As many of you know I LOVE talking about food
Most days I send and receive food pictures with friends and clients
And I don't mean comparing the nutritional qualities of 7 different types lettuce
Or the latest “superfood” that's going to reverse diabetes all on its own (Though I can certainly geek-out on certain details given the opportunity)
I'm talking about REAL food, for REAL people and REAL families (like us) that we eat, day in and day out
As a result I often get asked about what we eat, so here goes…
Before I do, I firmly believe that nutrition is more individual that most people want to believe
Not only do we all have different nutritional requirements, we also have different lifestyles and different tastes and preferences
So this is not in any way a recommendation - it definitely won't suit everyone - but if any of it gives you some ideas or ways you can improve your nutrition or routine, then I'll be very happy!
Rather than just tell you what we eat, I'm also going to explain a little about how we make all work in terms of organisation - this is what has been working for us and is fairly typical, though not set in stone
I've started with a Sunday as we often use Sundays to prepare for the week.
We're quite traditional and LOVE a Sunday Roast. In fact, our house often looks like a carvery!
It's always been my favourite meal of the week and even as a child I would choose it over pretty much anything else.
The smell coming out of the kitchen as we arrived back in the car from whatever sporting activity….mmmm….thanks Mum!
Typically we will cook a large chicken AND another joint of meat - usually beef but sometimes pork or lamb
Loads of veg - mainly green
Roasted sweet potato (Lucia is obsessed with them) but sometime a small amount of white potatoes too
And of course loads of gravy (which I'm told is best when it starts to taste like Marmite?!)
Why so much food?
Number 1 - I like to eat a lot!
Number 2 - this sets us up for the week: the chicken makes several more meals - usually a curry, perhaps a stir fry, plus we'll make chicken soup with the carcass, giblets etc. and other remnants of dinner. (My youngest daughter would eat this soup daily if we let her!). The other joint makes more meals too, so we're sorted until mid-week even with my hefty appetite
Often we will also put on a stew to cook in the slow cooker overnight on a Sunday, again to provide quick, nutritious food for whenever we need it
Having so many leftovers makes things really easy: there's no “what shall we have?” and ending up with something unsatisfactory or being swayed by emotional decisions when there's delicious, healthy food taking up most of the fridge!
Breakfast is usually reheated leftover roast dinner (with gravy of course) - for all of us.
May sound odd, but I promise you it's delicious and has far more nutritional value than cereal and toast!
Lunch - leftovers again or soup
Evening meal - the girls go to gymnastics straight from school so we have to eat in between their classes in the car -which I'm sure will be familiar to many of you! They will often have the stew which we take in flasks to keep it warm
We might have leftover meat with salad
Breakfast - more leftover meat with veg or stew
Lunch - chicken soup / meat and salad
Evening meal - chicken curry with leftover roast chicken plus leftover veg if we have any, or frozen veg if not
Breakfast - omelettes / stew
Lunch - chicken soup / stew
Evening meal - fish (usually frozen) baked in the oven with vegetables
Breakfast - Venison burgers
Lunch - chicken soup
Evening Meal - Meatballs, tomato sauce and vegetables
Breakfast - Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
Lunch - Protein shake
Shopping - I shop at Lower Clopton Farm Shop and Waitrose. Farm shop for fresh veg, butter and any interesting cuts of meat they might have, Waitrose for any other bits and pieces we need plus specific for family date night, and anything else that catches my eye.
Evening meal - Friday or Saturday is “family date night”: we (the girls) pick a country and I have to cook traditional dishes (or adaptation) from there, so it can be anything. (You can see an example in the image above!)
I will usually adapt things to make them a bit healthier if possible, but we do usually make (or occasionally buy) a dessert.
Shopping - Anna shops at Talton Mill Farm Shop (80% of the meat we buy is from here, plus eggs and a few bits of veg
Brunch - Another weekly tradition we've set up is our brunch on a Saturday. I usually work until about midday and the girls have usually been swimming in the morning.
So after that we have the works: bacon, sausages, black pudding, eggs, mushrooms and spinach - yum.
All the meat is cooked in the oven and is all locally sourced (food quality is hugely important to us)
Evening meal - Often steak night if not family date night: steak, vegetables and butternut squash “chips”
In terms of shopping, in addition to the weekly shopping mentioned, every 2-3 weeks get an online delivery for some basics like frozen fish, frozen fruit and frozen veg.
So how have we arrived at this lifestyle?
As you can imagine, I've been on countless courses and read countless books and pieces of research over the years, drawn my own personal conclusions and continue to monitor my body composition and use the findings from BioSignature Assessments.
That combined with 15+ years of experimentation on myself: low fat diets, low calorie diets, high carb diets, eating 6 x a day diets, fasting and I'm sure a few other things, has led us to this lifestyle.
I've been 3+ stone overweight, lost it all, put a couple back on, lost it again, gone up and down a bit and have now been at my most stable weight for and leanest physique for the longest period of time, largely by following this type of lifestyle.
Many people will look at this and say “that's far too much meat - that's bad for you surely?”
My response would be that despite what the Daily Mail might say, there is actually no convincing evidence for that. However, I'm certainly not advocating that everyone should eat this way…
In fact recently, in contrast to what appears to be popular, we've increased the amount of meat in our diet.
All four of us (5 of you include Buster the dog) are amongst the fittest, healthiest, strongest and leanest of our peers, generally have good energy levels and seem to have robust immune systems.
We love the way we eat, it often feels very indulgent and we eat and cook together as often as possible. What we eat includes very, very little processed food and we also (both for health and ethical reasons) are careful to source as much of our food locally, where the animals have been reared with real care and respect and fed as naturally as possible, which I believe may mitigate any possible concerns about meat consumption….and it tastes better.
Anyway, it's working for us right now!