Just eat it: A day in the life of my tastebuds with Abigail O'Neill
I've always taken offence to Kate Moss's famous line, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" because obviously I have tasted a great many things that have made my current thigh situation completely worth it and believe wholeheartedly that a life without chocolate is not a life worth living. Healthy lifestyles come in all shapes and sizes — just like people — and in my opinion the key is finding the diet that works best for your body. For the enviously gorgeous Abigail O'Neill that means a varied diet that consists predominantly of living whole foods — meaning raw food fresh from the garden or organic market (with a few comforting yet healthy family meals thrown in for good measure). Her meal plan isn't about deprivation or bland flavours, but about celebrating the taste of natural ingredients and listening to what her body needs to feel good and work at its peak.
Abigail O'Neill is an Australian model, mother of three and the author of the Model Chocolate recipe book, which features over 80+ mostly raw, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free chocolate recipes. Since releasing Model Chocolate Abigail has become well known for her healthy natural lifestyle and yes, she does eat chocolate every day! We wanted to know what a typical day's worth of food looks like for this mum on the run.
I always begin the new day with a tall glass of warm lemon water. I've done this for well over 20 years! It works a treat to hydrate, cleanse and awaken gently! I will often follow up with a Breakfast Supersmoothie. My smoothie is always rich in organic fresh fruit and boosted with superfoods. They may include: blueberries, freshly made raw almond milk, mangoes, banana, red papaya, greens such as kang kong (water spinach), baby spinach, parsley, kale, maca root powder, cacao nibs, chia seeds, matcha (green tea) powder, raw honey, probiotics, coconut water, spirulina, coconut flesh, fresh passionfruit, bee pollen, goji berries ... Sounds like a lot, right? I like to mix and match depending on what I feel like, but those are the ingredients I use on any given day. I've found since practicing this routine that my body tells me what it needs in the morning and that's what goes in the smoothie!
Sometimes I'll vary this breakfast with a superfood hot cacao drink or one of my own protein bars from my book and on the weekend I often have a couple of softly poached eggs on a bed of greens from my garden and half a slice of 100% sprouted raw bread or flaxseed crackers.
For me lunch is usually a large fresh fruit platter made up of what’s in season, or a bowl of banana choc-chip ice cream from my book. I’ll also always have something delicious and green such as handfuls of fresh green beans, sunflower sprouts, raw sushi, or alfalfa. I have personally felt the benefits of including a lot of greens daily.
I'm a big fan of snacks; I rarely leave the house without some kind of fresh fruit in my bag or a fruit and nut mix — my favourite is my Model’s Nibbles mix which I share in my book — there’s always some of that in my pantry. I’m also known to carry around raw chocolate snacks! My Forever Young Halva and Madonna Bars have nourished a hungry friend or teenager many a time. I’m also a big fan of probiotic drinks such as kombucha and Jun.
Dinner is the meal that varies the most for me; most of the year my diet is at least 85% raw. I eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables and superfoods for most of the day and I have some kind of raw salad at dinner too, but I also usually share in something cooked with my family at the evening meal. I might serve something such as spicy sweet and plain potato wedges with sunflower 'cheese', fresh pesto, and a black bean salad. We also have lots of Quinoa salads, brown rice salads, vegetarian shepherd's pies, pasta, stuffed mushrooms, garlic lima beans, and many other simple savoury dishes circulate the menu. I really like to mix things up at dinner and use my creativity.
My family and I love to indulge in some kind of healthy raw chocolate for dessert, but by far the family favourite is my Raw Chocolate Tiramisu from Model Chocolate. This dish is so ‘creamy’, chocolaty and rich it’s hard to believe it’s not bad for you, but it isn’t and it always sends us all off to bed in a good mood.