‘Lunch in the BBC canteen can be so dismal’

My Daily Diet: Nuala McGovern, Irish journalist and presenter of OS on the BBC World Service

BBC News broadcaster Nuala McGovern

BBC News broadcaster Nuala McGovern

 

6.45am Working on early morning shows have made me a lark so any chink of light and I’m awake. If I’m being virtuous I’m into the yoga gear for an hour long class in a studio around the corner.

8.05am I get home and have a cup of tea with milk, some toast – sourdough or spelt – and Marmite, a recent addiction of mine. I’ll put avocado on top.

8.30am I’ll start to focus on the news and have the radio on non-stop and the papers in front of me. My radio show, OS, doesn’t go on air until 4pm so that gives me a long lead-in to absorb what’s going on.

10am I’ll have a second breakfast – maybe fruit, scrambled eggs and a croissant. I’ll treat myself to a coffee on the way to work. I like an element of surprise – one day a soy latte and another an americano with milk. I’ll be at my desk around 11.

2pm The lunch choices in the BBC canteen can be a bit dismal so I usually avoid that and pop out for a stroll. I’ll pick up a soup or a spicy tuna flatbread sandwich and a green juice. I could bring in leftovers but then I’d never leave my desk. Stepping outside gives me space to reflect and separate the signal from the noise.

Irish Times
Food&Drink Club

Tips, recipes, reviews & exclusive competitions Join now

4pm I’ll be in a rush down to the studio but take time to stop at a colleague’s desk to nip a small Kit Kat to perk me up. He keeps this giant tub of candy which we all moan about it but constantly dip into.

7.30pm I’ll leave work around 6.30pm and partly walk home. The tube is so jammers and the fresh air gives me a chance to unwind. I’m lucky as having been raised by a feeder I went and married one. That afternoon I’ll have texted the hubby my dinner request. Current favourite is spicy fish tacos with his special guacamole and mango salsa. I may occasionally have a beer midweek, but sometimes don’t drink alcohol for months if I’m very busy. I do enjoy a gin and tonic and I love a boozy weekend lunch more so than a night out.

11pm The hubby goes to bed before me but I’ll stay up watching some TV – the Marvelous Mrs Maisel was great – or a documentary like Three Identical Strangers. It’s a welcome escape from a busy day.

The Verdict 
By Dr Conor Kerley, dietetics consultant, researcher and lecturer at University College Dublin and Technological University Dublin.

Breakfast – Marmite divides opinion on taste but actually is 40 per cent protein, contains B-vitamins and is low in fat. It is high in salt so limit portion size if eating regularly. Avocado is a great source of vitamins and healthy fats. Scrambled eggs provide protein but I would not advise every day and a croissant can be a nice treat but is a highly refined mixture of flour, fat, salt and sometimes sugar.

Lunch – Nuala’s lunchtime stroll provide headspace and is something many of us could benefit from. I hope the soup contains vegetables and this option could be bulked out with a small bag of nuts for protein and extra nutrients. The tuna sandwich is nutrient rich though should not be eaten every day due to its mercury content. Hopefully it contains some salad.

Dinner – Fish tacos are a balanced meal especially with fresh produce incorporated such as the guacamole and mango salsa. For those who may be in a rush, remember frozen vegetables can be a quick, easy (and cheaper!) way to increase consumption after a long day.

Tips – Nuala could swap her croissant for whole grain toast and nut butter and I’d recommend a smoothie over the juice for more fibre. Nuala could lobby her colleague to put dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, minimum 70 per cent, in his treat jar as this will provide antioxidants and less sugar than the Kit Kat.

My Daily Diet series
- Bryan Dobson
- Helen Steele
- Jonathan Forbes
- Mike Ross
Hanif Kureishi
Nuala McGovern

Ellen Cranitch
Ian Marber

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.