To me, eating healthily is about finding a balance and enjoying food while not obsessing over calories. I aim to eat intuitively, which has given me a relaxed approach to my diet. This means that I honour my hunger and fullness cues, while choosing foods that I enjoy to keep myself satisfied and my energy levels up.
When combining this with a regular exercise routine, it keeps me feeling good with enough energy for everything I do. Eating intuitively also involves mindful eating. This involves focusing on what I’m eating and taking time to enjoy it, which helps me notice when I feel satisfied. Watching TV or reading while eating can be a distraction and may lead to overeating, so practising mindful eating can help with this.
Below are some examples of what I typically eat in a day.
8am – breakfast
Breakfast sets me up for the day. In the summer, I often make overnight oats the night before, ready to add fruit toppings and eat in the morning. In the autumn and winter months I usually have porridge, which I make at home or work, depending on how rushed I am. I top it with a variety of fruit to sneak in one of my five a day.
At the weekend, when I have more time, I often have some form of eggs on toast with some veg on the side, or a tomato and baked egg mix like shakshuka (eggs baked in a tomato, onion and chilli pepper sauce).
10.30am – snack time
I’m a big grazer, especially at work! Even though I’m a nutritionist, I’m still tempted to reach for chocolate or crisps sometimes. To help me make better snack choices, I try to have lots of healthier options to hand, such as:
- fresh fruit
- dried fruit and nuts
- a slice of homemade banana bread
- Greek yoghurt
- hummus and vegetable sticks
I often keep a portion of nuts in the car to stave off my hunger before dinner.
1pm – lunchtime
I always take a lunch break away from my desk. This is often leftovers from my evening meal the night before, which I portion off ready to take with me in the morning. Luckily, I have access to a good kitchen at work so I can heat food up easily.
If I’m in a rush, I sometimes grab a mix of things from the fridge at home to take to work. This might be an avocado, some salad items, a slice or two of wholemeal bread, and some yoghurt and berries for a dessert. Soup is also an easy but healthy option for lunchtime.
Generally, I base my meals around having some protein, complex carbohydrate and salad/vegetable/fruit, with a small portion of healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts). I find this works well for me and keeps me feeling satisfied.
4pm – afternoon snack
This is similar to the ideas listed above for my morning snack. However, I’m often drawn to something more sweet at this time of day, such as dried fruit or banana bread.
7pm - evening meal
Cooking is one of my favourite things to do. I tend to stick to speedy, simple meals and often try out new recipes from food blogs and popular cookbooks to keep my meals interesting. I also have a few homemade favourites, which include either meat or vegetable-based dishes, such as a chilli or spicy curry, served with either basmati or cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower rice is a substitute for rice, made from fresh cauliflower that’s been through the food processer or finely cut up to resemble rice. It’s a great replacement, as once it’s combined with a sauce, there’s little taste difference from normal rice. It’s nutritious and low in calories, making it a good option for days when you’re less active.
I also like to experiment with different dishes and new recipes in the evening. It’s almost like an ‘after-work treat’. One of my recent favourites is avocado sauce spaghetti. Look up the recipe online! Trust me, it’s delicious.