What A Top Wellness Expert Eats

What A Top Wellness Expert Eats

A passion for good food is in Jennifer Irvine’s DNA. Having been raised on a self-sufficient farm in the west of Ireland, she learned early on about the value of natural great-tasting ethical produce, but after moving to London, hectic city life meant it wasn’t always easy to source and prepare quality healthy food. Soon after, The Pure Package was born – and is designed to help busy people ensure their nutritional needs are taken care of. Here she tells us more about her own food and fitness regime.

Most mornings, I get up at 5:30am – the side effect of having four young girls! My morning routine consists of 10-20 minutes of yoga first thing. I like hatha yoga when I am doing a longer class, but in the morning, I select an option from Fitbit. There are some lovely sessions on their app. I also take Symprove, a water-based supplement with live and active bacteria for the gut. After checking work emails, I get the girls off to school, before going for a socially distanced walking meeting. I love to take meetings on the move; it is often with a fellow businesswoman and we take our dogs with us. It’s a great, active start to my day. 

When it comes to exercise, I like to mix it up. I do a bit of yoga each morning, I walk for about an hour every day, and I’m currently enjoying trying out lots of different HIIT classes for about 20 minutes a day, too. The standard of all the Fitbit app workouts is high, so I enjoy trying different ones out. 

This year, I’m hoping to have as normal a Christmas as possible with my direct family. We will definitely be having a traditional Christmas dinner – there will be some healthy twists, as there always are when I cook – but it will be just as delicious. I also swear by Leith’s Step by Step Guide to Christmas Day – it’s a stress-free way to cook Christmas dinner.

The most important thing about Christmas is to enjoy it. Of course, I still believe in balance, but enjoyment is the most important thing – especially this year. Usually, I prepare a lot in advance so that I have more time to spend with my family on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, I brine the turkey to keep it moist, make the stuffing, cook the red cabbage, boil the potatoes for roasting the next day, and prep the brussels sprouts.

Christmas Day is never a day for deprivation, but I still want to feel good by the end of it. In my home, we start the day with platters of fresh fruit, berries and cheese (Colston Basset stilton, Montgomery’s cheddar and Milleens cheese) – a delicious and indulgent treat which still allows us plenty of space for lunch.

We then opt for a traditional lunch of roast turkey with all the trimmings. The star of the table is a free-range turkey from The Ginger Pig. Turkey is a healthy lean meat and a rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, B12 and the amino acid tryptophan. The skinless white meat is low in fat. If you’re feeding fewer people this year, or don’t want to overindulge, choose a turkey crown. My advice is to always buy the best quality ingredients you can.

If your vegetables are good quality, there’s no need to add unhealthy twists to make them palatable. I love spiced red cabbage with onion and apple, rainbow carrots freshly dug from the garden and brussels sprouts sprinkled with pomegranate seeds – a vibrant and colourful celebration. One of my top tips to put vegetables on your plate first, then add the meat, as you’ll be less likely to overindulge.

The vegetarians in my family celebrate with a stuffed butternut squash filled with feta, semi-sundried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and herbs. It looks beautiful and compliments everything else on the table. For me, gravy is as important as the centrepiece, so I’ll serve this with a thick mushroom sauce. I quickly fry mushrooms with Henderson’s Relish and soy sauce for richness and blend it. It almost has the consistency of a pate but for a thinner gravy, add vegetable stock.

We like to go for an invigorating walk after lunch which helps reduce bloating and prevent an energy slump. We return for dessert. For tradition’s sake, we have a tiny Christmas pudding which gets overlooked in favour of apple strudel. My goddaughter who joins us for Christmas every year is German and cooks it together with my daughters. Everyone loves it.

Come January, I usually embark on a 21-day cleanse. We offer some amazing nourishing cleanses via The Pure Package and Balance Box, which I often follow in January. It’s great to kick-start the year by dedicating 30 days to yourself.

My new year’s resolution for 2021 is to continue to try and get the balance right. I absolutely love to take care of people – 2020 was the biggest opportunity me and my company have ever seen to help more people than ever before. It has been hugely rewarding, but I also need to remember to take care of myself, too. I am sure this is something that will resonate with most business owners.

Meal prep is so important – I could write a book on it. My top tip: look at the weather forecast and plan your menu around what you would eat on those sorts of days.


The biggest change I have seen since the start of the pandemic is the way I exercise. I used to do 90-minute HIIT classes two or three times a week in the gym, whereas now I fit in 20-minute home workouts where I can. I find bitesize amounts of exercise is really working for my schedule and my body. 

Walking with friends has been my number one saviour this year. Taking time to go outside and chat has been so helpful to me throughout all of this. It’s also a great way to ease bloating. I always recommend going for a walk after a big meal. I also find herbal teas really help. Mint tea is my favourite using fresh mint grown in my garden.

Recently, I’ve started taking Patrick Holford Advanced Optimum Nutrition with Brain Food, too. This is the only supplement I take, as it is a set of multiple supplements and I don’t need anything else on top of this. I get plenty of vitamin D from my walks. 

I have always been conscious of what I eat. It’s a huge part of my job. However, having easy access to healthy convenient meals has definitely made my lockdown easier. As a mother, I’ve had a rough time with all the home schooling – it was a huge challenge – but we are lucky because we have a substantial garden and that made a massive difference. 

When it comes to snacking, I am hugely grateful for Balance Box and Pure Package, as it means I can rely on nutritious, healthy meals every day. I love the snacks and crudités we offer – there is a particularly delicious white bean purée and pesto dip that I often tuck into when I need a pick-me-up. I also love chocolate ginger biscuits, but I certainly don’t eat them daily. 

Meal prep is so important – I could write a book on it. My top tip: look at the weather forecast and plan your menu around what you would eat on those sorts of days. Then look at what vegetables are in season, and prepare them so that they are easy to grab and enjoy.

There’s nothing I avoid in my diet. I love all food and don’t like to attach guilt to eating.

Pure Package meals are a lifesaver if I am dining by myself. My personal favourites have to include the homemade muesli for breakfast, the super food salad for lunch and the Mexican bean pot for dinner. However, when we eat as a family, everyone loves a traditional roast – that's definitely the most popular meal in our house. If it’s just my husband and I eating at dinner, we often cook fresh fish from the local fishmonger, with lemon and fresh herbs from our garden. 

There’s nothing I avoid in my diet. I love all food and don’t like to attach guilt to eating. As for weaknesses, I can’t say no to a tasting menu if it is on offer, as I love to try lots of different things. One of the best tasting menus I’ve ever had was at Le Manoir Aux Quatre’Saisons in Oxfordshire – it was such an incredible, well-paced celebration of the seasons. I loved Raymond Blanc’s chocolate mousse. 

When it comes to alcohol, I tend to prefer cocktails. After years of never drinking tequila, I now love it again. In the summer, I enjoy making mojitos, or a hot toddy when it is cooler. I don’t drink very often – sometimes a month can pass where I don’t have alcohol – but I definitely enjoy a cocktail now and again. 

Pre-Covid I’d eat out a couple of times a week – I love trying out new places. I have a soft spot for Japanese food as it’s not something I would often cook at home. Nobu, Zuma and Coya are a few of my favourites. I love their new-style sashimi. 

We’re also very lucky to have an outdoor fire pit. It’s perfect for cooking on while socialising with friends – anything that can be prepped in advance is a plus! One of my favourite recipes to make for crowds is grilled chicken skewers with asparagus and creamed corn. The combination of these ingredients is delicious in a wrap toasted on the fire. 

I am a good sleeper. I try to keep a good routine before bed; I shower, take time to cleanse my skin and light candles. In the winter I like Pomegranate Noir from Jo Malone and when the weather warms, I like more floral scents like Lime Basil & Mandarin

Before Covid, I used to have a treatment every week. Now it is more like once a month. I try to make it a priority as it is really good for my mental wellbeing. I vary the treatments, but Thai massages rank highly. I consider it to be the lazy man’s yoga.

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