Co-founder of Chief, Libby Babet, is also mum to two gorgeous kids, Izzy (5) and Harrison (2), and founder/co-founder of other businesses in health and fitness including her fitness studio The Upbeat; sustainable activewear brand Earthletica (with business partner, Olympian Bronte Campbell); and Nurture 360 business retreats (with business partners, AFL legend Paul Roos and Tami Roos).
She’s also a speaker, presenter, author, and former trainer on Channel 10's hit show The Biggest Loser: Transformed. To say she’s time poor is putting it mildly, so we asked Libs to share her ‘Day On a Plate’ to see how she manages to stay healthy with such a busy lifestyle!
Photo courtesy of Earthletica: Bronte Campbell and Libby Babet
I’m up around 4:30am most mornings to run 6am classes at my gym The Upbeat, which involves a lot of bouncing around, so I need a little hit of nutrition to keep me going until breakfast time but nothing that will sit heavily in my stomach.
Some mornings (like when my toddler has a busy night) I’ll start with a black coffee with a dash of MCT oil added in for steadier energy, but I know this isn’t great for hormone balance so most days I’ll go for another hot drink like matcha, lemon-ginger tea, or recently our new Chief Dark Chocolate Collagen Protein Powder which I have with hot water and a dash of milk – it’s so delicious, much kinder on my hormones than starting the day with coffee and is also amazing for healthy tendons when taken before a workout, and glowing skin in general.
I’ll pair this with a Chief Collagen Protein Bar which keeps me going through my sessions. They’re made from nut butter so they sit really well in my tummy and digest quickly and easily – no bloating and I have zero issues bouncing around 30 min after one of these.
With my mornings spent running group and personal training sessions, I’m often rushing to get some quality breakfast in before dropping the kids off at care. This means I usually go for leftovers, today it was steamed veggies from the night before with added avocado, and I added a super quick omelette made with eggs a little shredded cheese – I used four eggs, but half of it went to the kids for their breakfast, the other half was my protein hit!
I’m not really a mid-morning snacker, usually I'm a plain water girl, but at the moment I'm obsessed with Kreol sparkling water, and I might grab a handful of berries or cherries, etc. I don’t know what it is about sparkling water but it’s kind of like a soft drink without the sugar!
The middle of my day is the only focused time I get to spend at my computer so lunch has to be uber efficient! For example, I’ll grab some canned tuna and pair that with some green veggies, which I often just do in the microwave using a glass container called Anyday Cookware – add a splash of water to your veggies and a few min later, hey presto, steamed perfection.
I’ll add butter on top or olive oil, with a sprinkle of sea salt. As you can tell, I’m not afraid of good quality fats! I’ll just make sure to choose fats like grass-fed butter and olive oil over vegetable/seed oils.
I like to keep the afternoon savoury rather than sweet if I can, so if I’m getting hungry I’ll often have a Chief Beef Bar which has as much protein as 3 eggs and is very low sugar. This will absolutely get me through to dinner. In fact, if I don’t have time for lunch, the beef bar becomes my lunch!
Wow, this has really become one big Chief promo, I didn’t mean it to be but clearly I rely quite heavily on our own products, and it makes sense because we started this company when we were struggling to find enough good quality food when on the run!
Even the afternoon snacks for the school run include Chief Biltong plus some kind of fruit (the kids love the biltong, it’s thinly cut and easy for them to chew). We’re far from perfect though and don’t try to be, sometimes they’re getting cookies, or a fruit strap, or some popcorn, it just depends!
Dinner is always pretty simple, usually a high-quality protein (grass-fed beef meatballs is always a sure fire winner with the kids, but I also make a mean organic chicken schnitzel, or grilled/pan fried fish) paired steamed veggies which I just put in a colander with a lid on top and plonk on top of a large pot of steaming water, it works a treat, even if it’s a bit old school ;)
We’ll mix this up of course, sometimes a nice bolognaise or veggie bake, a frittata or home made tacos etc. I’m not the best cook so it’s usually quick and simple! If I’m really stuck I’ll throw whatever is left in the fridge into a big ol’ frying pan with some rice and make my famous “mush”… hey, no one ever complains! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If I’m still hungry after dinner, if I didn’t have it in the morning I’ll make a hot chocolate with our Chief Dark Chocolate Collagen Protein (yep, still on the Chief train!), I find this satisfies any sweet cravings plus the protein fills me up. Sometimes I’ll have an ice block or some berries and yoghurt, or some dark chocolate, because chocolate ;)
So, my/our nutrition is pretty simple. We eat wholefoods most of the time and I try not to make a big deal about any kind of food, especially around the kids. As a trainer people can tend to assume I’m really strict with what I eat but the whole family have treats like everybody else. The kids know there are some foods they eat for fuel and some they eat just for fun, and both have their place.
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