My Day to Day Diet (2017)
Hey Guys! So I thought I would quickly share with you how I'm finding balance these days with my diet. As you know, I lost 90lbs 10 years ago. Since then, I've been preaching to anyone that will listen the importance of building a lifestyle that works for you! A huge part of that is your diet.
Many of the inquiries I get on a day to day ask me what I eat ... and how I possibly maintain my physique eating pasta everyday, LOL. Well, I'm ready to share with you my approach and philosophy to building a diet plan that works!
A few disclaimers: I don't count calories or macros... I just eat to fuel my body. A huge part of figuring out how to do that started with trial and error.
BREAKFAST/MEAL 1 (usually consumed at 8am)
Breakfast kickstarts your day and gives us the essential nutrients we need for energy. If you skip breakfast - stop! Outside of energy, breakfast is proven to improve your concentration and performance, increasing productivity. For best performance, I am keen on getting in high protein, high fibre, and a good source of vitamins/minerals. This typically looks like:
Option 1: Oats with almond milk (topped with fruit) & 3-4 egg whites scrambled
Option 2: Egg/egg white omelette with protein/fibre pancakes or spelt bread (pictured)
Option 3: High fibre cereal with almond milk & 3-4 egg whites scrambled
... and of course a coffee a day! Also, I always aim to get extra fibre in my breakfast by sprinkling chia/ground flax seeds on everything!
LUNCH/MEAL 2 (usually consumed at 12pm)
This is where I pack on the carbs! It fuels me up for my workouts, and gives me loads energy to lift heavy. According to Mens Fitness, "In terms of performance energy, carbs are the foundation for the energy and the fuel needed to propel the body during exercise." To maintain my physique, over the years I've learned it's not how many carbs I have, it's all about the type of carbs I consume and when. Complex carbs over lunch have completely changed the game for me and allow me to remain sane! I also put a lot of effort into making lunch. I want to ensure it caters to my tastebuds so I don't feel the need to cheat throughout the day. Usually this includes:
Option 1: Whole grain pasta with meat sauce and a lot of veggies (pictured)
Option 2: Lean protein (fish/turkey/chicken) with sweet potato and corn
Option 3: Whole grain wrap with meat and veggies stuffed inside
Option 4: A fun meal! Home made quesadillas or pizza
... and by now, I've usually consumed about 1-1.5 litres of water per day.
SNACK/MEAL 3 (usually consumed around 4pm)
So, this is the mid-day pick me up. It's also the meal I typically have before my workouts (I tend to workout in the early evening). It's usually something I can eat on the go as I'm super busy during the days. This meal usually contains the highest amount of sugar (my bootleg pre-workout LOL). Also, here is where I try to get fruit/veggies in. It usually it looks like:
Option 1: Protein bar (view my favourites here) with an apple or pear (or another fibre rich fruit), and a handful of raw veggies
Option 2: Protein Smoothie - usually stacked with protein, fruits, water, veggies, and a bit honey (pictured)
Option 3: Veggie Juice with a fruit and a protein shake.
... also wherever feasible, I will throw some chia/ground flaxseeds in the mix!
DINNER/MEAL 4 (usually consumed around 8pm)
This is usually my post workout meal and almost always stacked with veggies and protein. Protein to aid in muscle recovery, and veggies because it is a low calorie alternative that fills you up (to avoid late night cravings). I also find a lighter dinner helps me to sleep better at night. So this is where I throw a crap load of veggies on my plate, and top it with a protein! Usually, this meal is pretty standard and includes:
Option 1: Superfood salad with teriyaki salmon
Option 2: Chicken stir-fry with just veggies
Option 3: Turkey/chicken/fish with grilled veggies (pictured)
Option 4: A egg/egg white omelette with veggies and grilled veggies on the side (this is for when I don't have the patience to cook anything LOL)
... and by now, I've likely had my full 2.5-3 Litres of water!
I think the key to building a successful diet is to not take things so seriously! Trust me, over the 10 years I've been on this journey, I've tried everything. Low-carb, low-fat, macro-counting, flex-dieting, intermittent fasting... I've done it all. And what works best? Just a good ol' wholesome diet stacked with: veggies/complex carbs, high fibre... and low in refined sugar. It's really not rocket science. I think society has done a superb job at overcomplicating things so I challenge you - try to simplify and get back to the basics. Find things that cater to your palate and go with it!