Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

The Celebrity Shopping Trolley - Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly Holmes became a household name in 2004, when she won double gold (for the 800 and 1500 metres) at the Athens Olympics, so what better face to launch National Breakfast Week last August. She just radiates health and vitality and her way of life makes her a role model for people of all ages.

But what did I find when I peeked into her shopping trolley?

I and the rest of you were so taken in by Fern Britton, who pretended that her amazing weight loss was due to a healthy diet and exercise, when in fact she had undergone stomach surgery. That is why it is a real pleasure to even up the scales of truth, with the shopping trolley of this sporting heroine. Just a peek into the basket is enough to establish that Dame Kelly is a person who loves food, enjoys eating but understands the importance of the ancient saying of Hippocrates; "Man should let medicine be his food and food be his medicine."

For any athlete, let alone a world class champion, nutrition is the most important thing after natural talent. No amount of training, competing or practising will compensate for a bad diet, and this is a lesson obviously well learned by Dame Kelly.

Orange juice with a bowl of cereal and semi skimmed milk and honey make up the normal breakfast and this provides lots of vitamin C and protective anti oxidants; calories for energy and protein for growth and repair from the cereal; calcium from the milk and protection from good honey.

Typical lunch options were an omelet with mushrooms, peppers, onions ham and cheese with salad on the side, or a toasted sandwich with cheese and ham then some grapes and strawberries. She drinks sparkling water with lunch – I hope that it is the delicious Badoit as this is one of the very few that comes out of the ground fizzy. Most of the others are treated with carbon dioxide gas and to my taste, are much too acidic and do not go well with food.

In the evening the choices are just as delicious and healthy. Baked fish stuffed with prawns and veg on a bed of couscous, or a chicken stir fry served with whole grain rice. Two more great options providing low fat meals with good protein, masses of essential minerals like iron, zinc and selenium, and good carbohydrates.

Fruit and cereal bars are favourite for snacks – but watch out! They don't all do what it says on the tin. They may look healthy, but many brands have much too much sugar, lots of additives and not much wholegrain cereal or fruit, so read the labels.

Her favorite non-alcoholic drinks are fresh fruit smoothies every day, but take care. The combination of acid fruit and lots of sugar is not the best thing for teeth.
Try using more vegetables mixed with fruit like carrot and celery juice with stewed apple; raw beetroot juice, pear and banana; all blended with live yoghurt, a pot of Yakult and a spoon of honey.

Champagne is the favourite tipple, and why not? Kelly likes to drink it on special occasions, when out at dinner, or functions and when anyone offers it to her!!

Stocking up the supermarket trolley always includes prawns, Kellogg's Special K, grapes, strawberries and champagne! Prawns, fruit and bubbly are fine, but Special K would never be my choice. What is special about it? Not much, and prove it yourself by comparing the nutrition labels on a box with one on Kellogg's Cornflakes and then with a good, organic wholegrain cereal.

I would not trust anyone who said they had no food vices, but our favourite Dame is very moderate in hers. Chocolate when she sometimes craves it, but in moderation, is top of the list. But the real foodie indulgence is Chinese or Thai food once or twice a month. Kelly claims that too much cheese is one of her food vices, but unless she eats half a pound a day, she should not worry.

All women need to take care of their bones, and a major key to avoiding osteoporosis in later life is calcium during childhood, teens and onwards. A glass of milk and a pot of yoghurt with a matchbox size bit of cheese each day is the ideal combination and even better if they are organic.

I am delighted to see that my heroine, Dame Kelly, has not been seduced into joining the dangerous ranks of celebrity vegans.


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