Davina Lynch is an award-winning milliner.
Where do you shop?
I am lucky enough that my Dad has a butcher shop so I get all my meat from him. For other goods I shop local.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
Definitely Corn Flakes ‒ I am addicted to them! Fruit, vegetables, a variety of meats, pizza, a variety of sauces, we cook a lot of meals from scratch, biscuits and wine.
Describe your typical breakfast
I know it’s really bad but I don’t really have an appetite in the mornings. If I do eat breakfast it is toast or some fruit with yogurt.
Describe your typical lunch
I love oxtail or leek and potato soup. Sometimes I cook vegetables and some meat and mix them into the soup. Sometimes I make homemade tortilla pizza or boiled, poached or scrambled eggs with toast.
I love my traditional dinners, spuds, meat and mixed vegetables with lots of gravy. I love pork chops, my Dad’s burgers, mince and chicken.
When I’m good it’s bananas and apples. I love to have a cup of tea and biscuits after my dinner ‒ usually custard creams which I dip into my tea!
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I really dislike fish. I do wish I liked it as I know how good it is for you but fish freak me out.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I do a very good Shepherd’s pie.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
I love cakes such as Victoria Sponge, carrot cake and scones.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
I love spuds, beans and sausages all mashed up with butter on top.
What is your favourite takeaway?
Thai green or red curry or a noodle box or if I have had an eventful weekend I may opt for KFC.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
Yeah ‒ not eating. It doesn’t work.
What would be your last supper?
Corn Flakes followed by a stew made by either my Mum or Dad (they both do a good one), topped off with a scone and a cup of tea.
Overall, Davina tends to shop for plenty of whole, unprocessed foods. It’s very encouraging to see that she both buys plenty of fruit and vegetables, and likes to cook homemade meal from scratch. While she does focus on plenty of good quality protein from her dad’s butcher shop, Davina doesn’t seem to include many sources of high-fibre complex carbs in her shop. These include foods like starchy vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, brown bread and wholemeal pasta. Complex carbs form an important part of a healthy balanced diet, as they help to keep you feeling full for longer and support normal digestive health. I’m sure she’s aware that as tasty as processed breakfast cereals can be, they’re generally packed with refined sugar and less fibre than you would find in whole foods. So they’re best viewed as a treat to make room for more nutrient-dense foods.
Davina doesn’t feel like much food in the morning, and occasionally has toast or yoghurt with fruit. While both options can be a great way to start the day, it’s a better idea to choose brown bread with mashed avocado or nut butter over sugar-packed jam. Similarly with yoghurt, choosing a Greek variety over normal yoghurt tends to mean more protein and less sugar.
I would suggest that Davina tries blending up a healthy fruit and vegetable-based smoothie for breakfast, which she may find easier to stomach than food. I love to use spinach, mixed frozen berries as they’re low in sugar, and add some almond butter and a high-quality protein powder for a nourishing drink to keep you going for a few hours. Adding porridge oats, banana, seeds and avocado are other nutrient-rich options to make it more filling.
For lunch, Davina opts for a wholesome soup or meat and vegetables. This makes a great option for a healthy meal as it’s based on whole foods, with nothing processed in there. Even better if the soup is homemade, as you can control the salt content.
For dinner, she chooses another healthy and balanced meal of meat, potatoes and vegetables. Davina’s meals are generally well balanced and based on whole foods, but it’s her snacks than can be a little higher in sugar and refined carbohydrates. She loves her cereal, cakes, biscuits and scones. While I would absolutely encourage people to treat themselves when they really fancy their favourite sweet treat, I would suggest that it’s better to limit them to once or twice a week so that they’re something to look forward to rather than an everyday occurrence.
My advice is for Davina to have a handful of raw, unsalted nuts or a piece whole fruit in place of sweet snacks, and oat cakes with hummus or nut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon make a satisfying snack in place of biscuits. Davina’s diet is otherwise very nourishing, so just paying attention to her refined sugar intake through her snacks would make all the difference.