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Feel Good Food, Home + Yum Stuff

Food Snoop…with Jo Stanley

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
May 13th, 2015
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Hands up if you miss hearing Jo Stanley in your ears every morning. Here at Show and Tell, we have both hands, and feet, raised firmly in the air.

For ten years, Jo was the strong and sassy voice of ‘The Matt and Jo Show’ on 2Day FM. Ten years of getting up BEFORE the crack of dawn to make our annoyingly boring commutes to work and school drop-offs more pleasurable than painful. During this time Jo became both a role model and friend to those of us who tuned in regularly to hear her wise and funny musings of life and current affairs.

Jo is one mega talented lady and her main talent lies in her versatility. She is a wife, mother, radio host, actress, writer and comedian and she fulfils each of these roles with a funny, genuine and real vulnerability that makes her relatable to people everywhere. And that’s why we love her.

You can still hear Jo on radio every weekend on ‘Weekend Breakfast’ on the 2Day FM network, which she co-hosts with Michael Beveridge. She also runs corporate workshops in Personal Brand and Resilience, as well as recently finishing a run in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ in March to celebrate World V Day – a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

With so much going on in her busy life, we were curious to snoop into what Jo loves to eat the most. What did we learn? If you want to send her something nice, skip the flowers and go for a leg of ham and bottle of champers instead!

What does a typical day of food look like for you?
When I’m doing breakfast radio, I make myself sick with my low GI food discipline. It’s the only thing that gets me through the hours. I’ll have a quinoa porridge with almond milk, berries, coconut and maple syrup at about 5.30, fruit at about 8.30, then the first of my two lunches for the day at around 9.30! That’s usually leftovers from dinner the night before or a scrambled egg done in the microwave or my own protein hit invention: a tin of tuna mixed with a tin of baked beans, warmed in the microwave. That one’s certainly not for everybody! Then there’d be lunch of some kind of salad or sushi or a sandwich on dark rye bread at about 1. And dinner between 5 and 6, of a lean protein with steamed veggies or a curry or a stir fry.

When I’m not doing breakfast radio, food is basically a random free for all in a chaotic snatch and grab. I might have breakky of porridge or toast or a muesli bar. Or I might miss breakky and have a big chicken or tuna salad at 10.30am. I tend to eat irregularly but graze if I’m at home with fruit, ham and cheese vitaweats, tuna wraps, dip with biscuits or carrots, or leftovers. If I’m on the run, I’ll grab a sushi or frittata to eat in the car. And then dinner as above. My eating generally reflects my schedule, or lack there of. If my time is in control, so is my diet. If I’m flying around like a mad woman, I pretty much eat whatever my hand lands on.

And in all this, there’s of course the obligatory chocolate blow out, and subsequent guilt at my complete lack of self-control, followed by a day of sugar detox, followed by an evening of at least half a bottle of wine to drown my craving sorrows. Ridiculous!

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Here are our Nosy Nine Questions with Jo…

The one food item you can’t go a day without?


Meat. I’m a hardcore carnivore. I crave protein, so even if it’s just a few slices of ham, I always add meat to anything I eat. In fact I’d eat it any time, anywhere. I’d happily have steak for breakfast, and frequently have been seen gnawing on a leftover lamb cutlet in the studio. That’s not to say I don’t love veggies. I adore a crisp salad or steamed Asian greens. But, much to my vegetarian friends horror, I’m not full unless there’s an animal, bird or fish involved.

Thinly sliced ham on a chopping board

What is your exercise of choice?


I like to mix it up. I love running, and when I was 10 years younger would get 50 – 60 kms a week away. But I have a bit of a dodgy knee now, so I can only go a couple of times a week for much shorter distances. Instead I throw some weights sessions and Pilates classes into my schedule. I try to do something every day. I usually succeed only 50% of the time!

Which do you prefer – juices or smoothies?


Neither! Strangely I don’t really like liquids!! I drink loads of water, but apart from that, unless it’s alcoholic, I don’t really go there. I don’t even drink tea or coffee.

What is your signature dish?  


Most of the meals I cook have come straight from a cook book, so I can’t claim them as my own. But I have invented a roasted vegetable with feta dish that I love. It’s super simple. Chop up potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot and pumpkin into cubes. Toss with thyme and whole garlic cloves (I like heaps!). Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil. Roast till cooked. Then when it comes out of the oven, stir through a good amount of feta. Delicious!! It’s great cold the next day too. Chuck in some baby spinach to make the salad last longer.

If you could share a meal with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and where would it be?


It’s so hard to choose! I’ll say Tina Fey, but if she can’t make it, my B List would be Kristen Wiig or Oprah. And I’d take them to Cicciolina’s in Acland Street St Kilda. I’ve been going there for 20 years, and not one disappointing morsel has passed my lips in that time. Delicious food and impeccable service. It simply can’t be beat.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Season 4

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?


My husband, Daz, and I had a driving holiday around France, and were staying in a Chateau. We worked our way through an unbelievable 6 course meal. I think we mortgaged our house to pay for it. I’d never experienced flavours like it in my life. My enduring memory is some kind of lobster soup that was so light and foamy it was like we were eating air. Perfect, lobstery, melt in your mouth, air.

What would be your last supper?


Cicciolina’s lasagne or spaghetti bolognese. I rarely eat pasta, as it sits way outside my low-carb, low-GI diet. But I do love it. It’s a constant temptation when I’m eating out. So if it were my last supper, I’d carb the shit out of that dinner. And Cicci’s lasagne and spag bol are THE BEST. I’d die very happy with a giant pasta bloat on.

Dessert or cheese plate?


Dessert, and usually something chocolatey, the darker the better. I can never understand why some fancy restaurants try so hard to be different with their desserts that they don’t put a chocolate based dessert on their menu. Spiced pear with cinnamon biscotti?? No thank you. What’s wrong with a chocolate pudding or mousse?

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Cocktail, water or wine?


All of it. In that order, probably. With a champagne chaser. I like to party, I like alcohol and I’m good at both. It’s the reason I manage not to eat much cake during the day – I get all my sugar hit out of a bottle!

For more Jo Stanley goodness, head over to her jostanley.com.au or watch Monty chat with her On the Couch here.

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