I tend not to eat breakfast as I like intermittent fasting and allow a gap of at least 14 hours between the last mouthful at night and the first one the following day. I’m finding that a 12+ hour break does actually make me feel healthier and more energised. I recently tried keto as a three-week experiment and felt amazing on it. I definitely follow more of a high fat/low carb eating regime now as a result.
I tend to have a glass of whole milk kefir mid-morning as the first thing of the day (as it's the most potent kind). Maybe with a few almonds or handful of berries – whatever is to hand really. I like brunch or early lunch, so if I’m in town for a work meeting, I’ll often suggest we do brunch instead of lunch. This also means I’m more likely to be able to fill up on eggs or avocado on sourdough drizzled with extra virgin olive oil – I’m a big fan.
As I eat high-fat foods early on in the day, I don’t feel the urge to snack mid-afternoon, so am happy to go straight through until supper. I try and load up with veggies first, focusing on something green, then add a protein such as grass-fed beef or lamb, or maybe some wild salmon, tinned tuna in oil or unpasteurised cheese. I’ll add a bit of something fermented too, maybe a bit of kimchi or homemade sauerkraut. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but might finish with a piece of cheese.
Weekends tend to follow much the same pattern, but if the family are home, I’ll make a late roast lunch and that will be the main meal of the day, with snacks such as hummus or cheese toasties made with sourdough for supper.
I believe in living life in balance – a time for work, rest and play in all things. My wellbeing brand is so much a part of my DNA that I genuinely live and breathe it every moment without making it a conscious decision.
I think the key is preparation. If I know I have a day of being on the go I’ll prepare a tasty packed lunch the day before. One of my current quick and easy favourites is pomegranate, kidney bean and roasted buckwheat salad with herbs and goats’ cheese – delicious, filling and good for you too. I always make sure I keep healthy snacks such as nuts and berries to hand to avoid temptation whilst out and about. If I have a really early start, I’ll make a healthy probiotic shake using protein powder, berries and kefir the night before so I can grab it and run first thing.
I try to build a bit of contingency time into my daily diary, otherwise unexpected events can derail me. It might be a child needing an unexpected pick-up from school or an unscheduled work meeting. Having an hour or two of unallocated time helps with any last-minute eventualities, so I try not to cram things into every waking moment too much nowadays.
I enjoy the odd glass of red wine with dinner most evenings – and the occasional kombucha cocktail! I don't tend to drink spirits, but if I do, I find vodka and soda with lots of fresh lemon the most refreshing and least likely to give me a hangover.
I rarely eat takeaways if I’m honest, but I do like Kebab Kid in Fulham – good quality lamb served with lots of fresh salad. Delicious!
I try out therapies or treatments most weeks as part of my role here at Liz Earle Wellbeing Magazine, but if I’m at home I’ll book my local reflexologist Mandy to come and give me a session. My children love this too, so it's a treat for them as well.
I’m a recent convert to running and enjoy early morning (quick!) runs around my West Country farm, or a park if I’m in London. I try to run a 5k each week – that’s been my latest fitness goal for the last six weeks. I also love Pilates and we have a team Pilates session in the Liz Earle Wellbeing studios every so often on a ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’.
If I’m in London, I’ll eat out once or twice a week with family or friends as there’s just so much choice and variety compared with being at home in the country. When I’m at home I prefer to cook for whoever’s around with me. I will eat pretty much anything when out but I avoid the bread and ask for my main course to come without potatoes. I don't tend to order a pudding – but will ask for an extra fork and steal a bit of someone else’s just to taste!
I sleep really well since starting HRT a couple of years ago as my falling oestrogen levels were causing me to wake up in the night. I try to be consistent in going to bed at the same time every night – wherever possible – and aim for 7.5 hours. I like the app Sleep Cycle which wakes you up gently within a 30-minute window during moments of your lightest sleep. You then wake at your most refreshed and least likely to feel groggy due to an alarm going off when in deeper sleep.
A couple of years ago I travelled through Sardinia and Greece for a mini-series for This Morning on Blue Zones. These are special regions where people share a common lifestyle, whose exceptional longevity has been properly verified. One of the key learnings that has stayed with me is the importance of weaving ‘pockets of still’ into your day. I make a real effort to book myself in for a small dose of quiet ‘down time’ into each day – even if it’s just ten minutes of sitting with a book or taking a walk.
Juicing can really make a difference. Not only to our general wellbeing and health, but also to the way we look and feel. But I don't use much fruit due to its natural sugar content, so will juice veggies and berries mostly.
I take Vitamin D3 as an oral spray every day plus multi-strain probiotics and a vitamin B12 complex. If I’m feeling overworked, I’ll take Ashwagandha for a couple of weeks to help re-balance – it's a great all-round tonic.
At the first sign of a cold, eat a raw onion! Not pleasant but highly effective. You can add fresh onion juice to your juicing recipes also, or just chop up an onion and eat it with honey to make it more appetising.
I always try to eat seasonal, local and organic. As an organic farmer I’m all too aware of the benefits of organic food. I don't want to eat pesticides and the only way to be sure to avoid these is to eat organic, or home grown or from a source you know. I also use a lot of white vinegar as a natural cleaning product – it has so many uses around the home.
One of the easiest ways to look after our gut health is to slow down and savour our meals. Chewing slowly and mindfully, enjoying our food and taking our time helps our body get into the rest-and-digest mode as opposed to the flight-or-fight response. I try not to eat at my desk and we have a communal meal table in my Wellbeing studios where I encourage everyone to ‘bring and share’ their lunch.
Liz’s weekly shopping list must-haves:
- Organic whole milk for making kefir and yoghurt.
- Cabbage for making sauerkraut.
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds for their phyto-oestrogens, great for helping us look and feel our best in later life.
- Plenty of seasonal and local fruit and veg!
Discover Liz’s recipes, health tips and how-tos on LizEarleWellbeing.com. A Stronger Slimmer You: The Trusted Guide to Toning Up from Liz Earle Wellbeing Magazine by Liz Earle is available for £2.99 here. You can also listen to her weekly podcast Wellness with Liz Earle here.