Updated: Jul 6, 2020
When I have my clients do pre-consultation food journaling, I ask them to give me a day of eating on a weekday and a day of eating on a weekend. These two different logs can be very different. Does anyone relate?
But those strict #dietrules lead to all sorts of nonsense. Eating disorders, bingeing and purging, a lowering of body temperature and thus cold hands and feet and a susceptibility to infection, weight issues, and some crazy making in the ol' noggin.
Does anyone relate?
So when I share what I eat in a day, it is not to judge anyone or make them feel bad about themselves, or good about themselves. It is just an honest answer to a question I get asked often. I think it is amusing when people see me out and about and they're all like, "you drink wine?" or "you're eating dessert?"
Aside from the fact that I am a tall and muscular (and post-four-babies) size 8 (or 10 if I have a few weeks of enjoyment on vacation or stress), I also am a proponent of eating enough.
After spending years tired, cold, and obsessed with food, it's nice to have the option of eating whatever the hell I want. I know that despite what we all want to think, there is a food/movement/rest balance. If you weigh any of those three things too heavily, #imbalance will occur in the body.
So please, my dears. Eat enough.
That being said, here is a normal day of weekday eating for me.
6 oz chai tea + 4 oz strong coffee + coconut creamer + collagen + d-ribose
2 Trader Joe's Chicken Apple Sausages
1 medium avocado with salt
1 piece of seasonal fruit
Breakfast balances my blood sugar and gets me about 30 grams of protein to start my day with. I have plenty of fat and good carbohydrates. It keeps me full until lunch most days, and I like the repetition of a yummy and satisfying breakfast that it easy on my tummy and doesn't make me drowsy.
4-6 oz protein
a ton of veggies
a piece of fruit
nuts, avocado, or olive oil for good fats
I encourage my clients to do the same thing as I do every day. Lunch is not sexy, I say. It is a tool to get you through until dinner time without eating your kids' Goldfish crackers because you are starving.
Nobody really likes to think about lunch. If you are at home, you can eat this way. If you are eating out, you can eat this way. Salads or soups are available pretty much anywhere. You can ask for extra protein if need be. Carry an nectarine or a few kiwi fruit with you to eat with your salad out, and you are set.
I use this "recipe" with my clients. It is my basic formula for a healthy lunch, and I am happy to share it with you, too. Don't overthink things. Find what works and stick to it.
Check it out. You can even used canned soup in a pinch!
Sometimes I feel like I suck at dinner, just like you may feel like you suck at dinner. Sometimes I love making dinner. But dinnertime is a busy time of the day in a busy time of our lives, and the meal sometimes suffers.
This is where it is important to plan. Try to keep your dinners out to 2-3x/ week. It takes just as long to throw a prebaked sweet potato and a few chicken thighs and some roasted green beans in a pyrex container for the road as it does to sit at the drive through at Chik Fil A.
On the days I am home to cook for dinner, my plate looks like this:
4-6 oz meat (tri tip, chicken, salmon, shrimp, pork, or lamb)
1 cup vegetables with butter and salt (and probably other seasonings)
2 cups salad (lettuce with seasonal veggies and a homemade dressing)
if I have worked out, or if I am feeling cold, or if my heartrate is low or I am cranky,
1/2-1 cup rice or rice noodles or sweet potato or lentils or beans
Sometimes, I will eat a few bites of the sourdough bread I put out for the kids. The bread is a vehicle for butter, in my mind.
Sometimes, we have fruit too.
Sometimes, I will have a glass of wine or a bourbon.
Sometimes I have a little dressing bowl filled with chocolate chips for dessert.
Sometimes all of the rules go out the window and I eat whatever I want.
But I know I feel terrible if I eat whatever I want, or whatever is convenient, for too many days in a row.
Too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, or starches make me lethargic and achy and irritable and bloated and puffy.
It's probably the same for you too.
Start slowly, if you are overwhelmed. Try just eating a good breakfast like the one listed here. You may feel so good that you are willing to make yourself a Balancing Salad for lunch. And then you can plan for dinners.
Here are a few dinners for you to try.
So do start. If you have taken a break from eating nourishing foods, you can also start up again. Get your shopping list and meal plan and stick to it, even when the ice cream is calling your name.
You can have something yummy at the end of the day that won't interfere with sleep and won't make you feel gross. Here are a few of my favorites.
This is pretty much how I eat in a day. I don't really struggle with PMS or mood imbalances like I used to. I will shift weight sometimes, but never really have a pop up or down. I don't have acne, and my periods are regular and nearly painless.
There are plenty of things that I think are wrong with me, but the big ones are really helped by eating a consistently nourishing diet with enough calories.
I hope this helps you plan your day. Don't stress too much. Make these things routine, get the family involved, and you will benefit from feeling pretty good most of the time.
To your health,