Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate

Advocating a holistic approach to wellbeing, Danielle Copperman’s attitude to health is one we can get on board with. A full-time model, nutritionist, chef and entrepreneur, she’s also trained in Strala yoga and holistic massage, and is on a mission to encourage others to lead a more nourishing, positive and sustainable way of life. In between working, castings and travelling, it was prepping for runway shows that sparked her interest in health, leading her to complete a nutrition diploma, as well as launching Qnola, her own grain-free cereal brand. Here, she shares her weekly food diary…
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

MONDAY

Breakfast: Monday mornings get off to a slow start, but I always try to notice how I’m feeling, mentally and physically.

Some mornings I wake up hungry, but others I still feel full from the night before. I always start the day with liquids – this morning it was a glass of water with lemon, and then a slow-drip coffee. Before breakfast, I did a workout (I am doing a lot of Pilates at the moment, using ankle weights, light hand weights, resistance bands and a Pilates ball), and then made a smoothie. I blended frozen spinach and banana with vegan protein powder, water and peanut butter – I use Garden of Life’s protein powder as it’s not overly sweet and all the ingredients are organic and ethically sourced. I love starting the day with liquids if I’m not too hungry, as they’re easy to digest and give me nutrients and energy in a concentrated form. 

Lunch: Since the pandemic started, I’ve had more time for lunch, which has been a treat. I used to eat on-the-go or at meetings but now take the time to sit down in the kitchen with my boyfriend. Today, we made a simple salad with soft boiled eggs, a vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard, and leftover roasted vegetables along with some white fish. We tend to have salad, a selection of vegetables or gluten-free pasta for lunch – something quick and easy.

Supper: We only buy meat or fish once a month, but tonight we had some chicken with a homemade sweet potato gratin – we layered the potatoes thinly and topped them with almond milk and then baked it in the oven. We are lucky to have a farmer in our village who lives two minutes down the road; she supplies us with chicken and eggs. If there’s something else I want, I’ll go to the butcher, but it’s hugely important to me that our meat has been ethically farmed.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Protein Smoothie
Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Sweet Potato Gratin

TUESDAY

Breakfast: I made another smoothie this morning – banana, walnut and cinnamon, which is my favourite combination. I love using water to blend my smoothies instead of shop-bought nut milks. I then add raw or soaked nuts for extra protein, healthy fats and flavour – far superior to your average nut milk. 

Lunch: I fancied a bowl of pasta today so made a quick dish of gluten-free pasta with black olive tapenade. I used to avoid pasta as I was wary of high-carb foods, but I find gluten-free rice or quinoa-based pastas easy to digest and find my body responds well to carbs during particularly active weeks. I try to avoid gluten in general, although occasionally I eat fresh bread from the bakery. There are some great gluten-free brands out there – the gluten-free bread I buy time and again is actually a supermarket own-brand.

Supper: In the winter months, I tend to make lots of curries and dahls as I find them warming and comforting. Tonight, I made one of my favourite dishes – beetroot and coconut curry, which is packed with herbs and spices. I served it with brown rice.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate , Beetroot Laksa
Beetroot Laksa

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: This morning I made a chia seed pudding. I start by soaking some cashews in water, and then blend these into a cream, which I stir into the chia seeds, along with some rice milk. This makes it so creamy and tasty. I top this with some berries, sliced banana, nut butter, local jam and some Qnola, a quinoa-based granola brand I developed a few years ago. The idea for Qnola came when I was modelling – I wanted a quick and easy breakfast option that gave me energy without being packed with sugar. Using quinoa instead of oats provides more protein and being gluten-free, is easier to digest too. There are currently five flavours in the range, and we are launching snacks later this year.

Lunch: It was cold so I made some soup with leftover vegetables from the fridge. I blended some spinach with broccoli, sauteed some courgette and stock, and topped it with olive oil and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds for extra protein and fibre. I had this with a slice of gluten-free bread.

Supper: I was in the mood for cooking this evening, so I made one of my new go-to autumnal recipes, pumpkin puree pasta. I got the inspiration for this from a ravioli dish I used to love as a child. I now make a sauce similar to the filling and it is just delicious. I roasted some butternut squash with fresh sage, and then blended it with some oil, water, salt and pepper until smooth. I then stirred this through some gluten-free rice spaghetti – the ultimate seasonal comfort food.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Pumpkin Puree Pasta
Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Chia Seed Pudding

THURSDAY

Breakfast: I am obsessed with making acai bowls, even in the height of winter when it’s snowing. I blend frozen acai pulp with frozen banana slices, frozen berries, almond butter, vegan protein powder and nut milk. I top this with slices of banana, a few berries and a sprinkling of Qnola. I love Ama Vida’s acai – it comes from Brazil, so I buy it in bulk to save on the transportation.

Lunch: I roasted some pumpkin wedges (I had some leftover from last night’s pasta) and served this with Beluga lentils and balsamic vinegar over some green beans. My boyfriend had some bread with his, but I find it filling enough on its own. For pudding, I had a bowl of Greek yoghurt (I alternate between dairy and soya yoghurts) with a teaspoon of local jam and some fruit. 

Supper: The fridge was full of lots of salad and vinaigrette, so I made a big salad bowl which I served with miso soup. After dinner, I had a few squares of dark chocolate – I love raw chocolate, which is usually made with natural sugars, but I also love Green & Black’s. I drink a lot of herbal tea in the evenings, too – tonight it was a chamomile.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Caesar Salad

FRIDAY

Breakfast: I was out early this morning for a walk with the dog, and when I came back, I had a bowl of Qnola with some almond milk and a banana. At around 11am I had a snack – an apple with almond butter. When it comes to snacks, I love crisps – I know this is an unhealthy habit, but sometimes I crave something salty. Occasionally, I make date and cashew energy balls, which are great to keep in the fridge.

Lunch: My boyfriend was on lunch duty today – he made soft boiled eggs with white rice and avocado, which we serve in a bowl. It sounds simple but it’s such a great combination and is easy to digest, so long as you don’t have too much rice. After lunch, I headed back to my desk with some dark chocolate.

Supper: It’s Friday night, so we like to take the time to cook a delicious meal – on the menu tonight it was vegan meatballs with gluten-free spaghetti. I love sitting in the kitchen and relaxing while preparing a meal with a glass of red wine, the perfect end to the week. The meatballs are made with a base of mushroom and walnuts, and we add pureed tomatoes to the sauce for a rich flavour. I used to be really strict with my diet, trying every fad and trend, but recently have become more relaxed about it, and this has given me so much balance, both physically and mentally. I have also become more intuitive and inform my choices with natural ingredients, rather than deciding if foods are good or bad. We all need different foods at different times of the day – it’s important to understand what you like and what your body and mind responds best to.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Vegan Meatballs
Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Pancakes

SATURDAY

Breakfast: In our house, Saturday morning is for pancakes. We usually make crepes with almond milk and gluten-free flour, but this morning we made the banana pancakes from my book, as I had some bananas that were going brown. We enjoyed a cup of coffee whilst we made these.

Lunch: I had time to go to the bakery this morning, so for lunch we had some fresh bread (it’s gluten-free) with olive tapenade and eggs. I also made a small green salad with beetroot slices and avocado. After lunch, I baked a new recipe, a pear, almond and olive oil cake. I don’t eat much dairy or refined sugar, so I used olive oil instead of butter and coconut sugar instead of refined sugar (and only a small amount). I also kept it gluten free by using ground almonds instead of regular flour.

Supper: Tonight, it’s another of our recent favourites, a pumpkin puree tart topped with beetroot, black olives and mushrooms. We used a gluten-free, vegan shop bought pastry, which bakes to a thin crust. We had this with green salad – it’s the most delicious combination of flavours and perfect for a cosy Saturday supper.

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Carrot Risotto

SUNDAY

Breakfast: I wasn’t massively hungry this morning, so I just made a smoothie. I love using frozen bananas – they make it creamy and subtly sweet. In fact, I try and freeze all my smoothie ingredients where possible, as this makes smoothies thicker and tastier. I also added some cocoa powder, as well as one date and some almond butter. The result was a chocolate smoothie with a milkshake vibe.

Lunch: It’s a simple lunch for us today – a big salad made from leftovers in the fridge along with some bread topped with olive tapenade and goat’s cheese, which I grilled lightly in the oven. I also had a slice of the cake I made earlier in the week.

Supper: I made a carrot risotto this evening. I make risotto a few times a month, especially in the colder weather and love experimenting with new flavours. I pureed the carrots to make a really creamy risotto, and it’s also vegan which is a win. I don’t follow a vegan diet all the time, but I describe my diet as plant-based and flexitarian. My biggest rule is that I eat unprocessed food where possible, focusing on natural, whole ingredients and keeping sugar and processed foods to a minimum. For pudding, I baked a couple of apples, which I served with cinnamon and homemade cashew cream. 

Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Lentils & Goats Cheese
Danielle Copperman: My Week On A Plate
Chocolate Smoothie

Visit DanielleCopperman.com or follow her on Instagram @DCopperman.
 

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