June 16

Healthy Eating Tips From Balance Box’s Jenny Irvine


I tend to the animals straight away and take the geese for a walk. I then get myself organised for the day, dealing with a lot of my correspondence, before my family are up by 7am. I prepare a big family breakfast, laying out healthy foods and a smoothie bar, and then walk the dogs.

Everyone is normally at their ‘desks’ by 9am, so I can then get some work done before clearing breakfast and getting lunch ready. During lockdown we have taken to having our big family meal at lunchtime, instead of in the evening, so I’ll prepare a roast chicken or some fish, and when it has been hot, we’ll have a BBQ. We then go for a walk, before everyone is back to their work.

About 5.30pm we all hang out – everyone tends to do their own thing in the evening, but some nights we will watch a movie together or play an online quiz.

What’s your advice for when the sugar cravings or snack cravings start?

First of all, if you do something “naughty” don’t beat yourself up about it, you can come back from it. Just because you’ve had a whole lot of sugar doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, get back on the wagon and make sure you are being kind to yourself.

I always plan everything in advance, meals and snacks, to make sure I’m not left craving sugar and snacks all day. A good tip is to always blanche too many veggies so you always have leftover veg to snack on the next day.

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What are your tips and tricks for making healthy food pack a flavour punch?

I can grow a lot in the garden with helps, from fresh herbs to lemon trees and chili plants.

Something I do always have in the cupboard, however are tins of sea vegetables like seaweeds and kelp. They are delicious used as a seasoning and add an umami taste to dishes. I also love shaving Parmesan over the top of food. And finally, truffle artichoke butter is great for dipping veggies in and spreading over fish to jazz it up.

What’s your approach to alcohol?

I drink very little so when I do, I find it incredibly therapeutic. I used to only drink once or twice a month, but during lockdown it has been once or twice a week. However, instead of wine, I prefer to make one delicious cocktail that I can savour.

I’ve been playing around a lot with mojito-style drinks and when days haven’t been so good, I’ll make a nice drink with ginger and chili. I think I enjoy the process of making it more enjoyable than drinking it – and because they take me so long to make, it tends to slow down the rate I drink them.

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