Charlotte Posner is a London-based artist and illustrator whose “Pop Doll” fashion illustrations feature across a collection of beautiful and affordable framed prints, stationery, iPhone accessories, cosmetic bags and water bottles which are available now from the Marvel Room at Brown Thomas.
Where do you shop?
I end up shopping in an array of places as I’m always on the go — so it tends to be somewhere that’s most convenient for me. At the weekends, I go to specialist foodie stores for specific ingredients. I also visit my local farmers markets where I buy the most delicious jams and cheeses and I get my seasonal veg there too.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
Red lentil pasta
Sweet and salt popcorn
Describe your typical breakfast.
I always have coffee every morning. I used to work out most mornings and come home for a lovely breakfast and then start my day totally fuelled up. I used to eat a bowl of porridge every day religiously with a tablespoon of mixed seeds, nuts, blueberries, honey and banana. A few months ago I moved in with my best friend Natasha who doesn’t eat breakfast at all and I’ve now taken on this bad habit. But I’m determined to get back to my porridge ritual!
Describe your typical lunch.
Typically, I like sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, black pepper, salt and olive oil on a slice of fresh granary bread. There is a local Italian family-run café close to me and they make the most delicious fresh soup — it’s divine. I drink lots of water all day (from my Charlotte Posner water bottle of course!).
Describe your typical dinner.
My usual dinner is seared tuna or salmon with vegetables. I take a whole garlic, slice the top off and pour olive oil on top and roast with red onion, mushrooms, red peppers, tomatoes on the vines and aubergines.
I love good old fashioned crisps like Skips or Discos and sweet and salted popcorn! I have Kennard’s Pop Doll chocolate in the studio, so I have a piece……or three!
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I really don’t like liquorice or marzipan.
What would you cook to impress someone?
If my cooking skills were a little better, I would do a three course dinner of ceviche with fresh rocket for starters, black cod with some beautifully presented sides for the mains and an individual sticky toffee pudding with vanilla pod ice cream for dessert.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
As weird as it might sound I love tinned pickled herrings. When I was younger, my friends and I would be in the local corner shop and I would be straight to the pickle section while they were off buying crisps and chocolate!
What is your ultimate comfort food?
I love crunchy peanut butter on wholemeal bread.
What is your favourite takeaway?
If I’m working late, I’ll order a Turkish kebab of chargrilled chicken skewers with chopped salad and rice. They’re relatively healthy and so, so tasty.
My local Japanese restaurant also makes an unbelievable miso soup and rice.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
Absolutely not! I love food too much.
What would be your last supper?
It’s so hard to pick one, but it would definitely have to be served with champagne for sure!
Charlotte’s approach to food shopping is based on where is easiest for her and prefers to food shop as she needs it, which is a sensible idea as it does tend to encourage shoppers to only buy what they need and waste less food too. It’s brilliant to see that she supports farmer’s markets and specialist stores, as the freshness and quality is often better if the produce is seasonal and locally sourced. Generally, opting for organic is the best option as it tends to be more nutrient-packed, although I would always encourage people to eat plenty of regular fresh produce if organic isn’t feasible or easy to find. Even if fresh fruit and veg isn’t practical if you’re busy, travel a lot of live in a more remote location, then frozen is the second best option and frozen produce tends to retain most of its nutrients. I always stock up on frozen spinach and berries to use in smoothies for a quick, nourishing breakfast or snack.
Charlotte’s shopping basket features sources of complete protein, including eggs and salmon. Tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and quinoa are other good sources of complete protein, necessary for the repair of muscle fibres and the production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies amongst so much more. If you follow an active lifestyle or weight train regularly in the gym, then you’re probably aware of the importance of sufficient protein for repairing, maintaining and building muscle. Depending on your own individual activity levels and requirements, about 0.8 to 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight is the general recommendation and more if you’re very active. However, protein deficiency is rare and since all whole foods contain a range of essential amino acids, once you focus on eating enough calories from a variety of fresh whole foods, then your needs are generally covered. I believe in keeping food fresh, simple and not getting too caught up in the reductionism of science when it’s not absolutely necessary or a part of your job. I love seeing avocados and nuts in Charlotte’s shop as they both make filling snack and meal components, packed with fibre and heart-healthy fats. Other useful nuts include almonds, which offer protein and vitamin E to support skin health, and Brazil nuts, which are a super source of essential antioxidant micro-mineral selenium. It’s involved in a number of important biochemical and metabolic pathways, helps to reduce oxidative stress and supports thyroid health, too.
Charlotte’s breakfast, when she eats it, is a healthy bowl of porridge topped with mixed seeds, nuts, blueberries, honey and banana. This is a fantastic, filling start to the day and the complex carbs found in oats help to sustain energy levels for hours, while the fibre supports normal digestive function. Seeds are rich in a variety of minerals, including magnesium, zinc and iron, while blueberries boost your vitamin C intake to encourage a stronger immune system and collagen formation in the skin. Bananas provide a quick energy boost and plenty of vitamin B6, which is an important co-factor in the generation of our ‘happy hormone’, serotonin.
At her lunchtime meal, Charlotte opts for avocado, cherry tomatoes, black pepper, salt and olive oil on a slice of fresh granary bread. Again, this makes a simple, nutritious meal and is easy to throw together when time is limited. She may want to add a green side salad to increase her intake of raw leafy greens, and a tablespoon of hummus would boost the meal’s protein content to ensure she stays feeling full until dinner time. Charlotte’s evening meal tends to be seared tuna or salmon with a selection of vegetables. This makes a simple yet balanced meal and salmon is a particularly useful source of essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which support skin, cardiovascular, brain, eye and joint health. In fact, every single cell membrane in our body relies on sufficient omega-3 fatty acids for keeping an optimal structure for the efficient transport of nutrients and cellular waste products in and out of the cell, so if you don’t eat oily fish regularly, I’d strongly recommend considering a good-quality fish oil or algae-based daily supplement.
Charlotte’s snacks include sweets, chocolate and crisps, and her favourite takeaway food is a relatively healthy kebab. While I definitely advise treats as part of a balanced diet, it’s best to enjoy them in moderation. Apart from that, Charlotte’s diet is generally healthy, balanced and based on whole fresh foods. Very well done.