What I eat in day…
This is hands down my most frequently asked question & truthfully a question I completely understand.
Knowing what to eat, when to eat or even how much to eat can be hard & honestly, I’ve been there. It’s taken me years to learn what my body needs / likes and I fully understand that there are people who need a little guidance because there is so much information & it can get overwhelming.
Let me start by saying this: What I eat in a day will look different from what you eat for a number of reasons. Let me first start by telling you how I grew up eating because like anything, your habits, what you grew up with, what you know or don’t know shapes how you think & subsequently, how you eat or even think about food.
The truth is I grew up eating relatively healthy at home. My parents (both immigrants from Portugal) grew up eating food that their parents grew & chickens their parents raised. Neither of them grew up eating out and all of their meals were home-cooked. When they both moved to Canada, they were exposed to a world of food they had never known but they always stuck to the basics: proteins, veggies, carbs and the occasional treat. This is how I grew up & it’s important to share because my eating habits were shaped by my parents.
I didn’t have a lot of junk food but I did go through a phase in high-school (that was conveniently located minutes away from Yonge Street and 15 minutes from the Eaton Centre) where I ate a lot of processed food like Mc Donalds, Burger King, Manchu Wok, etc. Never really having had that much processed food before, I remember feeling it. In the moment, it tasted amazing & my 16yr old body could bounce back from anything but I always remember it making me feel gross an hour after eating it.
It wasn’t until college that I really started paying attention and listening to my body because it was now affecting me when it came to playing sports or being active. I felt bloated, I had stomach pains and it was affecting my daily life. I hated how I felt so I started listening to my body. Mc Donalds? No more. Fast food? No way. And when it was grab-n-go, I went for the basics and started to feel better.
So why tell you any of this?
First, because you asked lol and second, it’s important for you to know that learning what to eat, and how to eat for my body & its needs took yearss. It took trial and error. It took me eating processed foods, listening to my body & ultimately took going back to the basics. This is something I KNOW people ignore so I need to address this really quickly.
My friends, family… even my mom will eat food that upsets their stomach & for a reason beyond my comprehension, they continue eating it. I used to do this…when I was 16, 17, even into my mid-twenties but I stopped. It boggles my mind that people still live in pain and ignore when certain foods affect them. Knowing what to eat is so important and our body always tells us what it likes and what it doesn’t. It’s important that you listen.
Now here’s why what you and I will eat will be different.
10 years ago I was eating well but I was eating to feed a hungry stomach.
Today however, I understand that I am eating food as fuel for a body that is constantly moving, training, walking, running (see here). I understand the importance of protein and the role it plays & I understand that in order to feel my best, I need to eat whole, nutrient rich foods that fuel my body for the work it’s going to do.
Think of it like this: imagine your body is a luxury car. Pick your favourite. When it’s time to put gas in this car you’ll have to use the premium gas for it to perform the way it’s built to perform. Your body is the same, in that, it needs quality food for fuel. You fuel well, you feel good and you perform at your best. If you fuel poorly, you’ll feel awful and you’ll perform at less than 50%. You need to fuel according to what your day entails. Are you relaxing or are you training? Make sense?
This matters because
When you ask me what I eat, you need to ask yourself a few questions like: what are my goals? am I training or moving like she is? How do I want to feel? Do I like the same foods she does? (I mention this later below so keep reading). Do I have any allergies to the food she likes? How much do I need to eat based on what I’m doing daily? Can I make this food for myself & my family?
You need to consider if the foods I eat upset your stomach (because they might) and you need to consider how much to eat too because that’s another big one but that’s a whole other post.
Remember, food is our fuel so depending on what we’re doing, we will need to fuel differently.
Having said all that, I know that what some of you want is direction because it can be overwhelming. Having a few ideas is always better than not knowing where to begin. Considering all of the above, here is a general idea of what I have to eat in a day.
What I Eat In a Day
My breakfast for the last 5 months has been loaded oats. I have a pre-mix of whole rolled sprouted oats, chia seeds & hemp hearts and roughly measure 150 ml of that mix with 150-160ml unsweetened almond milk. More on my step-by-step here. I add peanut or almond butter, honey, wild frozen blueberries, cinnamon, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
In between breakfast and lunch I will usually have fruit, a bar and a handful of crackers. On the days I’m super hungry, I’ll make myself a toast w/ nut butter or a smoothie.
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I usually have some sort of bowl like the one pictured above. I love love lovee rice so I usually have 1/2 – 1 cup of jasmine rice with a protein & lots of veggies. In the summer I have salads 5-6x a week & these green beans are amazing! I pan sear them quickly in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil & sambal (a chilli garlic sauce). If you want to learn to make this, follow me here
Surprise surprise, another bowl. In this bowl I have: oven roasted shredded chicken, oven roasted peppers, spicy pan fried green beans & half an avocado on top of a bed of arugula dressed in extra virgin olive oil & white vinegar.
Making nutritious foods that is yummy and satisfying is honestly so easy. I usually roast chicken and a ton of veggies that can be made in a wrap, on a bed of rice (pictured above) or with salad. This is usually what I eat 80% of the time but I will also have pizza, or even pasta with a huge salad.
A few tips to start
When thinking about what you want to eat in a day here’s what I suggest.
First: pick a protein, a carb and a veggie that you like – foods that fuel you. I cannot stress enough that you cannot and will not be happy eating something you hate. Don’t eat what I eat or what Jessica on Instagram eats if it’s not what you like. It’s not sustainable and it’s an awful way to live (imo). Find what you like, experiment, have fun with food and listen to your body. It will tell you what it likes and what it doesn’t.
Second: meal prep. Even though I’m at home, I like to cook for 2-3 days & have food prepared. All the images above are courtesy of meal prepping. Meal prepping is something I live by (more on that here ) but it’s seriously the one thing that keeps me on track and it takes the guess work out of what I’m having.
Third: remember that food is your fuel and you need to fuel accordingly. Like I said above, if you fuel poorly, i.e. heavily processed foods, foods with zero nutritional value… I promise you, you will feel gross. If you fuel well, i.e. nutrient rich foods, good proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs (in moderation), you will feel amazing!
Have fun with your food. I really believe in the 80/20 mentality where I eat what my body needs 80% of the time (everything listed and pictured above) & then 20% of the time, I’ll have have ice cream, this amazing and healthy-ish chocolate zucchini brownie or whatever else I’m craving. Needs before wants, always in order to feel your best.
I hope this post gives you some clarity and at the least, maybe a place to start if you’ve felt lost or confused. As always, I am here to help so if you have any questions, please do email or message me on Instagram and I will do my best to get back to you!