Ever wondered what models eat in a typical day and what they like to indulge in? I asked model, actor and mum, Vivienne Connolly, what’s found in her fridge and on her plate…
Where do you shop for food?
I mix it up, between local green grocer, butchers, Tesco and SuperValu
Can you list the contents of your fridge on an average day?
On an average day you will find: Spinach, spring onions, kale, iceberg lettuce, carrots, beetroot, leeks, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, courgette, mushrooms, eggs, almond milk, coconut milk, dairy milk for the kids, celery, cucumber, Greek yogurt, hummus, creme fraiche, fresh berries, organic smoked salmon, organic chicken, turkey bacon, San Pellegrino, mustard, gherkins, chilli sauce and orange juice.
Describe your daily diet under these headings…
For breakfast, I have a bowl of gluten free porridge with walnuts, fresh berries, cinnamon and mixed seeds, (chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax and some maca powder), with coconut or almond milk and a cup of black coffee.
For lunch, it is typically spinach salad with avocado and hummus and a slice of smoked salmon, with a slice of gluten and wheat free bread.
For dinner, usually I would have my super salmon, marinated in tamari, mirin, honey, ginger and coriander, with baked sweet potato and green veg, asparagus and broccoli.
Typical daily snacks?
Daily snacks would include, almonds and cashews, and a square or two of Lindt dark chocolate with raspberry, or oatcakes with peanut butter and slices of apple.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I have a pretty varied palate and I love most foods, if I’m honest I’m not mad about tofu.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I love fish, so I would start with garlic crab claws or prawns and then do a sole meuniere with asparagus and spinach, with sweet potato wedges.
Guilty food pleasure?
I don’t eat much meat, but I would be guilty of the odd burger.
Food hangover cure?
I love yaki soba from Wagamama.
Vivienne’s fridge contains a great range of fresh whole foods, and especially vegetables. Most of us are familiar with the message to eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and veggies each day, and Vivienne buys plenty of leafy greens, as well as red, purple and orange vegetables to ensure she and her family are receiving a wide range of protective antioxidants. She includes berries in her shop too, and I would encourage everybody to eat at least a handful of berries each day. They’re extremely rich in antioxidants and vitamin C to help protect your immune system as we move towards winter, plus they’re lower in sugar than almost all other types of fruit for those trying to avoid extra sugar.
Vivienne chooses a balanced breakfast of porridge with nuts and seeds, berries and cinnamon with plant milk. This is one of the healthiest breakfasts to have for many reasons. It’s rich in fibre to support a healthy digestion system, keep you feeling full and encourage efficient fat burning by helping to lower insulin levels. Oats are a slow-release complex carb, which means that they don’t cause a quick spike in your blood sugar levels. Instead, they release their energy more gradually for a longer and more sustained energy boost. The nuts and seeds provide plenty of good fats for supporting heart, brain, joint and skin health, and especially as Vivienne includes omega-3 rich flax and chia seeds. Walnuts are another great option for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Cinnamon is a brilliant sweetener because it’s virtually calorie-free, yet delivers plenty of sweet flavour. It also contains a mineral called chromium, which is thought to help control blood sugar levels.
For lunch and diner, Vivienne eats plenty of lean protein with vegetables, healthy fats and complex carbs in the form of baked sweet potato. Salmon is a brilliant source of omega-3 fat and the ginger she uses as a marinade is known to support immune system health and digestion.
Vivienne sticks to nutrient-rich, low-sugar snacks including nuts, oatcakes, peanut butter and apple, to keep her blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Even the dark chocolate she eats is full of antioxidants, and generally a little bit goes a long way for satisfying a sweet craving.
Vivienne’s diet is very balanced and contains all she needs to help her stay healthy and well. She enjoys an occasional burger or restaurant meal, which won’t impact on an already wholesome diet and enjoying treats are a great way to stay focused on making positive choices. Well done Vivienne!