We are well aware that it’s not just what you put on your skin that keeps you looking young but what you put into your body too. So Lumity was delighted to interview health and wellness expert Julie Montagu, who has just created the perfect anti-ageing lunch.
She’s fit, she’s a mum of four and she’s the Future Countess of Sandwich, so it seems only fitting that Julie Montagu is the brains behind the ultimate anti-ageing lunch. The ‘Ladies of London’ reality TV star and founder of the ‘Flexi Foodie Academy’ has designed a new range of health and beauty sandwiches.
Julie has made a full sandwich spa menu. This includes a mood-enhancing sandwich, a hair conditioning wrap and a bloat preventing pitta pocket, but we have to admit that the ‘Roll Back the Clock’ wrap is the one that’s really caught our attention.
Julie teamed up with gluten and wheat free food brand BFree and used their multigrain wrap as the base for this particular delight. Inside you’ll find sweet potato, romaine lettuce, red onion, spinach, yellow pepper, black olives, sundried tomatoes, sesame seeds and olive oil.
“It’s not like you are going to eat this sandwich once and wake up in the morning immediately looking younger,” Julie says. “But research has shown that certain ingredients can help get fight free radicals that cause us to age prematurely. The free radicals are the things that you can breathe in or eat. We therefore want antioxidants to help fight them. “
The anti-ageing sandwich is packed with ingredients that do just that and more:
BFree Multigrain wrap – Contains a combination of buckwheat and amaranth – support cell repair and combat wrinkles.
Romaine lettuce – Contains vitamin A to encourage the growth of new skin cells, helping to revitalise the skin.
Spinach – Bursting with antioxidants, known as phytonutrients, which help to slow the ageing process and assist in preventing sun damage. Rich in potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium, which combine to contribute to optimum hair health.
Sun-dried tomatoes – Rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient which strengthens the skin by inhibiting the natural breakdown of collagen.
Sweet potatoes – Full of beta carotene, which can help combat the damage caused by free radicals, thereby protecting cells.
Red and yellow bell peppers – Vitamin C rich, to help the body produce collagen, essential for keeping the skin firm and protecting the cells from further damage.
(We whipped up our own version of this at home and it was pretty fabulous, for lunch or dinner).
“We often have a bad view of bread,” says Julie, who is also a yoga instructor and health coach. “You always hear people saying there’s no nutritional value in it. But BFree have come out with these wraps, pita, baguettes and seeded loaves which are loaded with all these things that are good for us. So I wanted to show that with the right base and the right ingredients you can make a healthy sandwich.
“Also a big factor was that I have four kids and they love sandwiches,” she adds. “They don’t want a bun-less patty with no bread and lettuce instead. They want sandwiches and wraps made from bread.
“They are never going to shy away from a sandwich but I thought it would be great for them to be able to eat a healthier version.”
“Yes they absolutely are. The thing is a lot of breads already have sugar in them. It’s normally the fourth or fifth ingredient. So putting sweet potato in a sandwich is actually very clever because it’s a natural sweetener. It’s a vegetable though so it’s not too sweet and it’s good for you too.”
“Well, today for breakfast I had gluten free bread, with homemade hummus and vegetables scattered on top. Sweet breakfasts don’t appeal to me so I wouldn’t necessarily want to have something like fruit to start my day.
“For lunch it’s usually a big salad with everything you can imagine. I love lentils and walnuts together. I’ll add a BFree pita bread to soak in my homemade lemon dressing to help fill me up too.
“I cook a lot of stir fries for dinner, because my kids love that too. It’ll be a combination of vegetables and brown rice noodles or I’ll do a pad thai or cook some brown rice. “I like all my food mixed together, so the thought of one potato and a handful of broccoli with a side of protein (not that I eat meat) doesn’t appeal to me.”
“Strength training, I’m all about it,” explains Julie. ‘You start to lose bone density and muscle from the age of 30. Even more so in your 40’s and 50’s and it’s in high gear once you are 70.
“It begins to get much harder to even build muscle once you’re 30 so it’s so important to strength train. I’m in my early 40’s and I don’t yet have any sagging muscle and that makes me proud.
“Cardiovascular exercise is great; walking, getting out on your bike or doing whatever to keep yourself active is important, but people forget about strength training. Yoga in particular is great for that and I want people to know that you don’t have to be flexible to do it. Just balancing is strength training.
“Using your own weight is always the perfect weight too!
“The other thing I swear by is dry brushing. I have no cellulite and I believe it’s because of dry brushing. I’ve been doing it for years and I dry brush virtually every day.”
Here’s a complete list of her sandwiches. The recipes are also available on BFree’s Facebook page so you can create them at home.
Roll Back the Clock, the anti-ageing wrap – BFree Multigrain Wrap, sweet potato, romaine lettuce, red onion, spinach, yellow pepper, black olives, sundried tomatoes, sesame seeds and olive oil
Mindfulness Bites, a mood-enhancing sandwich – BFree Oaty Loaf, avocado, smoked salmon, beetroot, cashew nuts, lemon, salt and pepper
B.L.T (Beautiful, Long, Tresses) a wrap with hair conditioning and strengthening properties – BFree Sweet Potato Wraps, grilled tofu, walnuts, boiled egg, carrot, avocado, spinach
A Slice of Energy, an energy boosting meal – BFree Quinoa and Chia Seed Wrap, hummus, radishes, red pepper, asparagus, feta cheese, quinoa
Good Gut Club, a bloat-preventing pitta pocket – BFree Pitta Pockets, brown rice, black beans, coriander, red chilli, tomato, green olives, broccoli, chia seeds