I get asked this question a lot by my clients, especially when I get them to do a seven day food diary for me to look at. My answer is never really that straight forward as it varies so much! I’m not one to meal prep for a whole week in advance and eat the same food day in day out because, personally, I just get bored. Having said that, I do still prepare my own food and take it into work, to avoid having to live off shop bought sandwiches and salads.
I love cooking, experimenting with flavours and listening to what my body craves. Although I don’t count macros and calories, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what a balanced diet looks like for me, and what foods make me feel good.
The thing to remember is there is no perfect diet. A few years ago, I remember reading celebrity food diaries in magazines and thinking “If I ate more like that maybe I will look like them”. It became a vicious cycle; I would change my diet, still not be satisfied and then seek other meal plans to follow. I didn’t trust my own judgement and felt like I was always doing something wrong.
Our bodies all function is such a unique way; what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. Below, I’ve written a list of the general meals I eat on a day to day basis. This can be used to give you ideas and inspiration, but is by no means a diet plan to copy exactly.
- Eggs: Generally in the form of an omelette with tomato and spinach, or if I have a bit of extra time on my hands I’ll poach them (using a dash of white wine vinegar to get them perfect!). I’ll tend to have this with avocado and toast.
- Porridge: I experiment adding different flavours and toppings to keep it interesting, for example banana, cinnamon and peanut butter, chocolate protein or my raspberry and coconut recipe.
- Toast with nut butter, cinnamon and banana: If you haven’t tried this yet…you’re missing out! Sometimes I make my own jam and add that too.
I tend to break these down so that I have a balance of all three macros in each meal, chopping and changing between:
- Protein: Tuna/ mackerel, chicken/ turkey, tofu or occasionally beef or venison burgers
- Carbohydrate: Brown rice/pasta, quinoa/ grains, beans/lentils, sweet potato, vegetables.
- Fat: Olive oil, avocado, eggs, goat’s cheese, tahini
I may alter the macro balance slightly depending on if/when I’m working out that day. For example, I eat the majority of my carbohydrates around my most active times.
If I’m eating with my family, however, usually we’ll have something more homely and comforting than the meals above. For example, spag bol (Ma makes the best), roast chicken and potatoes, risotto, stews or stir fry. If this is the case, leftovers are perfect to chuck in a Tupperware for lunch the next day!
- Protein shake: these are by no means essential to a healthy diet as you should be getting enough protein through your meals, but can be useful if you’re on the go and/or trying to build muscle. I don’t drink them everyday, usually just when I’ve done a weights session, or if I simply fancy something sweet! I use vegan protein as whey tends to give me dry skin.
- Carrots or rice cakes/crackers and hummus: Hummus is a great source of healthy fats and protein!
- Nakd bar/Trek bar: I like these two brands as they contain simple ingredients without any added sugars or syrups. Watch out for snack bars claiming to be all ‘natural’…I’d recommend checking what’s actually in them first!
- Natural or soy yoghurt: watch out for flavoured or ‘low fat’ yoghurt though, as they tend to have lots of added sugars.
- Fruit and nuts
- Dark chocolate
- Water: The importance of staying hydrated is so often overlooked, surprisingly! I’m still working on getting into the habit of drinking more, especially on the days I work out. Ideally, I’d drink 2-3 litres a day…but I’m not always particularly consistent with it!
- Coffee: either black or with Rude Health’s almond milk. I am not a human without my shot of caffeine in the morning.
- Tea: usually English breakfast, or Rooibos. Again with almond milk.
- Matcha/ turmeric lattes: If I feel like something a little fancier than tea, with an added health kick.
- Alcohol: I don’t drink huge quantities, but I do still like to have a glass of wine in the evenings, or to go on a night out from time to time. All about balance, right! My top tip for alcohol consumption would be to avoid sugary mixers, these tend to get you drunk a lot faster, spike your insulin levels and make you feel even more hungover the next day.
Of course, in between all this good stuff, I still have my indulgences (recently it’s been hot cross buns and Malteser bunnies mmm). I believe a good relationship with food is knowing how to eat well to fuel your body without becoming obsessive over it. Everything in moderation.
Follow my Instagram account to keep up to date with what I eat and how I workout!