People we love – Sally Serves It Up!
No matter whether you consider yourself to be an omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or anything else, you will always be healthier if you’re leaning towards more natural foods and staying away from processed products. Sally of Sally Serves It Up learnt this by experimenting with her diet and growing to love cooking, the beautiful results of which you can check out at her blog. I asked her to give us a peek into her average day.
I’ve really cleaned up my eating in the past year and think that I’ve finally figured it out. I keep “Clean and Lean” as my main eating principle which is incredibly helpful, even when I’m in Florence eating pasta. It’s all about organic whole products and accepting you’re going to have a treat when you want one. I did Weight Watchers for a few years at university and although the pounds came off, it got me into some really bad habits, eating lots of sugary ‘low fat’ foods and drinking too much diet coke just to stay full. I’m now totally against it. I’m not fully wheat and dairy free, but I keep it in mind in my day-to-day, making exceptions for the times I’m in a French restaurant and there’s bread and unsalted butter in front of me.
For me, it’s not about being the skinniest girl but being mindful and knowing that I’m putting the best into my body. Even if foods are a bit more rich, I try to use organic whole products and keep the cooking process really clean with the oils I use, the lean protein I choose, and the vegetables I throw in. For example, my turkey bolognese is packed with vegetables and I use oil sparingly, but it’s really satisfying and lovely when I want a bit of pasta. I hate to deprive myself of pasta, since it’s my favourite food in the world!
(Papardelle with basil, parsley, portobella mushrooms and truffle oil)
I buy all my fresh produce from the incredible market in Balham, which is not only cheaper but so much fresher. The turnover is high so nothing sits on the shelf for ages, and it has a great seasonal selection. I can ask the produce guy to get anything in for me, like globe artichokes and romanesco cauliflowers. It’s so important to have a relationship like this and to support local businesses. As a bonus, it knocks about £15 off my weekly shop.
I religiously make a weekly menu every Saturday for my boyfriend and I and make my shopping list, dividing it between the market and supermarket. I mark when I’m going out and where I can keep things really clean as a sort of compensation. I also try to buy certain produce that keeps in the fridge, like butternut squash, which you can quickly roast if you find yourself unexpectedly with a night in.
My only downfall (if you want to call it that) is that I love my wine. But I figure I’m in my 20s and that it’s just a part of being young and enjoying life! I work out about 3-4 times a week through my bootcamp at In-Kilter Fitness, jogging home and my new obsession, Barrecore.
A normal day for me looks like this:
Breakfast: Two thin slices of seeded Village Bakery rye bread with either hummus and sprouts, smashed avocado, or a boiled egg.
About 3 times a week, I’ll have a protein shake mixed with water and rice or almond milk.
I’m also partial to a filter coffee with some whole milk, which I get on my way to work.
I’m very strict on making packed lunches about 3 times a week (it’s easy to prepare for the first few days in the week, which I can do on a Sunday). I normally make a vegetable soup or a salad, which tends to have some avocado in it so I feel mentally and physically satisfied. This week I’ve been having 25g of brown basmati rice stir fried with kale and grilled chicken (I use garlic, chili and wheat free soy sauce to give this some punch). If I don’t have packed lunch, I tend to get a small sushi box and a miso soup.
A salad with smoked trout, avocado, vegetables and hemp seeds:
I’ve really tried to cut down on my snacking but when I’m hungry I’ll have a vegetable juice, some crudite, or olives.
I cook dinner from scratch every night that I’m in. It gives me such calm and makes me content that I know exactly what I’m putting in my mouth. It varies a lot as I try to be as inventive as possible but my favourite dinners are hot nicoise, baked eggs, homemade chicken tikka with rice, a protein with a herby rice salad, or a quick paella.
Baked sweet potato with green salad, beetroot, pesto and hummus:
Grilled fish with herbed green veggies and some avocado slices:
Tandoori chicken, basmati rice and steamed spinach:
If I fancy something sweet after dinner, I go for two squares of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt or an Upcakes chocbite.
The easiest way to “clean up” classic dishes is to use better alternative oils like hemp or coconut, lots of herbs, and lemon. I always weigh my grains and other carbs – it’s easy for these to creep up without noticing since your eye is accustomed to big restaurant portions. I halve my usual pasta or rice portion and fill it with more veg, and try to keep things raw wherever possible.
I use cook books for inspiation; some of my favourites include:
Any of Bill Granger’s Books
The Clean and Lean Recipe Book
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Notes from my Kitchen Table
Simon Hopkinson’s The Good Cook
Both Ottolenghi books