A day in the life of me

I am a Project Manager working for a Local Authority in the very heart of London. My working day is usually busy and I’m rarely in one place.

My alarm goes off at 6am and I wake up to some very quick morning stretches to get my body moving. I always have breakfast at home and always within 20-30 minutes of waking up – this works best for me.

I start the morning with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and raw honey. Following this I’ll either have a decaf tea or coffee with hemp milk.

Breakfast is always something that’s quick to prepare or that I’ve prepared overnight. Some examples are:

  • Homemade granola with chia pudding or hemp milk topped with some banana and blueberries
  • Overnight oats and chia pudding
  • Poached egg on sourdough rye toast
  • Sprouted grain cinnamon and raisin toast with peanut butter and banana

I usually leave the house by 7 and aim to be at my desk for 8am. My commute consists of a half hour train journey followed by a 25 minute walk to my office. During the day I tend to have site meetings which I will usually walk to if they are nearby.

I drink around 2L of water during the day, one green tea in the morning – usually a Pukka range and organic rooibos tea.

Lunch is pretty much the same salad with a slight variation everyday and every week and surprisingly I never get bored of it. I prepare my salads in batches of two days and the main ingredients are always:

  • Mixed organic salad leaves
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Beetroot
  • Tomatoes
  • Half an avocado
  • Hummus
  • Peas or soybeans

And I tend to throw in some extra veg which I batch roast on a Sunday morning – anything from broccoli, cauliflower to red peppers or artichokes.

Depending on my day I will usually have lunch around midday with colleagues in my team. During the summer months we get to enjoy sitting by the river and soaking in the sun rays which is a very welcome break during the day.

I love fruit but do limit my intake due to the sugar. I eat citrus fruits, berries, apples and pears. I’ll usually have an apple in the afternoon, a clementine or some kiwi and mixed berries.

Let’s not forget nuts! I eat two Brazil nuts everyday to get my intake of selenium, a couple of walnuts, almond and pistachios mixed with some raisins for that afternoon pick me up.

I leave work between 4:30 – 5pm and walk 25 minutes back to the station. When I get home I’m ready to cook dinner. Dinner is always quick during the week but freshly made and as healthy as possible. You can find some of my dinner recipes under the Mains heading on this page. I cook organic chicken or oily fish once a week and the rest of the meals are pretty much meat free.

I finish the day with a cup of vanilla rooibos and a piece of dark chocolate and head to bed for 10pm.

Slow roast, lemon and garlic chicken

With Christmas around the corner and the cold evenings well and truly settled in a roast dinner is the perfect meal! I’ve played around with this method and think I’ve got it on point now!

Ingredients:

2 whole organic chickens

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

1 whole garlic bulb

2 red onions

Knob of butter

Olive oil

Handful of fresh thyme

Method:

Preheat the oven to 120C.

Peel and crush half of the garlic bulb and combine in a bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the chickens in either two separate roasting trays or one large one, using a sharp knife pierce the chicken all over. Pour the marinade over the two chickens and using your hands rub into the skin. Place the remaining garlic cloves, unpeeled, into the roasting tray and peel the onions, cut into quarters and place in the tray.

Fill approx 1/4 of the tray with water, cover and seal well with foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, turn the temperature up to 140C and cook for another hour.

Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil, place back in the oven and turn the temperature up to 200C and cook for half hour to crisp up the skin.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, place foil back on the chicken and allow to rest for half hour before serving.

My favourite sides for a roast – sweet potato wedges, maple syrup and cinnamon parsnips, ginger and garlic Brussels sprouts and crispy kale 👌🏽

Wholewheat pesto spaghetti

This is a great meal to cook when you are short of time but want something healthy! You can make the pesto beforehand or it’s so quick and easy to do whilst the spaghetti is boiling. 

Ingredients:

Wholewheat spaghetti

Almond pesto – this time round I didn’t add the avocado but if you want a creamier texture then feel free to

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion

Handful of rocket leaves 

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to season 

Method 

Put the spaghetti to boil – I always add salt and olive oil to the water.

Whilst the spaghetti is boiling make the almond pesto using the recipe in the link above. 

Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and slice the red onion, fry these in on a medium heat in some olive oil. 

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water slightly to remove the starch but not so much that it makes the spaghetti go cold. Mix in the almond pesto, red onion and tomatoes and a handful of rocket leaves. 

Serve immediately and you can sprinkle some feta or Parmesan on top of you wish! 

Spring green salad with almond pesto and grilled chicken

A hearty salad for a hot summers day!

For two people as a main dish takes about 30-40 minutes with preparation and cooking time. Great for during the week after a busy day at the office! 

Ingredients 

2 organic chicken breasts

1 courgette 

1 pack asparagus tips

4 pink radishes

1 packet organic watercress

Feta cheese

2 teaspoons toasted almond flakes

1 teaspoon oregona

1 lemon

Approx 4 tablespoons almond pesto click here for the recipe

Method
Wash and cut the chicken in half length ways – this halves the cooking time and still keeps the breast juicy when cooked. Marinate the chicken with a good gulg of olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to season. Set aside.

Put the watercress in a salad bowl and add thinly sliced radishes and approximately 4 tablespoons of the pesto – depending on how much you want it dressed. 

Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, heat a griddle pan on medium to high heat and add a knob of butter. Cook the asparagus till charred, once ready cut into bite size pieces and add to the salad. 

Cut the courgette into thin ribbons with a potato peeler or a thin knife and in the same griddle pan add the ribbons and cook till charred. Once ready add to the salad. 

Now cook the chicken, add the sliced chicken breast to the griddle pan on high heat with some olive oil and cook on each side until brown with a grilled effect. It will take around 10 minutes to cook through but check the thickest part of the breast by cutting through. Once all is cooked slice the breast into slices and add to the salad. Top the salad with the toasted flaked almonds and crumble the feta. Mix it all up and it’s ready to serve! Taste best warm! 

Tip: to make it more filling you can add cous cous or steamed baby potatoes

Easy creamy pasta sauce

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

500g baby plum tomatoes 

2 small red onions or 1 large

5 garlic cloves 

Half a thinly sliced red chilli 

3 tbsp Olive oil

Handful of basil leaves 

A tin of chopped tomatoes 

For the pasta:

175g baby Spinach 

Two tablespoons Greek yogurt 

Salt and pepper

Oregano 

Heat a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Dice the onions and crush the garlic cloves, once the oil has warmed up add the onions, garlic and red chilli along with a teaspoon of salt. Put a lid on the pan and allow the onions to sweat for about 10 minutes until they turn translucent in colour. 


Meanwhile, chop the baby plum tomatoes (I cut them in half so the sauce is a little chunky) and add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Let this simmer with the lid on for around 15-20 minutes. 


If the sauce seems a bit runny, put the gas on high still with the lid on to allow some of it to reduce and thicken. Once reduced, turn the gas off and stir in two tablespoons of Greek yogurt. This will give it a nice creamy and thick texture! That is all there is to it! The sauce is ready! 

It’s such a versatile sauce I use it for pasta, baked eggs and chorizo stew! If I use it for anything other than pasta I do not add the yogurt so it’s more tomatoey rather than creamy. 

Tonight I’m simply using it for pasta sauce so read on if you wish to know how the rest of the recipe goes. 

Place the spinach on top of the sauce and put the lid back on – this will allow it to wilt but not cook in the steam.
Meanwhile boil the pasta as per the instructions – I used fresh egg lumaconi pasta from sainsburys which boils into large shells. Turn the oven onto 200 degrees. 

Once the pasta is ready, drain and rinse with cold water this removes the starch and stops the pasta sticking together. Return the pasta to the saucepan and add the sauce to it. Mix it together and transfer to a non stick baking tray. Tear up a mozzarella ball and scatter on top. Sprinkle with some dried oregano and black pepper.


Place the tray in the oven for around 5-10 minutes until the mozzarella melts and begins to turn brown. Serve immediately with a green salad and some garlic bread if you wish!