How to lunch like a TV presenter

Discover what lies in the lunchboxes of those with the brightest minds and highest-flying careers, then read our nutritionist's take on the health credentials. You might just find your next inspiring midday meal right here, so read on to find out what TV presenter, writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig carries in her lunchbox...

Who: Sandi Toksvig
Bio: Sandi’s role as a broadcaster, politician, writer and charity worker requires heaps of energy. Add into the mix four children and we’re talking a seriously busy life. Last year, Sandi lost four stone, so she packs lunchboxes that help her maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. 

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What’s in Sandi’s lunchbox… 

“My lunch box today consists of a grilled salmon fillet, raw pepper, raw celery, tomatoes, cooked broccoli on a bed of rocket with a squeeze of lemon juice, plus high protein low carbs in the form of almonds and an apple as my snack secret. I also drink lots of water during the day.”

Green lunchbox filled with salmon fillet, broccoli, tomatoes, apple slices and peppers

Our nutritionist’s view… 

Kerry Torrens says: Known for her quick wit, Sandi’s role as a TV presenter requires focus and concentration. Her lunch selection is healthy and practical, basing meals on protein, vegetables and whole fruit combined with healthy fats. As well as being a good source of protein, salmon is rich in heart-healthy, omega-3 fats, which can help boost levels of serotonin, the brain chemical that lifts mood and reduces stress. 

Raw vegetables pack Sandi’s diet with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fibre, and because raw produce has a high water content, they’re very satisfying. The peppers are rich in immune-boosting vitamin C, while celery helps with fluid balance and provides potassium that stabilises blood pressure. Dark green leafy vegetables, like rocket and broccoli, are rich in folate for good heart-health, and are also packed with protective plant compounds including lutein, which will help keep Sandi’s vision sharp. Adding lemon juice to salad helps stimulate stomach juices, optimising digestion so Sandi gets the most from her food. 

Whole fruit, such as Sandi’s apple, gives natural sweetness combined with filling fibre, while the almonds add protein and heart-healthy fats, which means this snack choice is likely to stop Sandi reaching for the biscuit tin mid-afternoon.

Top swaps… 

Kerry says: Adding a small portion of wholegrains to her lunch would boost Sandi’s intake of energy-giving B vitamins. The brain uses 20% of our calorie intake, so keeping energy levels steady is key to maintaining concentration. Ideal options would be brown basmati rice or quinoa.

Sandi could opt for poached instead of grilled salmon. Gentle methods of cooking like poaching or baking help to protect the beneficial omega-3 fats. 

When Sandi fancies a change she might like to consider swapping salmon for a couple of boiled eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and supply choline, a nutrient that’s vital for memory and, because it assists in metabolising fat, can help us to maintain a healthy weight. 
 

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