal trainer, Tom Pitfield who helps Aaron to tackle his attitude to exercise. In the past, Aaron competed in a boxing match and did all the training that comes with it, to ensure he won. But admits to Tom that once he achieved that goal, he lost interest in the sport. 

Tom shows Aaron why a goal-based approach to exercise often fails longterm. 

After Tom’s exercise intervention, Aaron made it part of his weekly routine to put on his running shoes a few times a week, instead of a chore or a specific goal, exercise is now just part of his lifestyle.

By the end of the eight week challenge, despite covid-19 causing some serious bumps in the road - mealtimes and family life had been transformed. 

You can find out how much money the Glen’s saved and the incredible changes they made to their food and fitness in this evening's episode of Eat, Shop, Save - on ITV at 7:30pm.

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