Kitchen spy: Michelle Bridges

STEPHANIE CLIFFORD-SMITH
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2013
Michelle Bridges

CLEAN AND LEAN: Michelle Bridges in her home kitchen.

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Michelle Bridges has a lot on her plate. Sales of her eight books have clocked well over 300,000 and she recently launched her own range of exercise wear, which fits up to size 24. She supports a number of charities and is in her fourth year as ambassador for Run Around Australia, an initiative to educate schoolchildren about healthy food and exercise.

MY MOST MEMORABLE MEAL

You can't beat spaghetti vongole at Da Adolfo seaside restaurant in Positano. You're just at tables by the sand, in your bikini, and they give you jugs of wine with chunks of peaches in. Easy, simple Italian rustic food; it's just beautiful.

MY STAPLE INGREDIENTS

In my pantry, Mazzetti balsamic vinegar for dressings, olive oil spray to cut down on oil use. Canned tuna for a quick lunch, thrown over a bag of salad. Bay leaves for ratatouille, one of my favourite dishes.

In my fridge, always greens, from rocket through to bok choy, broccoli and beans. I always have a massive salad or a big serve of steamed vegies for lunch or dinner. Olives for snacking and salads. Skim milk, low-fat yoghurt but there's also full-fat Greek yoghurt because I like it. I think sometimes people get bogged down in the whole low-fat, no-fat thing and end up having more, and often those options are full of sugar. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, which I often add to the yoghurt. Chicken, fish and lean beef I usually either buy the day I need it or have in the freezer.

MY LAST DINNER AT HOME...

I steamed a whole snapper with bok choy, chilli, garlic and lemon zest, and served it with corn on the cob. Eating out, I'll try things and think, ''this is amazing but a little high in calories. How can I make it lighter, fresher, healthier?'' And George Calombaris' Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart because it has great recipes for fish and vegetables.

MY FAVOURITE THING

My grandmother's water jug. I don't know if it was in the will, I just went into the kitchen and grabbed it.

I DRINK...

I drink English Breakfast tea as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, and I'm a teapot - never a teabag - girl. I live right near so many cafes that now I buy most of my coffees out. I love Allpress and I have espresso usually before a training session in the morning. There's plenty of research that says coffee makes training more effective. I normally try to have the week alcohol-free and drink mineral water but I drink on Friday, Saturday and sometimes Sunday. I like sauvignon blanc and pinot.

My Saturday night tipple is a glass of wine or champagne.

MY SECRET VICE

Dark chocolate, any kind, the darker the better. I'd have a square every couple of days with a cup of tea.

MY TOOL KIT

1. Nespresso coffee machine.

2. Mini casserole dishes, which I make a really nice Matt Moran fish pie in.

3. My dinner service, which I bought on the Amalfi coast and had shipped across. Whenever I eat off it, I'm back in Positano.

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4. Air popper for popping corn with virtually no fat. Vitamix for pureeing vegetables and making soup.

5. Kuhn Rikon self-sharpening knife - I love it because it's black and looks hot.

6. George Foreman grill, particularly handy while I'm waiting to get a barbecue.

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