My day on a plate: Greg Mathews

Olive grower and business owner Greg Mathews, 34, share his day on a plate.

Greg Mathews.

7am Tending to 28,000 olive trees is a massive job, so I fuel up on porridge made with locally grown oats, which I have with olive grove honey, berries and nuts.

10am A morning coffee with fruit toast.

1pm Lunch is rustic bruschetta – fresh sourdough with tomatoes and avocado, drizzled with lots and lots of organic extra virgin olive oil.

6.30pm Warmer evenings are a time best spent outdoors enjoying the beauty of the nearby Grampians National Park, so we fire up the barbecue for scotch fillet, grilled zucchini, sweet potato, onion and lettuce from our vegie garden. Dessert is fresh pear and kefir.

9.30pm With my feet up, while mentally preparing for another day, I “taste test” enough olives to see me through until breakfast.

Dr Joanna McMillan says …

Top marks for … A day of pretty nutritious eating, with mostly whole foods and no ultra-processed junk. The extra virgin olive oil not only adds healthy fats and antioxidants of its own, it also increases your absorption of the antioxidants present in tomatoes. The same applies to your dinner vegies if you cooked them in olive oil.

If you keep eating like this you’ll … Significantly reduce your risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, by following this Mediterranean-style diet. Just be sure to choose fish, poultry or plant proteins more often than red meat. When you do have the latter, accompany it with plenty of green vegies; these have been shown to be protective, reducing the harmful effects on the colon of eating too much red meat.

Why don’t you try … Eating wholegrain bread for extra fibre and antioxidants. Boost your green vegie intake by adding rocket to your bruschetta, and ensure you have cruciferous vegies such as brussels sprouts or broccoli when you eat red meat.

Greg Mathews is the owner and operator of Grampians Olive Co.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale February 23.

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