Today, I’m here to share the answer to the number one question I get asked by clients during our sessions. “What do you eat?” I also get asked a lot how many calories I consume, if I count carbs throughout the day, do I ever have “cheat days” and I if I have any guilty pleasures. I’m always more than happy to share with clients what works for me and I’ve been creating food plans for them for over twenty years. Last week I decided to pick three random days and record literally everything I ate and drank for those three days—to share with them and now with you!
First things first, I practice what I preach. My diet is primarily made up of lean, fresh protein, wholesome fruit and vegetables, very little sodium, and homemade cooking. Living in NYC we do have some of the most delicious foods at our fingertips but eating out can really pack on the pounds and the bloat (so much unnecessary fat and salt is added to meals when dining out). I have learned to adapt those favorite NYC dishes at home for my family over the years and they now enjoy them just as much if not more than dining out.
Do I count calories? No. At this point in my life and career knowing how many calories I consume through food each day is second nature.
Do I count carbs throughout the day? I think you will notice that my diet is very low in carbohydrates. That’s just what works for me. I do sometimes miss the crunch of crackers, the consistency of bread on a sandwich but I have found a miracle product that helps me with that craving. More on that later!
Do I have cheat days or guilty pleasures? Yes! I’m human. I wouldn’t say that I have “cheat days” but I do allow myself to enjoy a few guilty pleasures now and then without feeling totally awful and completely falling off the band wagon. If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my guilty pleasure is salt. It’s also my worst enemy. If there was one snack that I could consume without any repercussions, it would be potato chips. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE crunchy, salty chips. The good news is that I’ve found a bag of potato chips at Whole Foods that are much healthier than your traditional Lays and Ruffles. If I’m really craving chips, I allow myself a small portion of these throughout the week and I don’t feel awful about it. These Good Health Olive Oil and Sea Salt chips satisfy that salty, crunching craving for me with 30% less fat than regular potato chips and only 45 mg of salt per serving.
One tip that I like to share with clients about giving in to their cravings is to be purposeful about them. Cravings stem from the brain and are triggered by thoughts, smells, advertisements, etc. If I’m going to give into a craving, I carve out a small portion and I sit down and really enjoy what I’m eating, I savor every bite. I don’t scarf something down while doing a hundred other things. I’m mindful of what I’m doing and I think that really helps satisfy the craving while also keeping it at bay for a while.
Before I jump into the details of exactly what I ate for three days, I will say that looking back I noticed I didn’t consume many beans on the recorded days. I tend to incorporate a lot of beans into our meals but this week just happened to be a bit on the low side. Also, every single day I drink 4 cups of green tea, 6-8 cups of water with lime, a strong black English breakfast tea with a splash of milk during the day, and I start each morning with an unfiltered coffee (I filter my coffee a few times a week now as unfiltered coffee seems to raise my cholesterol), with a splash of skim milk.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup 1 % NO salt cottage cheese and 2 Tablespoons no salt Trader Joe’s salsa smeared on two GG crackers. The GG crackers are the lifesavers I was telling you about! They are a Scandinavian Bran Crispbread that satisfy that craving for crunch and bread while being healthy. I purchase them at whole foods but you can even buy them here on amazon! Each cracker has 4 grams of fiber and only 20 calories!!! 1 pear.
Snack: One small handful of roasted almonds (I roast them). Or small handful peanuts and raisins.
Lunch: I pretty much eat the same lunch most days of the week: a very large mixed salad – shredded kale, Brussels sprouts, romaine, steamed beets, my coleslaw, 2 turkey burgers (I make) on top of salad or roasted chicken (mine too), chopped walnuts or roasted pumpkin seeds (I roast), cucumbers, 1 tablespoon balsamic and Olive oil. I also put in frozen Edamame and artichoke hearts – from Trader Joe’s.
Dinner: Every night I roasted a mixture of fresh veggies in the oven as a side. I start dinner every night with a small cup of vegetable soup that I’ve made. I’ve shared this tip with you before but starting your meal with a cup of soup is a great way to fill up a bit before sitting down starving at dinner.
Main Course: Chicken Tagine with chick peas
Dessert: Fruit and small piece dark chocolate (remember what I told you last week about dark chocolate???).
Breakfast: 2 soft boiled eggs. 2 GG crackers. 1 farm Apple or Grapefruit.
Snack: 2 GG Crackers, 1-2 tablespoons low salt baba ganoush with 1 tablespoon no salt salsa. OR 2 GG crackers with 1 oz full fat Brie cheese and 1 Apple or Blood orange.
Lunch: The above mentioned salad with roasted chicken
Dinner: My veggie soup, broiled salmon with lemon
Dessert: A large bit of my son Ellis’ cupcake! 🙂
Breakfast: 2 GG crackers with 1/2 cup 1 % NO salt cottage cheese. 2 tablespoons no salt Trader Joe’s salsa. 1 pear.
Snack: Left over chicken (mine) dipped in no salt ketchup and horseradish sauce or 1 Nu Go Fiber d’lish bar.
Lunch: Salad with turkey burger on top.
Dinner: Homemade Orange Chicken
Nighttime Snack: Popcorn is one of my favorite treats. I make it with one tablespoon of olive oil to make it healthier. Popcorn is very high in fiber and is a complex carbohydrate. I like to dip my popcorn in a little hummus or baba ganoush or add a little nutritional yeast to the popcorn for an added salty, cheesy flavor.
There you have it….three days of meals for me by me. Keep it simple, keep it fast, keep it delicious! Make big healthy portions of things like roasted chicken to last you lunches and dinner throughout the week. Planning and prepping in advance really makes a difference! I hope you enjoyed this and I hope it sparked a few ideas for you. If nothing else, try the chips and the GG crackers! You won’t be disappointed! Xx Janine