My Week in Food: Lara Mead, Co-Founder of Varley activewear

Victoria Woodhall 2 April 2018
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My Week in Food: Lara Mead, Co-Founder of Varley

Lara Mead founded activewear brand  Varley  in 2014 with her husband Ben after they grew tired of their high-pressured London jobs and saw a gap for active wear that could be worn to more than just the gym and 'wasn’t just black or neon'. They've already amassed a global cult following and count Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Collins, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Nicole Scherzinger as fans. We love their designs too - check them out at Selfridges  and on ASOS .

The couple and their young son Wilfred moved from their Yorkshire home to LA and set up a second base there to cope with international growth, and the surge in popularity of fashionable active wear in the US.

"After moving to LA, I have truly embraced a plant-based diet," says Lara. "It’s easier to follow and also this weather inspires you to make lighter food choices."

As a mum, Pilates lover and international CEO, Lara is forever on the move. How does she fuel her busy life? She captured a week's worth of meals for us on her iPhone.

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Breakfast: I wake up at around 6am, catch up on London emails and news and cuddle in bed with my toddler. First thing in the morning is hot water with two slices of lemon, followed by coffee blended with Sun Potion Yin Powder , cinnamon and homemade almond milk. I make the blend myself, tastes so much better. Head out for a quick run before work. For breakfast, I have a coconut yoghurt that I picked up from the farmers market and then some gluten free muesli with nuts and seeds, bought this in London when I was visiting. I add a teaspoon of  maca powder , it’s very energising, definitely what you need on Mondays, and eat it in my car on my way to the office (busy mum here!)

Lunch: I head to Sweet Green (a healthy salad bar next to our office). I have a mixed salad of romaine, broccoli, onion, mushrooms and hummus, dressing lemon and olive oil. Afternoon coffee is from Blue Bottle, I go for an almond ice latte with a square of dark vegan chocolate.

Dinner: Today is a Mexican-inspired bowl, with spiced tuna on lettuce leaves, quinoa, black beans and avocado.

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Breakfast: As per usual I wake myself up with a glass of hot lemon water and  Tea Pigs Matcha Cocoa Latte  with homemade almond milk. I love smoothies, especially living in LA you simply crave filling but refreshing meals.  I make a smoothie inspired by Melissa Wood Health : spirulina, banana, spinach, cucumber, coconut water. One for me and one for my boy Wilfred.

Lunch: Leftovers from the night before, a Mexican bowl with tuna and quinoa. Tastes even better today!

Dinner: I’m in the mood for something warm so I cook a vegetable soup for supper. It goes so well with homemade gluten-free seed bread, turmeric hummus, cucumber, radish and a boiled egg. I treat myself with raw almonds and dark sea salt chocolate after dinner.

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Breakfast: A turmeric latte with homemade almond milk before heading for a run with my dog. After that, I make poached eggs and add avocados and greens on top - it’s a low carb breakfast option but high in protein.

Midday: I’m in the meetings all morning so no time for a proper lunch. I snack on raw almonds, the same ones I use to make milk from. Keeps me going!

Lunch: I finally sit down to have lunch after a hectic morning. Grab another salad from Sweet Green, this time it’s turmeric  chicken with greens.

Dinner: I drive home early and spend the evening with my family. For dinner, I have a bean soup from the farmers' market. There are a few in LA and they always have good selection of organic and fresh produce.

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Breakfast: As per usual I start my day with hot water with lemon. I have a quick coffee as well that I blend myself with spices, turmeric and cocoa. It’s quite filling and energising before my morning reformer pilates.

Post-workout: I grab a sheep’s milk yoghurt topped with muesli and head to the office for a meeting.

Lunch: I’m a big fan of Sakara  and regularly get food delivered. For lunch I have their muffin - it’s gluten-free, vegan and paleo - ticks all the boxes.

Dinner:  I get home early today and have some time to cook a proper healthy dinner. Tonight it’s a vegan burger made from beans with salad and quinoa on the side.

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Breakfast: I love my routine, it keeps me focused and my body already knows what it gets in the morning. Hot water, lemon and a latte with homemade spice, turmeric and cocoa powder blend. It’s my day off and it’s so hot in LA so I make a green smoothie with almond butter and spirulina and share it with my son Wilfred. I then head out for a Pilates class.

Lunch: I pick up another salad from Sweet Green while running errands around town. This time it’s with mushrooms, rocket, beetroot and an egg. I top it with olive oil.

Snack: Even though it’s my day off, I’m so busy so I need a filling and energising snack that will keep me full for long. A handful of almonds is the best choice.

Dinner: We are having guests round this evening so I cook. I do enjoy my fish occasionally but since moving to LA have been following a more plant-based diet. I decide to have a fully vegan evening and make a green salad with asparagus, quinoa, organic hummus and a bean burger.

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Breakfast: I wake up and go straight to my Pilates session. When I return home, I make myself a matcha latte with home-made almond milk. We then head to our favourite breakfast spot in LA and I order salmon on sprouted rye.

Lunch: I spend all day outside playing and walking with my husband and my little boy. I’ve been doing a Sakara detox cleanse  so decide to go with their meal which is full of vegetables. I’m obsessed with kimchi right now, so delicious, followed by the Sakara tea.

Dinner: There is a place in Los Angeles called Tocaya which serves healthy Mexican dishes - it is absolutely delicious and also plant-based. I order a bowl and we have dinner at home while watching cartoons with my boy.

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Breakfast: We are spending Sunday in Big Sur, far away from Los Angeles. I start my morning with hot lemon water - the tea cups are so pretty here. Before going on a long coastline hike, I order an egg white and veggie omelette. This will give me a good energy boost!

Lunch: After going for a hike with my husband, I decide to save my appetite for a big dinner. I snack on a handful of walnuts. Fats and protein will keep me full until our dinner date.

Dinner: It’s dinner time! After a long, relaxing day I’m ready to dive into my delicious meal. We start off with some fried artichoke hearts with lemon dressing followed by nutritious tender mixed veggies tossed in pesto, piled on farro and portobello mushroom. I also add some salmon as my choice of protein.