Celebrity nutritionist, chef, TV presenter and mother Zoe Bingley-Pullin is an advocate for healthy living...
She’s just launched a new cookbook called Falling In Love With Food, which features over 80 recipes “for effortless entertaining, clever healthy twists on indulgences, child-friendly options to delight fussy little eaters and much more”. We caught up with Sydney-based Bingley-Pullin to find out how she looks after herself as a busy, working mum to Emily and what’s really in her kitchen cupboard. Words: Sarah Brooks-Wilson | Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | Go to www.zoebingleypullin.com
What is your approach to wellbeing?
My approach to wellbeing is all about enjoying food, being educated about food and truly understanding how it can increase health, happiness and performance in all aspects of life. It’s not about stressing over eating perfectly or feeling guilty for not working out – it’s having a happy and healthy relationship with food. I don’t take it all too seriously, but I know I feel my best when I look after what I am eating, reduce stress and exercising regularly. The benefits I feel are my motivation to keep going.
How has your health and fitness changed since being a mum?
Being a mum is a busy job so I have had to rely on caffeine a bit more here and there! Otherwise, knowing the importance of planning and prioritising. I schedule in food shopping, cooking and meal planning for the week and try to stick to it the best I can, but know I also have to be flexible with what life throws at me. I rely on more services such as fruit and vegetable delivery and have learnt to make do with what I have available to me rather than stressing out over things not being perfect.
What would we find in your kitchen cupboard/fridge/freezer?
Australian extra virgin olive oil. Avocado. Lemons. Apple cider vinegar. Chia seeds. Organic full-fat natural yoghurt. Kombucha. Home-grown fresh herbs – coriander, parsley, mint, basil.
What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Breakfast: Lemon AND warm water shot to start the day, probiotic and fresh vegetable juice (beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger) and avocado on sourdough or chia seed/brown rice porridge with fresh fruit and yoghurt. Lunch: Grainy bread sandwich with hummus, leftover roast chicken and salad or a big leafy green salad with added leftover roasted vegetables and legumes for plant-based protein. Dinner: Usually simple yet wholesome, such as grilled fish with lots of vegetables/salad or a light chicken and quinoa pasta dish.
What snacks do you keep in your handbag?
Sadly I can’t keep cheese in there but if I could I would! I usually opt for raw nuts and seeds or a piece of seasonal fruit, fuss-free and healthy.
What do you always make sure you include in your diet everyday?
Lots of fresh seasonal vegetables. I start my day with a fresh vegetable juice. It’s non-negotiable!
What do you eat for energy?
I add a handful of wholegrain carbohydrates to my meals, such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat pasta or even some starchy vegetables such as potato and sweet potato. All of which are filling and energising foods. Otherwise, for a quick energising meal on the run I make a smoothie using almond milk, chia seeds, banana, berries and coconut oil, which keeps me going for hours.
How do you treat yourself?
A delicious dinner out with my girlfriends to catch up and relax is a regular event. Otherwise, a nice glass of wine or cheese plate also does the trick.
What would you say are your top 5 healthy tips for mums out there?
1. Plan – have a rough plan in place around what meals you will need and what ingredients to buy. 2. Learn to love leftovers, it is the easiest way to cut down on time spent cooking and fussing. Spend a few hours each month cooking a batch of food including stews, sauces, dips and curries, store them in individual containers and freeze. 3. Prioritise movement – it’s such a great stress relief technique and the ultimate ‘mummy’ time – it doesn’t have to take hours, a quick powerwalk around the block or a 20 minute yoga routine in the lounge room is fine. A little bit goes a long way. 4. Start the day with a fresh vegetable juice – it is the easiest way to make sure you are looking after your own nutrition, try to make it part of your morning routine as soon as you wake up. 5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – as they say it takes a village to raise a child! Don’t feel guilty for not being able to achieve it all at once on your own; you will be surprised by how willing others are to lend a hand.
How do you relax?
Honestly sitting down at the end of the day with my family enjoying a home-cooked dinner is what I most look forward to each day and is my ultimate way to relax.
What about exercise?
Exercise should make you feel energised, help to reduce stress and be something you enjoy, so I make sure my routine ticks all of three boxes. I may start the day with a long walk on the beach, do a reformer Pilates or yoga class or may even throw some high intensity boxing into the mix. Falling In Love with Food – A Cookbook and A love Story is now available. Go to www.fallinginlovewithfood.com