Sunday, June 4

Nutritionist Talks How You Can Turn Back The Clock By Changing Your Eating Approach

Gabriela Peacock has a lot. When we meet in a central London hotel, she’s just gone on the radio to talk about her second book, 2 Weeks to a Younger You.

The next day, she’s organizing a birthday party for her six-year-old twins Iris and Caspar (her eldest daughter, Maia, is 12). ‘I have to invite both classes, so that’s 50 kids,’ he makes a face.

The adults will then relax over a pub lunch, where guests will include the twins’ godparents, including Piers Morgan and Princess Beatrice.

The birth of Beatrice’s daughter Sienna two years ago led to what Peacock, 43, describes as “a welcome new dimension to our friendship.” Her dog, however, isn’t all that interested in the connection.

The last time Peacock (and her husband, hedge fund manager David) visited the princess and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, the dog was terrorized by two of the late Queen’s corgis. “So now they are afraid of all the dogs and he needs help.”

By meeting Peacock, you can see why all these people love her, both personally and professionally.

By meeting Peacock, you can see why all these people love her, both personally and professionally.

Clearly, she inhabits a stunning world, moving with David between their homes in Notting Hill, the Cotswolds and the South of France, in West London, hanging out not only with royals, but also with the likes of Joan. Collins.

Peacock is often more than a friend to these people. As an in-demand nutritionist, she’s also key to keeping them looking their best.

Clients include Katherine Jenkins, James Blunt, Jodie Kidd, Yasmin Le Bon and Billie Piper, and she is rumored to be the woman who made Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie look their best at their respective weddings (she was a guest at both).

Did he play any part in getting the royals in coronation shape? “He might have been helping some,” she smiles. “Actually, Princess Bea has been very kind: she gave me a budget for the book.”

By meeting Peacock, you can see why all these people love her, both personally and professionally.

With a black dress, skyscraper legs, and wiper cheekbones, it’s obvious she’s a former model. She is also funny, self-deprecating, passionate about her profession, and clear about why her approach is so popular.

“I eat too much chocolate, I drink wine, I love chips, so I can hardly tell others not to do that,” she says. ‘It’s all about balance.’ She thinks kimchi and kale with a side of crackers.


Peacock, who was born in a small town in the Czech Republic, became fascinated with nutrition after she won a modeling contract at age 15 and moved to Paris.

There, her agents encouraged her to eat nothing but fish and green beans to avoid being sent home again (she estimates that more than 80 percent of her friends had an eating disorder). She intrigued me. She wanted to know more about how the body worked,” she says.

When, aged 20, she moved to London, Peacock was rocked by ageism in her industry, with model friends no longer able to find work once they were in their 30s. Realizing that she needed a second career, Ella Peacock studied for two degrees in nutrition over the course of nine years.

On graduation, she worked for Queen’s GP Sir Tim Evans in his private practice, where she quickly became the go-to A-list dietary adviser.

“I think it’s because there weren’t a lot of people practicing that had my spirit of not being super restrictive,” he says of his success. “There are a lot of scary nutritionists who give us a bad rap: they all say ‘gluten free, dairy free, limit your sugar.

‘But if you live such a restricted life, how can you be happy? If a plan doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it won’t be sustainable. You’ll follow him for two weeks and then you’ll hate me and never come back.

Peacock shares a close friendship with Princess Beatrice and said the royal

Peacock shares a close friendship with Princess Beatrice and said the royal “has been very kind” and gave her a quote for the new book.

Peacock’s approach certainly seems a lot less harsh than many diets, as seen in her first book, 2 Weeks to Feeling Great. While many require you to give up brownies and takeout curries forever, she prefers a pattern of limiting calories for a few days a week, but then allowing yourself to eat “what you like” for one day.

Now, Peacock is zeroing in on how a similar approach to eating can turn back the clock. The secret is choosing foods and an eating pattern that can help fight inflammation, which scientists say is a key factor in chronic disease and shortening of life.

“I don’t like the term antiaging, it’s insulting,” he says. “It makes age sound so negative and obviously because of modelling, that’s my touchy subject. I don’t mind people knowing my age, but I would like them to say that I look good for it. I also want to feel great.

“People live longer, but if we don’t take care of our lifestyle, we could be sick for much of that time. So it’s about preventing that.’

In the book, Peacock does an impressive job of making science accessible. “There’s all this amazing research, mostly from the US, about how our diet and lifestyle can affect our genes and the way we age, and that’s very exciting,” he says. ‘Besides, it’s never too late to start.’

Her plan to jump-start the process of slowing aging involves what she calls time-restricted eating (“I don’t like the word fasting, it’s so negative”); In other words, limit calories and shorten the daily window in which you eat by four to eight hours.

The idea is that by giving yourself a break from digestion, you stimulate a process called autophagy that makes your body more resilient. “It’s basically a self-cleaning of the cells, removing proteins they no longer need, so they’re not there wasting energy and potentially causing cell death.”

Subsequently, ‘your cells will work more efficiently and you’ll have a lot more energy, which you never imagined would be a byproduct of fasting. So it’s something we should be doing whether or not we want to lose weight.’

Peacock outlines three programs to help lose excess weight (which shortens our lifespan) and stimulate cell renewal.

There’s supercharged (where you eat 700 calories a day for three consecutive days), reset (700 calories for two days), and live long (where you eat ‘mindfully’), using their recipes, to be consumed within an eight-hour window. You can choose one to follow, either short-term or long-term, depending on your goals and lifestyle.

Personally, and she stresses that this works for her but won’t suit everyone, after ‘an indulgent weekend’ she needs ‘a little fun’. Very often, after dinner on Sunday night, she does not eat again for 18-20 hours. “I drink a lot of tea and I eat a lot of soluble fiber, because they are healthy and fill you up.”

At 4 pm on a Monday, he has something light, like a vegetable soup. ‘You need to help your body digest slowly. But then I start eating and I eat all night, although it will be relatively healthy, not burgers and fries.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, you’ll again skip breakfast (if you can’t accept that she recommends dining as early as possible) ‘and then eat really well, that’s when my avocado and kale chips come out!’

By Thursday, she relaxes. Then for Friday and through the weekend I have what I want: carbs, breakfast with the kids. On vacation I tend to let it go. It works for me because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.’

How does David feel about restricted eating? ‘He’s good! He likes to torture himself. To his friend Piers Morgan, he says, ‘he also likes to punish himself. Piers is tough, he doesn’t like to listen, but he has done well.

She is not very strict with her children, although she encourages them to eat a lot of fruit, drink a lot of water and combine a sweet with some protein. “But I think I’m the only mother in Notting Hill who lets her children eat sugar,” she laughs.

It’s time for Peacock to get moving and prepare for the next day’s festivities.

“Birthday party for two six-year-olds,” he laughs. I’m definitely going to need wine. Then come Monday, it’s back to being a light soup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *