This weeks Day On A Plate comes from Sarah Holloway, the brainpower behind our beloved Matcha Maiden.
I am that embarrassingly devout foodie who is already planning lunch and dinner while still halfway through breakfast. My whole day is structured around meal times and I’m always counting down to the next socially acceptable time to eat. It completely escapes me how anyone can ever “forget to eat”, especially because I have less personality than a door handle when I haven’t eaten in a few hours. They say the competing theories are either to eat three big meals a day or five to six smaller meals a day, but I adopt a blended approach of five to six big meals a day – oops!
To balance out my “bottomless pit” appetite, I eat a healthy and balanced diet (but, of course, indulge occasionally as we all should). I love exercise but don’t make enough time for it since the business has become so busy. I find cardio too hardio and prefer yoga, pilates or HIIT sessions a few times a week, usually in the morning but really whenever I can make it work. I like to meditate to keep the stress at bay, even if it’s just a quick 10 minute reset. I’m no stranger to hectic jam-packed days having started off my working life as a mergers & acquisitions lawyer at a corporate law firm where meditation became my best friend! More recently, I started Matcha Maiden with my partner and hung up the suits and heels to move into the business full time a few months ago. I couldn’t be happier, busier or more fulfilled not least because it gives me even more excuses to be a fanatical foodie!
I love both cooking at home and eating out, but breakfast is something I love to make an adventure of. We are spoilt rotten in Melbourne with incredible café options, so it would be rude not to make the most of our vibrant breakfast scene. I eat out almost every morning, strategically planning all my meetings over the breakfast period. (I know it seems indulgent, but I just allocate the budget that would otherwise be for clothes or shoes to food adventures as I’m not a big shopper – the only place I shop up a storm is a health food store). Especially since working full time on the business mostly from home, I find this gets me up and out of the house and ensures I start the day with a big and nourishing meal under my belt before the chaos of the day begins.
I prefer savoury dishes to bowl breakfasts as the latter tend not to fill me up for long. I usually opt for a big breakfast salad or a protein (eggs or smoked salmon) paired with all the side dishes (mushrooms, greens, avocado) and a matcha latte of course. I don’t drink coffee these days, so it’s either an almond milk matcha latte or a black chai tea with a bit of honey. I fluctuate between creature of habit at my “regulars” and adventurer exploring all the new hot spots around town.
As I mentioned, I have an unusually active appetite and also like to burn the candle at both ends necessitating lots of fuel throughout the day. A few hours after breakfast, I absolutely cannot hold out until lunchtime so will usually grab some sort of snack to tide me over. It’s usually a piece of fruit with nut butter – almond butter is my favourite and I eat it by itself with a spoon most of the time.
I also love roast vegetables and randomly roast big platters of them from time to time, so I’ll snack on these if I have them on hand. Plain Greek yoghurt is another favourite snack, either with nuts or fruit or both. Chobani or Jalna are my favourite brands and I always have a tub in the fridge.
Lunch is almost always a big green leafy salad with some kind of protein and then some more substantial goodies mixed in. If I’m at home, I’ll whip it up myself with whatever we have at home. Usually, it’s a spinach salad with beetroot, capsicum, cucumber, avocado and a tin of tuna or some boiled eggs.
If I’m out, it’s more likely to be grilled chicken or white fish and either way it’s always dressed with balsamic vinegar, which I adore. I almost always have avocado in my salads and occasionally top them with fetta or goats cheese. I also love pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top. If I happen to be out for lunch, sometimes I skip the salad and just order a second round of breakfast food.
Again, I have to snack in between lunch and dinner especially if I have a dinner date with friends who like to eat late (which I always protest about). It’s usually the same kind of snack as the morning snack – yoghurt, nuts and fruit are my favourites and I always have them in the house. If I’ve done a workout (which is increasingly and embarrassingly rare), I’ll have a matcha protein smoothie instead but find I still need something to chew on. Sometimes, I’ll just have half an avocado – I’m obsessed with avocados so could eat them at every meal!
Dinner is a bit less predictable than my other meals depending on whether we’re eating out, are at an event or are at home. Most of the time, it will involve some kind of protein and some kind of vegetables, which are always cooked. I prefer salads at lunchtime but more cooked foods at dinnertime. I love a good roast or a BBQ with sautéed or steamed vegies. I’m not as good at preparing seafood myself as I am other protein sources, so if I’m out I’ll almost always order the seafood option. When we eat out, we love Asian cuisine so often head to our local for sashimi or pho. I used to adore Italian before I became gluten and dairy intolerant (inconvenient!!!!) but now that’s a bit less frequent.
I know you’re not supposed to eat late at night, but we work pretty late hours and I always enjoy a “supper” snack. If I’m ever going to indulge, it’s usually for dessert after dinner so if there’s ever a big fat cheesecake with cream, ice cream and custard on top it’s going to be just before bed – I know, I’m the worst. But most of the time, it’s a few pieces of dark chocolate with a piece of fruit or some frozen berries with a bit of coconut ice-cream. I’m not a huge sweet tooth so desserts aren’t a massive weakness for me. Dark chocolate is all I need, although I can’t say portion control is my strong point! And after all that, it’s time to start dreaming about the next day’s food choices!
Shameless plug – my signature recipe of course involves Matcha Maiden’s matcha powder, which makes its way into my diet every day somehow or another. We use it in both savoury dishes instead of salt in dressings or stir fries as well as sweeter dishes or beverages like lattes or smoothies. My favourite recipe is a simple green smoothie with 2 cups of almond or coconut milk, a handful of spinach, one banana, half to one teaspoon of matcha powder and some ice – so easy and so delicious! All you have to do is blend it all together (and add any extra superfoods or smoothie boosters that you enjoy). Bliss!