How I eat: What private chef Orla McAndrew cooks for herself on a typical day

'I don't believe any food should be off-limits, it's all nutritious and we are so lucky to have access to so much of it'
How I eat: What private chef Orla McAndrew cooks for herself on a typical day

Orla McAndrew is a private chef and caterer. 

Food is my entire life. It's the first thing I think of every morning and I'll usually go to sleep thinking about what I will eat tomorrow. It's the greatest joy, the simplest pleasure and the way I show others that I love them.

I need to eat within ten minutes of waking up. Otherwise, I get 'hangry' and get a serious dose of the shakes! I'll start with coffee and always enjoy a protein-rich breakfast. I will eat eggs, cooked any way, usually with a little toast and some avocado or tomatoes.

I'll often have lunch around 11.30 am because I'm usually halfway through the day at this stage. It varies from day to day but usually includes some form of salad whether that's on the side of a sandwich or the main event. 

I absolutely adore good leaves. They're a great base and allow me to be creative with the rest of the ingredients. I'll enjoy whatever is in season and I grow my own leaves so I know I'm getting the best of what's available.

Hummus is a great snack.
Hummus is a great snack.

I snack on hummus with carrot sticks, fruit and nuts and seeds. 

We sit down to dinner together as a family every night and that's really important to me. Depending on how busy the day has been I may just take one of my own freezer meals out and pop it in the oven, otherwise, I'll cook from scratch. Mondays are always meat-free and after that, it's anything goes! I am not one for planning out the week - I prefer to whip up what I fancy on the day. 

I like to eat intuitively and without any restriction. I don't believe any food should be off-limits, it's all nutritious and we are so lucky to have access to so much of it. I love to enjoy what's grown nearby and it's very important that we buy the best meat available and that it's chemical-free.

I love all kinds of seafood. It is versatile and delicious, easy to cook and full of omega 3 fatty acids which makes it great brain food.

All farmer's market stallholders are my food heroes. People who grow consciously and bring their wares to market. It's a tough job but such a valuable one. The same goes for people who raise quality meat-free from chemicals. It's a life's work and I don't think they can ever be appreciated enough for their contribution to a sustainable food system.

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