Ever wondered what a nutritionist actually eats in a day? THR1VE nutritionist Shannon Young shared her food diary with Whimn – and it’s actually quite doable!
I try to stick to a well-balanced diet with a bit of an 80/20 approach. Eighty percent of the time I will stick to whole foods – lots of fruit and veg with lean meats, fish and eggs.
Throughout the week I’ll usually avoid gluten, refined sugar and dairy just out of habit and because I feel it benefits my energy levels. On the weekends, I am much more relaxed. While most of my choices are still whole-foods based, I love nothing more than a dinner with friends, some dessert, a glass of wine or a cheeky cocktail or two. My only real non-negotiable is a minimum of two litres of water per day – I add a squeeze of lemon to my water bottle.
Breakfast – 8am
I train first thing in the morning, so breakfast is usually my biggest meal of the day. On this day, I had an egg, avocado, sauerkraut, greens, goats cheese feta and a piece of sprouted bread. I make sure my meal after training is balanced with some complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. If not, I find that I am hungry again in no time! Protein and carbohydrates are going to help repair and restore muscles, while the healthy fats are going to help keep me satisfied till lunch time. If I am on the run though, a green smoothie is my go-to. I usually have spinach, avocado, banana, THR1VE vanilla hemp protein, chia seeds and water. I usually alternate between these throughout the week, so I don’t get bored.
Morning coffee – 10am
Mid-morning, I usually have a long black. More for the taste and the ritual more than anything, but it does give me the extra energy to smash my biggest tasks for the day, so I try to schedule these in during this time. I am very sensitive to caffeine, so I’ll sip on this slowly and that will keep me going for the rest of the day. If I find I am becoming too dependent on my caffeine hit, I’ll cut it out for a few days and reset.
Lunch – 1pm
My lunch is always a big salad with protein. Salmon is my absolute favourite protein to add and I would eat it every day without getting bored. However, I know it’s best to mix it up, so I switch between salmon, tofu and chicken. This particular day, I added pan-fried tofu. I also had a double serve of mixed salad, the remainder of my avocado from the morning and cucumber, plus a tamari and ginger dressing with chilli. On other days, I’ll just add whatever I can find in the fridge, which is often capsicum, chickpeas, pumpkin or sweet potato. If I don’t have a tamari and ginger dressing, I’ll have a tahini dressing instead. For both lunch and dinner, I make sure the hero on my plate is the vegetables for a big hit of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also makes the plate much more colourful and appealing.
Afternoon snack – 3pm
I love an afternoon snack and tend to rotate the same few throughout the week. On this day, I had two protein balls to help tide me over till dinner time. I also like veggie sticks with hummus, nuts, a protein shake or boiled eggs. Warning though, if you work in a small office space, maybe save the eggs for a home snack! These all give me a good source of protein and will give me way more energy than a quick sugar hit.
Dinner – 7pm
Dinner is where things start to come undone if I’m not prepared. Without some organisation, I get lazy and won’t make the best decisions – just like anyone else! I work at THR1VE, so I always have a few of their ready meals in the fridge. On this day, I had the Mexican Chilli with Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice – it’s my favourite. I added some sliced jalapenos and a good squeeze of lime. I like adding a few things to the dish to make it my own. I try to keep this dish light because I sleep better when my stomach isn’t full and my body isn’t digesting a large meal. I also keep the carbs to a minimum because I know my body doesn’t need the extra energy while I sleep.
If I am feeling like something sweet after dinner I’ll make a cup of herbal tea, have some berries and some dark chocolate. Unfortunately, if the chocolate is there throughout the week I will eat it all, so I do try to keep this out of the pantry until Thursday or Friday – or ask my husband to hide it (out of sight, out of mind, right?).
This article originally appeared on Whimn – you can find the original article here.