The staff at Go Vita Ballarat all come from various backgrounds and although we all have a shared passion for health and wellbeing, we each have a different approach to our personal diet and lifestyles.
It was interesting then, to have a discussion recently about what is a common staple on each of our Christmas tables. Our gym junkie, macro-aware Shaz, always has a traditional plum pudding on the Christmas table. It is made by her Nana (at the ripe old age of 95, if you don't mind) and she's adamant that it should be served with custard and vanilla ice cream. Despite Shaz's current preparations for the ICN sports and fitness competition in 2021, she knows how to balance her diet, so that she can still enjoy festive treats. Proving that following a vegan diet doesn't mean living off rabbit food, Mairead always has a sticky date pudding for Christmas Day dessert. The recipe she uses varies year to year, but is generally made with dates, baking soda, self-raising flour, margarine, coconut cream and brown sugar and then served with butterscotch sauce.
Naomi, who gave up meat-eating about a decade ago, always makes a glazed lentil, apple and walnut loaf for Christmas Day. The loaf looks a lot like a meat-loaf (so much so, that even her typical country-boy brother-in-law usually adds some to his plate) and just like a traditional Christmas meal, it takes some time to prepare - so it still feels like a special lunch (and is equally good as leftovers!). And she usually makes a batch of raw chocolate truffles as a special treat.
Our Store Operations Manager Donna and her family start celebrating the festive season early - her husband is Jewish - so they begin with Hanukkah from December 10th and always with a traditional Gelfilte fish. But on Christmas Day, Donna and her family indulge in a seafood platter which she enjoys with a chilled glass of Riesling.
Katie, our make-up artist, kicks of Christmas Day with prawn cocktails (with her mum's homemade dressing) and there's always a communal bowl of red, white and green lollies on the table.
Celebrating Christmas on the evening of the 24th is tradition for Czech born, Inka. Her Christmas table includes traditional Czech food; fish soup with croutons, crumbed fish fillets and potato salad.
French-Canadian staff member Marie and her family, indulge in a tourtiere on Christmas Day. This is a dish that is commonly eaten in Quebec during the festive season and is similar to a meat pie but with fragrant spices like cinnamon, clove and ginger. With a German background, Christina's family add apple sauce to everything on Christmas Day.
Eleonor's mum makes a big batch of Nigella Lawson's semolina coated potatoes. Apparently, semolina is the secret to crispy potatoes with a pillowy soft inside.
Originally from Idaho, Laura always has a green bean baked casserole on Christmas Day. This dish became popular in America in the 1950s (when it was created by the Campbell Soup company) and is made from green beans, cream of mushroom soup, crispy fried onions and cheddar cheese.
The staff at Go Vita Ballarat are always more than happy to talk food; Christmas time or otherwise. And with all this delicious food, we're contemplating bringing them together for one big fabulous multi-cultural feast!