This week, I ask gorgeous TV presenter Lisa Cannon, what’s in her fridge, on her plate and what foods she loves to indulge in…
Where do you shop?
I shop in Tesco, Dunnes Stores and my local Aldi for my weekly shop. I go between the essential fruit, salad and veg in Aldi to meats and fish and more unusual finds in Tesco to wines and small condiments such as hummus and basil and coriander herbs in Dunnes Stores, plus I love their organic range of foods. There is diversity there.
Can you list the contents of your typical weekly food shop?
My typical weekly shop would be everything from Sparkling Water, hummus, carrots, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, milk, parsnips, garlic, red onion, cooking onions, mincemeat, Quorn, prawns, chicken, cod, salmon fillets, salmon fresh plus maybe some packaged ‘lunch’ meats which I can either bring to work for lunch or I snack on when I’m home before I start cooking. We tend to buy a lot of fish and forget to eat it, but salmon is one of my favourites to cook with lemon and herbs and then add salad. I buy lots of lettuce leaves and even butterhead lettuce mixed with rocket. I use parmesan on my salads and balsamic vinegar and also mix lots of vine tomatoes and scallions. I also pop in some cheeses and olives in my weekly shop, also coke zero, squash, herbs and spices and dog food!
When I look for meats it’s usually chicken breasts, chicken thighs, pork and steak fillets… we would eat around 2/3 steak fillets per week and also some lamb.
We buy wine also but that’s only for our special nights in at the weekends either red or white and if I have friends over I buy pizza and have known to make a mean curry so ingredients for that and some rice would always be on the menu. If I’m having a healthy dinner it’s a chickpea salad all the way which is chickpeas, coriander and basil and I always have lemons in the house and limes for water and for cooking. Desserts wise I don’t really allow them in the house but its usually fruit and granola plus some honey and maybe a bit of dark chocolate. Failing that there is always a slab of ice-cream in the house if people like my Dad or friends call over.
Describe your daily diet under these headings…
Typical breakfast? Scrambled or poached eggs and avocado or simply fruit and yogurt plus a cup of coffee or tea.
Typical lunch? A packet of fresh salmon with a wedge of lemon plus some chopped carrots and hummus or if I’m on the run then a sandwich, if and where I can find one…
Typical dinner? Lately it’s a really healthy homemade stew as the winter months have gotten colder and I really love making salmon baked in the oven with lemon and a large healthy salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumber. I’m a big lover of salads, my downfall is spicy food like curries and Thai food – I LOVE IT!
Typical daily snacks? Cashew nuts, hummus, rice cakes and coffee which I know isn’t very good for you.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
Grapefruit or boiled ham (I’m not a fan)
What would you cook to impress someone?
Spaghetti Bolognese (my aunt’s famous recipe) or my famous chickpea salad.
Guilty food pleasure?
Thai food and Doritos
Food hangover cure?
Coke Zero, Diep Food (takeaway) and a seafood chowder soup and a Lucozade.
Beef with Chilli & Spicy Basil with Steamed Rice from Diep Take Away – MINT.
It’s absolutely brilliant to see that Lisa has such a wide and varied diet. She’s clearly really interested in food and cooking, and enjoys sourcing fresh, good-quality food. Eating a wide range of different foods and flavours is definitely the best way to ensure that your body is receiving all of the important nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong, particularly over the winter months when picking up colds and flus becomes more common.
Lisa is a fan of hummus, and I also love the popular middle-eastern dip because it’s rich in protein, fibre and healthy fat from the olive oil. The tahini used in traditional hummus is simple made from blended sesame seeds, which are a good source of plant-based calcium. Though hummus is easy to find in most supermarkets, it’s also simple to make at home in your blender or food processor and you can add other herbs, spices and flavours to it, including basil, coriander and sun-dried tomato.
Lisa’s weekly shop contains a brilliant range of fresh, whole, colourful fruits and vegetables. I love that she buys and eats plenty of berries, as they’re such an important dietary source of antioxidants to help keep your skin looking fresh and your immune system strong. Garlic is another great way to protect your body from bacteria and infections, and it’s one of the best ways to flavour dishes.
Lisa loves salmon, which is known to be a super source of essential omega-3 fats. These can’t be produced in your body and need to be eaten regularly in your diet. They help to keep skin supple, joints well-lubricated and are really important for brain health, as your brain is around 60% fat. Other good sources include walnuts, chia and flaxseeds.
Lisa chooses healthy and balanced meals each day, starting with eggs and avocado or yoghurt and fruit for breakfast. While animal foods such as eggs and yoghurt have no fibre, plant foods like avocado and fruit contain plenty of dietary fibre to help keep you feeling full, maintain normal digestive health, aid your body in burning fat more efficiently and maintain stable blood sugar levels. I would always encourage people to eat vegetables, fruit, nuts or seeds with animal protein to boost their fibre intake.
For lunch, Lisa eats salmon with hummus and carrots for a healthy meal or else chooses a sandwich when she’s busy. Some people find that they can better digest a wrap rather than bread, so a healthy salad wrap can often be a better option when you’re on the go.
It’s good to see that Lisa and her husband cook at home rather than eat out a lot, as it’s the best way of being able to control exactly what you’re eating. They tend to make hearty stews or salmon with salad, and it’s brilliant that Lisa eats plenty of fresh raw green veggies. Her daily snacks are a good choice, and she doesn’t seem to eat many sweet foods or refined sugar snacks. I feel that a coffee in the morning is fine, and if you’re having more during the day, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or herbal teas.
Even her hangover foods and takeaway orders are mostly based on whole, fresh ingredients. Well done Lisa!