My Week in Food: Hannah Zussman

Judy Johnson 2 September 2016
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An athlete's food diary

Four times British Record-holding powerlifter Hannah Zussman is a woman of many talents, who aside from being a professional athlete is a mindfulness coach and co-founder of This is Good Macadamia Nut Oil .

Zussman founded the brand as a passionate foodie, keen to share the message that fats can benefit your workouts and body when used correctly. Here, she shares her varied and flavoursome food diary for the week…

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Breakfast: I always start the day with one litre of alkaline water and a massive breath of fresh air! This may sound corny but it helps massively to rehydrate my body after a good night’s sleep, clear my mind and balance the body’s PH levels. Making sure I have an alkaline body helps keep illness at bay. Once hydrated, I prepare myself a green juice (made using three green apples, a few sticks of celery, a handful of parsley and half a cucumber) and I head to The Factory in Crouch End to train my clients.

Lunch: I’m home by midday and I throw together a Buddha bowl – basically it’s a wonderfully colourful bowl full of vegan goodies! I believe that it’s really important to have raw foods in your diet as they deliver higher levels of nutrients to the body and keep the digestive enzymes working. I dress my Buddha bowl with pink Himalayan salt, lemon and a drizzle of macadamia nut oil. Macadamia nut oil is full of monounsaturated fat which are vital for regulating hormone function.

Dinner: For dinner we have borlotti beans on toast. My boyfriend and business partner, Nic and I have been out all afternoon dropping off deliveries of oil and I made and froze a batch of beans a few weeks back. They are so easy to heat up and throw over a slice of fresh sourdough. I find sourdough to be the easiest bread to digest. It’s only ever made fresh and doesn’t include any of the nasty ingredients that typically lead to bloating.

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Breakfast: I have a super smoothie on my way to yoga but before leaving the house I make Nic a huge portion of Shakshuka for his breakfast. It’s his favourite dish and as a body builder he needs lots of protein, so the more eggs the merrier!

My awesome yoga teacher, Preeti, and I are working on breathing today. I’ve found yoga to be hugely beneficial for my mental health, as well as physically, and feel that the mental benefits are often over looked in the western world. I’ve tried a number of classes and have found that some focus on the physical; but without the mental awareness the physical cannot progress. My advice is to always do your research and ask questions of your instructor to ensure you get the most from your yoga practice. My super smoothie is made using two ripe bananas, coconut water, raw cacao, cinnamon and a scoop of Neat nutrition vegan protein. I think it’s delicious!

Lunch: After yoga, I am always hungry but usually crave something light so I make some alkaline soup using carrot and ginger.

Dinner: We have a meeting in Brighton so I make sweet potato chips when we get home to remind us of sitting by sea! I serve these with my homemade lime mayo. Grounding is incredibly important, the surface of the earth holds subtle health-boosting energy. After dinner we prep some of our meals for the next day.

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Breakfast: Today is crazy busy so we’re up at 4am. After gulping down my alkaline water, I hop in the car. As it's super early I don’t yet feel hungry and at least once a week I like to give my digestive system a short break, this allows my body to catch up and self-cleanse. I know it doesn’t sound like much but the lunch I have planned is going to be epic!

Lunch: We head for Nama foods in the heart of Notting Hill who stock our macadamia nut oil. This is by far my favourite raw vegan restaurant. Every time we make a delivery to them I treat myself! It’s a win win! Today, I tried the seaweed salad which was outstanding. They are famous for their blueberry cheesecake so I grab a slice for the road.

Dinner: We have friends over for dinner and although I don’t mind catering to all tastes, I do like seeing how much vegan food I can give people without them realising! I make hummus with paprika infused macadamia nut oil and guacamole to start, served with blue potato chips. Next, I whip up fresh spaghetti and serve with classic tomato sauce. For pudding I treat my guests to a huge slice of naturally sweetened flourless cake with a dollop of almond milk ice cream. Despite giving everyone a rather large portion, they love it so much that we finish up all of the left overs!

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Breakfast: 1 litre of water down the hatch, and then I make myself a juice using just about everything I have left in my fridge. I throw in carrots, kale, beetroot, mint, pineapple and turmeric. I’m not saying these go fantastically well together but it does the trick and actually doesn’t taste too bad! After seeing clients I’m still hungry and grab a miso soup with a friend. Miso is full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes so it makes for the perfect snack.

Lunch: For lunch, I have a huge plate of homemade salad. I love my rocket, basil and pumpkin seed pesto which I make using macadamia nut oil, drizzled over home-made falafels served with a bunch of green leaves so I treat myself to exactly that. I don’t know what I would do without my food processor! Nic has a steak with a side salad both smothered in my delicious pesto. This makes for the perfect healthy, balanced lunch for us both.

Dinner: After my huge salad I’m not feeling all that hungry, so I have another bowl of leftover carrot soup topped with pumpkin seeds.

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Breakfast: We have a late start today so I treat myself and Nic to an epic helping of avocado on toast. This is my go-to comfort food. I love it because it’s just so versatile. I top ours with chilli and radish to give it a little kick and finish it off with a drizzle of paprika infused macadamia nut oil.

Lunch: We are in the studio shooting new images for our website, so lunch is shoot ingredient leftovers. I whip up a salad for the crew using butternut squash, red onion, rocket, quinoa, sunflower seeds, feta cheese and pomegranate seeds and they love it!

Dinner: After a late gym session my post workout meal is Coco Pops and vegan protein with Oatly. It’s really important to replace sugars and these get in the body quickly.

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Breakfast: It’s the weekend, so I treat myself to a bowl of homemade granola and serve this with poached pears and almond yoghurt. My favourite!

Lunch: For lunch I make myself and Nic a bowl of minestrone soup. Granted it’s not as saintly as carrot soup but it's Saturday and we love this recipe. I use my trusty food processor to whizz carrots, onion, garlic and celery together, I then sauté my veg in a good glug of macadamia nut oil. Next I add a squeeze of tomato puree and a handful of new potatoes. This mix then goes into my soup pan along with my home-made vegetable stock. I always keep fresh stock in the freezer as you never know when you might need it. I make a huge pot and bag it all up at least once a month. I pop in a bay leaf, a twist of salt and pepper and leave to simmer for 20-30 mins. Once cooked, I add grated savoy cabbage leave this for 5 minutes to soften. Whatever is left we freeze for the following week.

Dinner: We love sushi and regularly indulge in sushi Saturdays! There are so many vegan options when it comes to sushi but I would be happy with 100 avocado rolls. We are meeting with a friend, and never one to waste food and loving to treat people, I take along a handful of my naughty vegan brownies and say goodbye leaving him with a brownie care package!

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Brunch: Finally I have a day off! We have family over for brunch so I make them a delicious fry up. They won’t be fooled into eating vegan foods so, for them, I throw in a couple of sausages and rashers of bacon. I cook everything in macadamia nut oil. The smoke point is incredibly high so it’s perfect for frying meat as well as veg.

Lunch: I had a craving for something simple, so I fry up an onion, throw in a large portion of peas, a pinch of fresh mint and cook in a splash of vegetable stock. I enjoy my peas on a slice of sourdough toast drizzle in macadamia nut oil then turn my hand to baking banana bread. I’m experimenting with my oil and the results are very well received by my neighbours.

Dinner: As it's family day I make a roast dinner. For the meat eaters it’s roast lamb and vegetables cooked in macadamia nut oil and for me, it’s a huge selection of roasted vegetables, including the best ever roasties. They go down a storm and the meal makes for the perfect end to a busy week but of course I can’t wait to do it all over again!