My Day On A Plate: Sarah Macdonald
Sarah Macdonald is a 22-year-old law student and recipe developer with a passion for health, fitness.
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
I’m a 22-year-old law student and recipe developer with a passion for health, fitness and living life to the fullest.
I want to inspire people to live a truly healthy lifestyle without rules and restrictions. My food ethos is this: eat simple, good food; mostly plants, and as real as possible. Through my Instagram, blog and 175+ page ebook Wellness for Less, I try to inspire people to fall in love with looking after their health as an enjoyable, sustainable lifestyle.
Walk us through a typical day in your life …
As a full-time student, I want to show that it’s possible to do this even if you’re short on time and money! A lot of my meals are eaten on-the-go between the gym, the office and my university classes, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be convenience foods or pre-packed snacks. How I eat changes all the time depending on what I have on each day, but I always try to keep it fresh, wholesome and yum. Food should be a pleasure, never a chore!
5.30am I normally like to start my day with a good sweat before I eat anything. If I’m heading to the office, I get up at 5.30AM to get to an early class – I love Les Mill’s BodyAttack to start my day with something high-energy and fun. If I don’t have work, I like to start my day with an F45 class at F45 Bondi Beach. It’s the best community and such a great workout.
8am I’ll normally eat breakfast once I get home or settled at my desk, at around 8 or 8.30am. Almost every day, my breakfast will be overnight or steel-cut oats cooked with some grated veg (normally zucchini or cauliflower) and topped with fresh or frozen berries and nut butter (my favourites are PB or cashew butter - yuuuum). Sometimes I also like to add a little high-protein yogurt, like YoPro or ChobaniFIT. Normally, I’ll make a big batch of oats at the start of the week and store them in jars in the fridge to grab-and-go each morning. This breakfast has the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats and protein to keep me going all morning.
12:30pm Most days I eat lunch out of Tupperware between classes or errands, so it’s usually something easy and portable! Like breakfast, I always try to include a source of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates to keep my blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Depending on the day, my lunchbox might look something like this: carrot sticks, raw nuts and dried berries (I love trail mix!), a couple of boiled eggs and a salad. I also love tinned tuna as an easy protein source to add to salads, or if I don’t have a savoury source of protein I’ll have a tub of Greek yoghurt instead. If I’m at home, I generally make a big salad or nourish bowl – plenty of dark leafy greens, roast vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin and aubergine are some favourites) and a protein source like tempeh or grilled fish. I follow a pescetarian diet for ethical and environmental reasons, so the only animal protein sources I eat are fish, eggs and a little dairy (mainly in the form of Greek yoghurt). The secret to a good salad is the dressing – never skip it! I love using the dressing from my grilled peach & rocket salad or my creamy vegan tahini kale salad, both of which are from my ebook.
DINNER 7pm Dinner is usually something warming and nourishing. Because I’m always looking for inexpensive and time-saving recipes, a lot of the time it’ll be something I can cook in bulk and freeze in individual portions. The sweet potato, ginger & lentil soup, turmeric & cauliflower dahl and one-pot quinoa, sweet potato & quinoa chilli recipes from my ebook are all on regular rotation in my household. All of these recipes incorporate tinned legumes – beans and lenils are my favourite cheap, plant-based, fibre-packed source of protein and I use them in my cooking all the time. I’ll always include greens in my dinner, too – I love simply steamed broccoli or dark leafy greens. I’m currently also obsessed with mashed veg: I just steam some broccoli, kale or silverbeet and a carrot or two and then blend it all together with a pinch of salt and pepper and a little ghee. So good! If I don’t have anything prepped or frozen, I’ll make something quick like the ultra-nourishing miso soup from my ebook or grilled fish with steamed vegetables. Again, the secret to good food is all in the dressings, seasonings and spices, so I use a lot in my cooking. Things like salsas, chutneys, fermented vegetables and herbs and spices all add so much flavour and diversity to your meals.
Snacks When I snack, I try to keep it wholefoods based – a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a healthy bak
ed treat. I have so many recipes for wholesome snacks in my ebook and on my blog! My all-time favourite would be my matcha macadamia & tahini cookies – so yummy. Plus, I couldn’t live without coffee – I have an almond latte almost every day!
Kale Salad with Croutons & Creamy Tahini dressing
1 cup kale, chopped
1/2 avocado, cubed 1 tbsp pepitas
1 slice of bread, cubed I like to use sourdough or gluten free
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 hard-boiled egg, quartered; OR
1 tin cooked tuna; OR
1 tin cooked salmon
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 clove garlic, crushed or finely minced
To make the dressing, combine
all ingredients in a jar and shake well. Set aside.
Squeeze the kale with your hands to soften it, until it darkens a little. Add the dressing and massage a little more to combine. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the cubed bread, sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt and toss until crispy.
Remove the croutons and set aside. Add the almonds and pepitas and lightly toast – about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the avocado and chosen protein source (if using) to the kale and toss to combine everything. Top with the croutons, almonds and pepitas and serve immediately.