Many of you commented on my last post about how you eat more fruits and/or veggies than the recommendation. Some of you also asked me if that was ok to do, and my answer is YES! The only thing I will say is that if you eat more than 3 servings (cups) of fruit you need to consider the sugars, especially if you are diabetic. It’s definitely true that the sugar in fruit is a much better form of sugar than that added to foods (“added sugars”) but it will still affect your blood sugars and I wouldn’t go much over 3-4 servings of fruit per day. The same is true with starchy vegetables. Since the starchy veggies (corn, beans, peas, potatoes, etc.) have more carbohydrates, you should watch your intake, but still remember they are much better sources of starches than let’s say…white bread or white rice. Remember, there are no “bad foods” only “bad food patterns”. Look at your diet as a whole, and don’t judge it on one specific food or type of food. If you haven’t read the new dietary guidelines yet, I really encourage you to check them out. It will take about an hour to get through the entire document, but it’s really easy to understand and filled with some fabulous information that will help you for years to come!
This brings me to the topic of today’s post. In the (almost) two years I’ve had this blog, I have posted a day of my eats only one time. I think it’s great that some people like to take photos of everything they eat, but it’s just not for me. However, I do find it to be fun, every….once…in a while, and even then I don’t take a picture of everything that goes in my mouth. I like to use these “day of eats” posts as an opportunity to teach! I do actually practice what I preach, so these posts are meant to help explain how I decide what to eat every day, and how I make sure to get all of my nutrients in each day. I also thought this would be a great follow-up on my previous post about volumetrics and nutrient density.
So I’ll start from the beginning of my day, when I wake up around 6:30am. I typically workout in the morning, before work, so I eat a little granola (~60 calories worth) and about 3 cups of half decaffeinated coffee. I used to eat my entire breakfast before working out, until I realized my workouts were just as effective when I consumed only about 60 calories (and some caffeine!) to get me going.
After my 60 minute workout, I eat my favorite meal of the day, breakfast!
I’m addicted to oatmeal in the morning, because it’s the best way to get multiple servings of whole grains (16 grams of whole grains = one serving and one serving of oatmeal contains 2-3 servings of whole grains!). And of course I like to get some dairy and a fruit or vegetable, so I top my oats with pureed pumpkin (or cooked sweet potato!), 2% yogurt, and walnut butter for some essential fatty acids (and more protein). Breakfast typically my largest meal of the day (~350-400 calories).
I pack my lunch every single day, so I’m not tempted to eat at work. The food at work is amazing, but I don’t want to spend the money, and I rarely sit down to eat while I’m working, so I graze all day on what I have packed in my lunch.
Check it out! Can you tell what I pack?
1 cup yogurt
~1/4 cup granola (homemade)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
~1 ounce veggie chips
~1/4 cup carrots
I tend to eat the yogurt and granola first. The yogurt gives me another full serving of dairy for the day, and the granola adds to my oil and protein intake (it contains almonds, walnuts, and peanuts) and of course my whole grains.
I eat my clementines (2 clementines = 1 cup fruit), and tomatoes (1/2 cup tomatoes = 1/2 cup vegetable) around 1pm, and my vegetable chips and carrots (carrots + chips = ~ 1 cup vegetable) around 4pm. I always dip my carrots in almond butter!
I work at a place that gives out food to customers just about every day, all day, therefore I tend to take a couple samples throughout the day, adding to my food intake. I only do this if a) I’m hungry and all of my lunch food is gone, or b) they are sampling a food I want to try! Just yesterday they were sampling maple and brown sugar fried bacon. You better believe I tried that!! Heavenly.
When I get home I usually have a glass of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze (1 cup = 1 cup dairy/dairy alternative).
At around 7pm Nick and I sit down for dinner. I usually have 3-4 ounces of a protein, and then tons of vegetables. I will add cheese or yogurt to my meal if I think I need more dairy.
I eat a lot of egg whites because they are easy. Sometimes I mix one egg with my egg whites, other times I don’t. On this particular night, I didn’t.
Underneath all that green is about 3/4 cup of egg whites (~ 3 ounces protein), some canned tomatoes (~1/2 cup vegetable), 1 handful of raw organic spinach (~1/2 cup vegetable) and 1/2 cup spaghetti squash (1/2 cup vegetable). I added parmesan cheese and Frank’s Red Hot for flavor. Sometimes I add a dollop of plain 2% Greek yogurt.
This is a large volume dinner with not too many calories and loads of nutrients (putting into practice the concept of volumetrics and nutrient density!).
I have a beer with dinner 2-3 nights a week
My nighttime eats typically include:
– 1/2 cup frozen berries blended with 1/2 cup almond milk
(1/2 cup fruit, 1/2 cup dairy/dairy alternative)
– 2 plain rice cakes + 2 T nutritional yeast + 1/2 T walnut butter
(1 whole grain, 1.5 ounce protein, ~ 2 tsp. oil)
1 piece of Lindt’s 85% dark chocolate
The following is my estimated intake (based on MyPyramid.gov) of servings for each food group:
Grains: 3-4 ounces whole grains
Vegetables: 3.5 cups
Fruits: 1.5 cups
Dairy/Dairy alternatives: 3 cups
Meat and Beans: 4 ounces
Oils: 6 tsp.
This is pretty close to what is recommended for my age, height, weight, and activity level. I may be a little low in grains and protein, but on average I think I get plenty! This was also a very rare day for me in the vegetable category. I usually get about four or five servings a day.
Question: Do you eat the same thing on most days or do you like to change what you eat daily? I typically eat the same breakfast and lunch, but switch up my dinner and snacks. I really don’t mind eating the same thing every day (for a while at least). I tend to change my “obsessions” with the seasons!