I feel like its my duty to put my motherly pants on and tell you all… HOW TO EAT. I know you probably think I am joking, but in my books white bread slathered with butter isn’t breakfast, it’s just a formula for death. And no, I am not being dramatic. Food is used for the bodies fuel, medicine and ultimately how we gain all of our vitamins and nutrients.
I have been so amazed lately at the amount of people who basically do not know how to eat and really do not know the effect of what they put into their mouth, what it does to their body. In the last year or so I have dramatically changed my diet. Why? Because I wanted to take my health to the absolute best that it can be. I am a huge believer in listening to my body and eating food that it responds well to eating and avoiding food that it doesn’t. For me, I try to avoid dairy and gluten and sugar. Yes, so sometimes this is fruit as well but for me, I feel better if I make sure that I keep the amount I eat low and make sure I up my vegetable intake and take my Juice Plus. Yes I do have treats which include my favourite Estabar Gelati and Malaysian Rolls from Natural Tucker but I do try to stick to foods that make me feel good.
So how on earth do I eat you ask? Well read on. This blog post will be structured with me explaining what I usually eat on a day-to-day basis with a couple of examples and explanations. As well as this I will finish by briefly talking about meal prep and plan and how I did it for today but I will go into this topic in greater depth on another night…
What I am about when it comes to food:
1. Eating for fuel and nutrients
2. Eating a variety of different food
3. Making sure your macros are balanced and you are eating according to what you need that day. Basically, if you are training hard that day your meals should support this pressure on the body and give you the energy you need to power through your workout.
What I am not about when it comes to food:
1. Counting Calories
3. Cutting foods and food groups
4. Cutting out aspects of your diet so much so that it needs supplementation. Basically becoming Vegan (I am not hating on the vegans here) and then saying you get your nutrients… from B12 shots and a mass amount of supplements to get the nutrients you LACK FROM YOUR DIET.
5. Junk Food think fried shit that comes in a packet… *shudders*…
Foods though I don’t believe anyone NEEDS in their diet:
1. Alcohol/Soft Drinks/Diet Drinks/Highly Processed Juice
2. Excess refined white sugar. OKAY for special occasions but white sugar doesn’t provide ANY nutrients for the body
3. Junk food and nasty takeaway
4. Highly processed food so think anything that is white/beige/brown/yellow/fluro food. There are exceptions to the rule but look at all the diet shows with obese people when they lay it out on a table! It is all the same colour!!!
Food should nourish the body and be as natural as possible. We don’t get enough fresh food and we NEED fresh wholesome food to provide nutrients that will repair and support our body. Do you really think that overly fried bit of potato or packet or chips is going to repair or even help your body after a major stressful workout? Put down the fried starch and reach for some kale! You will feel loads different!
1. Breakfast: MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY!!!
If you are a breakfast skipper opt for a protein shake or smoothie. This is a great way to sip some nutrients in and start to get some food in your belly in the morning. Breakfast basically means break the fast. It’s important to have a good meal when you wake up also to power through your day and maybe a workout you intend to do later. When I have breakfast I combine a good protein/carbs/fats ratio which can include
- 2 or 3 scrambled eggs (no milk) with 1 piece of gluten-free toast and homemade pesto (recipe below) and veggies
- Raw Cacao smoothie with nut milk, 1/2 a banana, organic rice protein powder, chia seeds, raw cacao powder
- Homemade baked beans with 2 poached eggs and veggies
- Organic banana bread with ricotta and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
With breakfast I can be fairly lenient with what I eat. I TRY to avoid refined sugar at all costs but there are some days when all I want is my organic banana bread so I will have it. I don’t have it all the time and it really isn’t that bad for you in the scheme of things because the brand I buy is quite health. I make sure if I have some form of sugar at breakfast such as fruit or the banana bread I will make sure not to make a habit of it and say have it for lunch and an afternoon snack.
2. Mid Morning and Afternoon Snack:
This is important for keeping our metabolism raring for the next meal. We are often told to skip snacking but I believe its important and you SHOULD eat when you are truly hungry. I find it important to always have food with me. I get quite low sugars sometimes and have a strong family history of diabetes so for me it’s always important to keep my diet in check and make sure I am eating regularly. With snacks always include vegetables to help fill you up. Protein is great for this as well. If you have a workout coming out feel free to include some form of carbs to help you power through such as sweet potato
- Organic banana bread with ricotta and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- Vege sticks with hommous
- Haloumi cooked in coconut oil with chopped up tomatoes, onions and basil cooked in the remaining oil in the pan
- Handful of nuts or a teaspoon of pesto or a teaspoon of nut butter if I am feeling a little peckish
- Any leftovers in the fridge that can include frittata, turkey burgers, smoked salmon with leftover salad
- Homemade Kale chips and nuts
3. Lunch and Dinner
My lunch will vary depending on what I am doing. I say lunch and dinner as with my line of work I usually will eat the same thing sometimes for both meals as it is just easier and more stress free. If I am out I will always order a salad with some type of protein. This can be in the way of some haloumi and chickpeas if I am wanting a vego meal or usually I will ask for some grilled chicken or smoked salmon. I find places that do all day breakfast are great as well and I will usually get poached eggs and vegetables. If I am at home I will always make something that has leftovers that I can take to work or have the next day. I will go into this later in the post. Lunch can sometimes be a time I get a bit peckish, usually due to stress so I make sure to include some form of fat in this meal whether it be nuts, good oils, avocados, fish or haloumi
- Rice paper rolls with veges, avocado and a protein either turkey or smoked salmon or prawns
- Salad with whatever is in the fridge and turkey burgers
- Frittata with vegetables and usually some goats cheese
- Turkey burgers with salad or veggies
If I am wanting something a little more carby
- I will add vermicelli noodles to an asian stye salad and have it with prawns
- A piece of gluten-free bread with avocado, smashed turkey burgers and sweet chilli sauce (not too much)
- Bread with eggs and vegetables
So what have I eaten today then?
- Scrambled eggs with pesto and a piece of gluten-free toast
- 2 turkey burgers
- A lentil patty with some haloumi, quinoa and salad
- Smoked salmon with remaining salad
- Protein shake of banana, ice, nut milk and cacao
And what are my top 10 tips for someone looking at changing their diet?
1. Write it down. You cannot change your diet if you don’t know where you are going wrong
2. Get enough fruit and vegetables. This is a REQUIREMENT, not an elective
3. Don’t skip meals and make sure you are eating regularly
4. Get enough protein in meals
5. Have an amazing breakfast to power you through your day
6. Watch your sugar intake. I took this tip from Sarah Wilson but start to tally up every time you have sugar. This includes fruit, honey, yoghurt with sugar added, banana bread too!
7. Plan it! Always have a meal plan in place so you don’t go hungry and rummaging for an instant fix
8. Get tempting shit out of the house. If it is calling your name from the cupboard, it needs to make friends with your garbage
9. Have occasional treats to keep you on track but try to limit these until you reach your body goals
10. Get some food inspiration. I love Teresa Cutter, Sarah Wilson and my friend Zoe’s blog!
All in the prep and plan
I take no sympathy when I hear people say they do not have time to eat properly. I usually work a 12-14 hour day most days but still manage to eat healthy. It’s all in the prep and plan that makes it easy. I make sure to make extra so I have extra serves. I have prep food days where I will cut up extra or roast lots of vegetables to add to eggs and salad. I will meal plan and make sure that I have food in the house to make sure when I am home from work I have something here and it won’t have me ducking out at 10pm for dinner. It should be simple too, don’t go into elaborate recipes for every meal because you will get stressed and chances are will avoid the kitchen all together and will end up bingeing on crap. If you do cook something involved make sure to make extras that you can have throughout the week.
Today saw me having this for lunch
Syndian Lentil Patty with a summer salad, quinoa and haloumi
While I was doing this, I used the extra nuts and herbs to make pesto. I made extra salad for work and basically made 4 or so meals down the track heaps easier by just prepping it all while I was making lunch. We still have salad left over and I always make sure to have these patties in the freezer. They are GREAT to add to salads, wraps or just to have on their own!
Fresh Simple Sexy Salad:
Inspired by Teresa Cutter, Serves 2 big portions or 4 generous sides
1 punnet of grape tomatoes chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber chopped
1 red capsicum chopped
1 generous handful of mint
1 generous handful of continental parsley
1/4 red onion sliced finely
Handful of pistachios
Handful of pepitas
Mix everything together. I dressed it with a simple dressing of Olive Oil and lemon juice! I then dig in and enjoy! I had this for lunch as shown above and then had leftovers for dinner at the studio with some smoked salmon and quinoa stirred though! Who said leftovers had to be boring!?
While I was doing this I also made a beautiful fresh pesto for my eggs in the morning and to have just out of the jar when I am looking for something when I am peckish! I basically use whatever I have on hand with a small amount of good parmesan cheese for sharpness!
1 big handful of parsley or basil
1 handful of whatever nuts you have, today I used pistachios and unsalted cashews
small amount of grated parmesan
Enough olive oil to bring to a lovely consistency
Blitz Blitz Blitz and enjoy! Have it on ANYTHING you like!!!