A ‘healthy’ family feast with Aintree Shopping Park

I don’t know about you but as January comes to a close, I feel I’ve definitely had my fill of ‘#GymDone’ posts and flat lays of quinoa and kale. I get it – this month is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, new goals and an improved mindset – but by heck, the internet in January really is an avalanche of avocado on toast isn’t it?

So, when the lovely lot at Aintree Shopping Park got in touch and challenged me to share a healthy food shop from their popular M&S Food hall, I decided to redefine the conventional understanding of healthy eating a little bit.

Image source: Regional Retail

Healthy eating, to me, isn’t just about cutting down on calories, blending anything green into a smoothie and swapping alcohol for something more hydrating on a regular basis…

Of course, all of these things count but this year, I wanted to take a different approach and also consider the relationship between food, drink and mental wellbeing – not just physical improvements or those #BootyGains.

Redefining healthy eating with Aintree Shopping Park

The holy trinity of mental health for me (any many of you I’m sure) is…

  • A good diet and lots of water,
  • Plenty of exercise and…
  • …as much family time as I can possibly steal

Three things I’m prioritising more in 2019 and as part of my project with Aintree Shopping Park, I decided to combine all three. So, after a sweaty hour at the gym, my other half (Abby) and I hopped in the car to Aintree M&S to pick up some ingredients for a well-balanced family feast.

Sunday dinner at my mum and dad’s is my happy place.

It typically means my dad snoring on the couch until the smells of cooking rouse him, Abby and I entertaining our loony labradoodles (Spud and Spike) and my mum working her culinary magic in the kitchen.

It means multiple bottles of chilled wine, pre-dinner crisps to nibble on, roast potatoes piled high and an extremely beige-biased ratio of veg to Yorkshire puddings. Oh, and dessert, there’s always dessert… with a chocolate and cuppa tea chaser.

This week, we did things a little differently though and went for four of the M&S Salt Dry Aged British Fillet Steaks, some green beans, organic Piccolini cherry tomatoes and some coconut oil fried onions for good measure. Protein, carbohydrates, good fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals – a well-balanced Sunday dinner.

My mum and I did also decide to forgo the wine this week in favour of the M&S Diet Sparkling Red Cherry drink with no added sugar as an alcohol-free stand-in. So yes, we did make some significant adjustments to our standard Sunday roast in order to make it denser in nutrients and more protein-focused…

However, we did keep our mountain of skin-on red potatoes (because no Sunday dinner is complete without mum’s legendary spuds) and we did indulge in our favourite M&S pud – warm Shortcrust Cherry Pie with Madagascan Vanilla Custard.

Neither very healthy at all but both something we enjoy as a family and find pleasure in sharing before performing synchronised groans of I’m too fuuuuuull as we nestle down for the final hours of the weekend together.

So, what made this mealtime so healthy to me was those all-important warm, fuzzy feelings of love for those around me, appreciation for valuable quality time spent together and gratitude for access to good quality ingredients and delicious food.

Time around the dinner table with no phones, when you can enjoy healthy, homecooked food together while catching up on conversation are all things I’m going to be treasuring more in 2019, that’s for sure!

Read all about our Great British M&S BBQ!

This post is written in collaboration with Aintree Shopping Park but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.


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