The perfect recipe for getting you through the day.
As a chef, Russell knows all about eating well. But ironically it can be difficult for him. “Being a chef has changed my eating habits. It goes from one extreme to the other! We get to work with fantastic ingredients, so tend to always have something extra on hand to take home as a treat. However being so busy and working anti-social hours leads to a lot of snacking or takeaways unfortunately!”
A typical busy day for Russell means arriving at work between 8-8.30. There’s a staff meeting, then the deliveries start arriving. Next is organising the incoming food and planning who needs to do what through the day. On a prep day, things might wind down by 5.30-6pm, but Russell will stay on and work out the following day’s orders and general admin until probably 7-8pm. On an event or wedding day, Russell might be out working on an event until 1-2am, particularly if it’s a wedding.
Russell knows only too well how food can affect his mood, “I don’t always realise until it’s too late. I’m pulled in a million different directions through a typical busy day, so if I’ve not eaten properly I’ll be even more tired and stressed than I would be otherwise. I don’t work well if I skip meals!”
For events Russell uses plenty of oatcakes but when it comes to what Russell eats, it’s most often porridge oats or muesli. Especially during the autumn and winter months, Russell will try to get into work first and make something like porridge. “Taking 20 minutes before everything kicks off to stop and eat, and plan what needs done that day is a massive help to get ahead”, says Russell.
“The other products I eat regularly are whatever crackers or oatcakes I have left, with whatever we have left in the fridge! When everyone leaves at 6ish I stay on and get organised for the rest of the week, but always crash, and need some fuel. It’s most often the black pepper crackers with cheese, parfait and smoked salmon.”
To Russell a good food mood is about being able to accomplish what you want in a day, and not be held back or feel sluggish because of a lack of energy. Russell says “We all need food as fuel, but it’s all too easy to eat everything and anything and suffer massive highs and lows through a day, which can affect your performance.”
Nutritionist Fiona Lawson says: It’s heartening for people to hear Russell’s story—he clearly knows food, and even he has to pay attention to make sure he’s eating well. He already has some brilliant habits. The fact that he takes 20 minutes to make himself porridge in the morning should be celebrated. The slow-release form of energy provided by the porridge oats will regulate his appetite during the morning and beyond, making it less likely that he’ll snack unnecessarily. The combination of smoked salmon and oatcakes is also a clever one, as it means he’s eating a nice balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat. For further energy support, Russell could have a handful of nutrient-rich berries on his porridge, or a portion of salad or vegetables with his oatcakes. Diversity is key, so it’s fine to vary it by what is already in the fridge!