Are you curious about what my typical day looks like in regards to what I eat? Well here it is!
Morning: I generally start the day off with a glass of water and few times a week lemon water. I wait until I am fully awake before eating anything so my body is ready to work at digesting, in fact I don't really feel like eating the first thing in the morning.
Mid morning: My breakfast is either what we call "cereal" in my family (oats soaked in unsweetened almond or organic soy milk topped with chia seeds or some other seed mixture and hint of maple syrup or stevia), oatmeal (oats, hot water, cinnamon ,stevia or maple syrup), or a smoothie (lots of greens, a little fruit, hemp protein, and almond milk or organic soy milk). I have an egg once or twice a week also.
Lunch: Generally I throw together a salad that is nutrient dense and caloric dense as I am heading into what is my most busiest time of the day. Bean salads are something I have often, or I toss beans into my leafy salads. Nuts are added or made into dressings. I find the resistance starches help level out my blood sugars more effectively and keep me going for a longer gap between meals. I will also grab a large portion of leftovers from the night before if I am not up to throwing something together..
Possible snack: Depending on what time my lunch is and when I am planning on having supper I may have a serving of fruit.
Supper: We have our supper pretty early in the day compared to most in general. We usually aim for about 4:00 or 5:00. I usually make a nice meal for my family at this point depending on my schedule that day or we pull out leftovers. All our meals are made from whole food ingredients such as quinoa, what I call colourful rice (brown rice, black rice, mexican red rice, wild rice), vegetables and so on. I limit animal products to 10% or less of my caloric needs and I don't do dairy, processed sugars & wheat. I make my own sauces, dressings & gravies also from whole foods and use herbs and spices to make my own seasonings. Meals tend to be international, spicy and delish... My portion sizes are smaller at this time of day and I have started getting into the habit of putting everything aside from soups on a bed of leafy greens.
Pre-fast snack: I usually have a snack before I do a 10-12 hour fast to give my whole digestive system a nice break. The snack is generally pretty simple like a banana or avocado.
90% of what I drink is just plain filtered water from the tap. In the winter I may have coffee and tea. I do have the occasional alcoholic drink or two during social outings but it's not something I have on a regular basis.
How I eat is influenced by the my state of health, as a Holistic Nutritionist I have learnt that various health conditions require different thinking in regards to what we eat, including when we have something as simple as the common cold. How I eat in various seasons also changes. I eat more caloric dense foods during the winter months and more animal based proteins but still keep it below 10% of my weekly caloric intake. In the spring and summer I tend to eat lighter and less animal products . I don't' believe in making meals complicated and aim to get all 4 food groups into one pot meals instead of making a serving of this and that.
I keep processed foods down to about 4 servings a week, keeping in mind I consider anything made from flour a processed food. I also keep deserts even the healthy one's like chocolate avocado pudding, for special occasions only. I think our desert culture is a downfall for most of us even with the healthier alternatives out there leading to excess and unhealthy cravings.
Confessions of a Nutritionist: I am not perfect and have my bad weeks but I get right back on track. It is becoming easier with time and every year I have less slip ups because how I eat is not a diet or limiting in any way. It's a way of life and my palate is changing with constant exposure to delish and nutrient dense whole foods that my body also craves. When changing your lifestyle to healthier one it does not happen overnight and there are a lot of outside influences that can make it a struggle (but not an excuse). I find surrounding myself with like minded individuals makes it much easier. I do indulge without guilt on special occasions. I truly believe that if you eat a clean whole food diet 80/ 90% of the time then having something that is not healthy during an "actual" special celebrations will not harm a healthy individual . Just a word of caution, a healthy body is a confident one and it will speak out!
Dana Clark, CNHP, CHN, CHC owner or From the Roots Holistic, Certified Holistic Nutritionist at SBJJ & Muay Thai Academy.
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