This weeks Day on a plate come from Martyna Angell. Martyna Angell is a Sydney-based whole food blogger behind the popular allergy-friendly Wholesome Cook blog, a place where she shares low sugar recipes with options for various intolerances and diets intertwined with stories from her daily life. She is a regular columnist at Nourish Magazine and has recently published her first print cookbook, The Wholesome Cook, a real food wellness guide based around the notion of bioindividuality.
What is bioindividuality?
While many of our meal times are shared as a family our approach to what food we eat is quite unique in that we choose to eat the best food for us as individuals, instead of following diet trends that may not always fit everyone the same.
For instance, the men in our family eat a lot more meat (and crave it more) than the girls do. While I eat dairy yoghurt and use butter, I am mindful of the amount of milk I consume because it gives me acne – the kids are both fine with all dairy at this stage. Wholemeal, spelt and rye grains seem to agree with me more. Sourdough is a fantastic choice because the grains are partially digested by the fermentation process. I find rice and potatoes heavy so eat them even less so – my husband thrives on them.
This is one of the main ideas behind my book – helping you find the best food for your body and providing tips on how to manage the process when you have more than one mouth to feed.
My day on a plate
I start my day with a quick scan of my email and social media for anything urgent that may require my attention first thing. But before I get stuck into work or getting the kids ready for school, I drink a cup of water (not always with lemon!) while I make a brekky smoothie for Matt.
Then I go for a brisk morning walk with our Jack Russell, Kasha. I purposefully leave my phone at home and allow myself to be mindful of my surroundings. I say hello to neighbours and breathe deeply as I walk.
At around 6:30am
I have about a cupful of a whole food smoothie.
There are many seasonal concoctions I choose from – choc banana, rockmelon numbers, berry. I started growing organic blueberries in our Sydney backyard and the crop was amazing last season!
I try to pack as much nutrients as I can into the morning drink so from time to time I add whole food powders such as greens and maca, macqui, mesquite, etc. Sometimes, when my digestive system feels sluggish after a weekend of overindulging, I add about ½ cup Greek-style yoghurt to boost my probiotics levels and get me going.
Two to four mornings a week after school drop offs I try to get in at least a 30 minute weight training session on my own or with my trainer, who keeps me accountable and makes sure that the exercises vary. This ensures that my body moves in different ways every time and makes it more fun!
At around 10am
I have my breakfast which generally involves eggs with veggies - I love my veggies and make sure that we have fresh or cooked veggies with almost every meal.
Sometimes, if I didn’t include yoghurt in my smoothie, I’ll have yoghurt with berries or other fruit in season and just a dash of cinnamon. A spoonful of low-sugar cereal (I love spelt flakes) works well here too, or in winter, I opt for some type of porridge with various toppings.
10:30am – 2:30pm
I get stuck into work. What I do varies from day to day – sometimes I’m shooting all day, other days I write. I also try to get on top of my emails as well as make sure that my recipe development and various deadlines for magazines I write for and other clients are met.
Between 11am and 12pm
I make myself a cup of tea or coffee with just a dash of full cream milk – I try to consume very little milk because, unlike yoghurt and cheese, milk gives me acne. Sometimes I opt for almond milk.
Lunch is around 2:30pm
and is the main meal of the day for me. It’s something of a learnt habit from Poland where the main meal of the day is consumed between 2 and 3pm.
This is usually a big mish mash fridge surprise salad of sorts – with baby spinach, avocado, shaved fennel, roasted veggies, sauerkraut or pickles, cayenne pepper, egg or canned or smoked fish (mackerel is one of my favourites and is a great source of omega-3). Sometimes it’s simply leftovers from the family dinner the night before or a piece of grilled fish with some greens. I try to have it outside to get some vitamin D.
School’s out which means pick ups, homework, extra curricular activities and dinner prep. I only check my email and social media on the phone and attend to anything if it’s urgent – I think finding a good work-life balance is important and I LOVE helping out with homework so that becomes my priority in the afternoons. That plus dinner-making.
My last meal of the day is no later than 6pm and it’s a small supper. Sometimes it consists of grazing on food I’m prepping for the family’s main meal. Sometimes it’s simply a cup of miso soup with a handful of veggies or 2-3 slices of rye crisp bread with various toppings. Sometimes, especially in summer it could be a whole food smoothie or a seasonal fruit and veg platter with some dips. Occasionally, I’ll have a small portion of the meal I’ve prepped for the family (often I keep leftovers for lunch the next day).
Catch ups about our days, family time – sometimes we watch an episode of our favourite show, sometimes we play board games.
Kids’ bed time and time for me to get lunches ready for the troops.
I attend to any outstanding work and deadlines with a cup of warm herbal tea or decaf coffee in hand
The odd indulgence
I like to indulge a little, too. Travel is probably one of those instances when I like to indulge in the culinary delights on offer but I still try to do so mindfully – portion control is often the answer. In the same way I won’t say no to a little cake at a party, asking questions about its origins or ingredients. I like fresh cream éclairs – there’s a fab recipe on the blog, and every now and again I crave hot chips.
In summer I will happily enjoy an occasional scoop of pistachio or hazelnut gelato. I enjoy sharing a meal out and as long as I know that for the most part it is made using real food, I don’t ask questions.
Because of my job, I over-eat sometimes. When I do, I like to take a little time out from eating and fast. I listen to my body and on a fast day I eat only once and only when I’ve become hungry (generally in the late afternoon). I make sure to include plenty of vegetables and some fish in my meal. I drink plenty of water and herbal teas. My body feels so much better the next day: light and refreshed.