Let Manchester’s first ‘free-from’ café help you eat properly
INFORMATION about foodie rights and wrongs and how to have a healthy lifestyle is so confusing and sometimes even conflicting that you’d be forgiven for not really knowing what’s good for you.
Co-founder and director of Manchester’s first ‘free-from’ café, 3 Squared, Katie McIntosh agrees. ‘Our calorie-controlling, diet-focused culture leaves a lot of people feeling underwhelmed and disappointed after the short-term results prove to be unsustainable in the long run, so how do we get from where we are right now to feeling, looking and performing the way we want.
Form your habits around food that you can trust, whether you make the decision to cook everything yourself or choose to eat with a brand that really does have your health as its focal point
‘As health and fitness professionals, we have a responsibility to look after the health of those around us in the same way that medical professionals do. When you understand how to make yourself feel incredible, it’s impossible not to share it, and that’s what the 3 Squared team is here to do. It’s a journey to fully understand your body and how to get the most from it and that’s the one that we are absolutely dedicated to.
‘My own personal journey spanning seven years – with the last five spent in the health and fitness industry – has led to the creation of this concept; a food movement that focuses on encouraging more people to understand the positive powers of food and using those powers to achieve more.
'Before fitness comes food. Our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is, in many ways, determined by what we eat. Food is a powerful doctor for a myriad of health concerns: body composition, skin health, ageing, memory, mental performance. When you eat for health, great things will happen physically and mentally.
‘There seem to be three key issues that clients identify when discussing health concerns: cravings, habit and socialising. The paradox is that seasonal and fresh ingredients are what our bodies really crave. Those cravings for processed foods are just pseudo-cravings and your body’s way of telling you that you’re undernourished in some way. It can be a painful place to be when you’re trapped between the desire to improve your health and unrelenting cravings for the anti-healthy foods that your body is telling you that you need.
‘The key to flipping the switch between giving into anti-healthy cravings and eating for health is to give your body the correct nutrients consistently and ditch the “pretend” food. In a very short space of time, your hunger hormones will begin to regulate and your body will start to understand where the real nutrients are coming from and crave those foods instead.
‘Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated – you don’t have to count calories or look for low-calorie options, nor do you have to cut carbs completely or hire a personal trainer. Form your habits around food that you can trust, whether you make the decision to cook everything yourself or choose to eat with a brand that really does have your health as its focal point.
‘Eating and the way food can make you feel can be one of the greatest pleasures in life. Diet culture misinformation has played its part in turning this pleasure into a confusing and frustrating experience for many who believe they are doing everything right but still feel sub-optimal or disappointed with their athletic ability or appearance. An increasing number of people we speak to have said that they’re done with diets and want to focus on health, because one outlook is sustainable and effective and this other is not.
‘We make our food out of naturally delicious and healthy ingredients, and absolutely nothing artificial. The aim is to enrich every dish with as many nutrients and as much flavour as possible. Every dish is cooked to order in our 40-cover high-street café, which means that you can tick the socialising box or enjoy some quiet time over a cleansing smoothie.
‘Our soon-to-launch “grab and go” breakfast and lunch range will also serve your health and your tastebuds – no compromises – with the added bonus of speed and efficiency if you’re on the go or in a rush between meetings. You don’t need restrictive diets or unsustainable fitness transformations living on chicken and broccoli. When you get your nutrition right, you’ll feel like you can do anything, and if we can play a part in that journey then we’ve done what we set out to do.’