Ever wondered what a Naturopath and Nutritionist eats in a day?
Am I vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo? Keto? Strictly Mediterranean? Or any other diet out there….? Nope! I’m all of them! There are elements of each in my overall diet and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t need to be complicated.
I eat what suits me, my body, my lifestyle, my level of activity and I eat what I enjoy! Let me show you how you can be healthy by simply eating real food….. and letting go of the guilt, the rules, and all the other misinformation out there!
My day on a plate varies greatly based on where I am, work schedules, the season, who I am with and a million other factors I won’t bore you with, but these are the basics…
Now, first things first – do I drink coffee? Yes! But, I opt for certified organic beans, freshly ground and made into bulletproof style with a good quality fat source, think coconut oil, or cacao butter. The reason for this is that it slows the release of caffeine, putting less pressure on the adrenals and is a lot gentler on the gut as caffeine can be a little abrasive. Its also a great opportunity to incorporate other ingredients like medicinal mushrooms for immune and adrenal support, cinnamon to balance blood sugar levels for the day and cacao for its fabulous antioxidant properties. Avoid adding sugar and you’re good to go!
My first meal of the day is usually around 10 or 11 and depending greatly on the season – summer calls for smoothies and winter calls for porridge, and eggs – they’re an all-rounder!
Porridge for me is a GF option, brown rice flakes, amaranth, quinoa, nuts and seeds cooked up nicely in coconut or almond milk. These are more alkaline, anti-inflammatory options with a higher mineral content. Top it off with something extra for added flavour and nutrition like hemp seeds, flax seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, tahini, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon or honey.
When I feel like a savoury breakfast, eggs and some kind of vegetable component is perfect. Think spinach and goats cheese omelette topped with grilled asparagus and sauerkraut or fried eggs with a side of avocado, fersauerkraut, pesto and cherry tomatoes with a slice of rye toast. Some kind of vegetable element is always included – today is was asparagus, tomorrow it might be mushrooms or cherry tomatoes – whatever is seasonal and fresh. The best piece of advice I can give you on how to find out what is actually in season…. Farmers markets! Talk to the people who grow the stuff – if they’re the growers they won’t be selling you anything that isn’t in season!
Lunch is some kind of protein and salad or vegetable, quinoa and roast veg salad, Thai chicken and fresh coleslaw salad, vegan nourish bowl with loads of vegetables and nuts and tahini dressing, felafel wraps or soup are all regulars. Think 5 minutes worth of slicing cucumber, carrot, capsicum, onion and cabbage, dress with coconut aminos and top with thai chicken, or tofu and sesame seeds. Done! Lunch for me needs to be light and nourishing to get me through the afternoon.
Dinner staples for me are salmon and greens, curry or Asian noodle bowls, frittata and salad. I like to make boring food interesting again – and this is surprisingly easy to do. A good salad dressing will take any combo of raw chopped veg to the next level. My favourite combo is, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, tahini, wholegrain mustard and fresh herbs. A beautiful homemade pesto tossed through steamed greens does the same – my pesto takes around 5 minutes to make by simply blitzing, basil, parmesan, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pumpkin seeds, and is full of minerals!
So do I eat vegan or vegetarian meals, yep! A beautiful slow cooked dahl is a weeknight staple for us. Do I also eat high quality meat and seafood, yes – I’m just selective about where it is from, how it was raised and then prepared and finally, do not over consume it.
Do I follow Mediterranean principles, absolutely! Olive oil, plants, seafood, nuts, and not to mention the lifestyle aspect of sun light exposure, friendship and slowing down are all a big part of my life and my diet.
Paleo and keto definitely feature in the occasional grain free and consistent healthy fat emphasis I incorporate, but if I eat a small serving of brown rice will I undo years of hard work on my health… I don’t think so.
I realise some of these things have a fair few ingredients, but if your pantry is stocked right, it’s easy! Keep well stocked with a variety of nuts, seeds, grains, oils and vary your fruit, vegetable and proteins each week. Variety is key to not only good nutrition but also keeping things interesting and tasty!
So, let’s be a bit realistic and practical with our food preparation, not over complicating things but giving time and energy into what fuels us. Most of all, why don’t we find what suits us all as individuals, rather than following a trend, and above all else, just be a little kinder to ourselves?