Lots of ladies ask me how I eat, what I eat, when I eat. I consider my nutrition journey a work in process. I can’t say that I always make the best choices, but since I’ve been on this journey for many years, over time I make some pretty good choices over all.
As a rule, if I follow the 80-20 rule in terms of nutrition I can stay close to my fitness and fat loss goals. By this I mean that if 80% of the time I follow my plan and fall short 20% of the time, I’ll be fine. I must say that as I age, the ratio has changed from 80-20 to 90-10. I like to stay closer to my plan 90% of the time to feel and look my best.
Honestly, this turns out to be less of a sacrifice than you’d think. I don’t feel well when I deviate from clean eating. It’s sort of become self correcting in that when I eat poorly, I don’t feel well and so I don’t have an appetite for foods that will upset my stomach or make me feel lethargic.
In any case, I thought I’d share the actual foods that I eat and when I eat them as a guide for you, but first, here are my top ten nutrition rules I live by:
- I eat 5-6 times a day.
- I always eat protein with every meal to stabilize blood sugar
- I don’t eat any processed/refined foods (or as little as possible)
- I try to include a fruit or vegetable in every snack or meal.
- I never drink my calories and try to have a constant supply of water.
- I limit starchy carbs after noon and focus on veggies as my evening carbs.
- I limit cereals and grains to whole grains and try to eat them earlier in the day when insulin resistance is lower.
- I never starve myself and try to eat slowly so that I feel satiated before I overeat.
- I allow myself a treat every now and then, and I try to keep in mind that good food (or my cheat foods) are always available so there’s no need to stuff myself.
I’ll break down what a typical day in the life of my nutrition looks like…
Typically I get up at 4:25 am and get ready to rock out boot camp. I start with Squirrelly bread toast with natural peanut butter and 8 oz of skim milk (and my supplements). On this day I had no fresh fruit to top my toast, but I usually add some blueberries, banana, strawberries, grapes, apple, what ever is handy.
This is my fav meal of the day: steel cut oats, walnuts, berries (or whatever fruit I have) with a scoop of protein powder. I have this right after my second boot camp when I come home to get my kids off to school, walk and feed my dog before heading back to boot camp.
I start drinking water in earnest in my third boot camp of the day. I know I should start right away, but honestly, it doesn’t happen until later in the day. I try to finish my water bottle before I get my big treat….
Ok, so it’s not a huge treat, but I love coffee. Sometimes I make it and bring it to boot camp so I can start it right after camp. I limit my coffee intake to one big cup a day before my workout. Honestly, I don’t know if I really love the coffee, or I associate it with the endorphins I get after I train.
If I have any important calls to make, they happen after boot camp and then I usually work at my laptop for a little bit with my coffee before I hit the gym for my own workout.
Did I say that breakfast was my fav meal of the day? Maybe it’s this one…I love Greek yogurt, fruit, and walnuts. I often will use berries of any sort, but what ever fresh fruit is available gets tossed in. To add some crunch along with a few walnuts, I’ll add a couple teaspoons of All Bran cereal. I sometimes will add about a table spoon of vanilla protein powder to add a bit of sweetness. The Greek yogurt is packed with protein so to me, this is enough with out the need to add protein powder, except for the little sweetness it adds.
Usually about this time I need a snack and this is one of my favorites. Sometimes I swap out the Greek yogurt at lunch and add edamame then or vice versa. Edamame is a great snack and satiates me. I also add a mini shake of my greens and physillium to help fill me up if I’m still hungry. Physillium is my 4 pm Secret (CLICK HERE to check out more on that…)
For the last six months or so, I’ve pretty much given up meat except for fish. Here’s a common dinner choice for me: marinated salmon, brussel sprouts and a small baked potato. Notice that I limit my starchy carbs in the evening. I try to load up on veggies, whatever they are: a salad, raw, cooked. I try to add variety and shake it up all the time so that I don’t get board.
I recently was on a business trip and this was a common lunch or dinner selection. I love to get salads in restaurants. I never get sick of them. They give me ideas for new salad ideas at home. And because I’m pretty much just eating fish now, I’ll ask for a piece of fish for my protein source instead of the chicken that’s commonly added. As well, dressing goes on the side.
One of my all time treats is baked kale. I love it now as my son and I fight over kale and I just can’t seem to ever make enough of it.
What about an evening snack?
Typically, I go to bed at around 9 pm, so if I’ve eaten by 7 or 7:30 pm, I often don’t feel the need to eat again before bed. One thing I do for sure is to drink as much water as I can to ensure that I”m hydrated. If I do need a snack, I may have a slice of low fat mozzarella cheese and a pickle, or some berries or other low gylcemic carb fruit. Often I’ll have some pistachios or other nuts if I’m really craving something.
I’m not much for late night snacking and one line of defense is just going to bed! I’m usually more tired at this point than I am hungry anyway.
There you have it: a typical day for me nutritionally. I am a very functional eater and I do enjoy treats on occasion. On most days I’ll have a handful of dark chocolate covered acai berries, or a small piece of 70% cocoa dark chocolate. After all, what’s life without a bit of chocolate. As well, I’m a big nut lover, so I’ll have a handful of assorted salted nuts. I know that raw nuts are better, but a girl has to have a few vices.
And oh by the way, if you want to check out how healthy your eating is, do a free week of my online nutrition software. CLICK HERE to give it a go and see how your daily nutrition stacks up.