I’ve dedicated a lot of time to talking about fitness on this blog, but so far haven’t really touched on nutrition. The reality is, overall health and wellness requires revamping both your physical fitness and your diet. Even if you’re working out for two hours every day, if you continue to eat poorly, you won’t see the results you want.
I don’t follow any crazy strict diet. I like carbs. I like to indulge in a glass of wine when I’ve had a crazy day at the office. I think red meat is fantastic, and I can’t imagine a world without the rare ice cream treat. The key, for me, has been finding balance.
I strive for an 85/15 balance. If I eat clean 85% of the time, then I still have 15% of my diet for treats. This doesn’t mean demolishing a plate of nachos at the bar during a Sunday football game — but it does mean I can have that glass of wine with dinner or treat myself to an ice cream cone after an afternoon of kayaking.
I’ll talk more about clean eating in a later post – there’s a lot of information out there and it can definitely be taken to extremes. I’ll clarify the approach that I take, which has worked for me thus far.
Today, I wanted to share a typical day of meals. I work at a desk job from 9-5, so I’m fairly sedentary during the day. I do my T25 workout in the morning before I leave for the office, and I usually take a class or two after work as well. I usually aim for 1400-1700 calories/day.
I track my meals using My Fitness Pal. My diary is visible to friends on the site, so if you’re interested in getting a broader sense of my nutrition, you can view it here. If you wish to add me as a friend on MFP, please click here. Full disclosure, I actually documented everything I ate yesterday, but “What I Ate Tuesday” doesn’t have the same ring to it!
8am – Breakfast – Chocolate Vegan Shakeology – 350 calories
I always have my Shakeology for breakfast. I will have a glass of water when I first wake up, before I do T25 for the morning, and then I make my shake before I leave for work and sip it during my commute and my morning email catch up. Today, I blended a banana, one cup of unsweetened coconut milk, and two scoops of PB2 to make a filling breakfast that came in at 350 calories. My recipes can vary but I always aim for 250-350 calories to make sure I’m starting my day with a filling meal.
11 am – Morning Snack – Iced green tea, green grapes, & hard boiled egg – 175 calories
Every morning, as soon as I get to work, I brew a glass of green tea and stick it in the fridge. By 11am, it’s ready to drink over ice; I add a splash of lemon juice for flavor. I’ve stopped drinking coffee since I added Shakeology into my daily meal routine, but I like the small caffeine boost I get from the green tea. There’s a lot of debate over the health benefits of green tea, but I like the taste and the caffeine, so it’s a nice addition to my morning. I like grapes because they’re easy to snack on while I work, and the hard boiled egg has enough protein to fill me up until my lunch break. This snack comes in at 175 calories, which is just about right for a snack.
12:30 pm – Lunch – Apple, 2 slices sprouted grain bread, natural peanut butter – 400 calories
Not the most exciting lunch in the world, but one that is filling and will carry me through my day. I love Food for Life Cinnamon Raisin 7 Sprouted Grains bread – you can find it in the freezer section of your local grocery store (I know that Whole Foods, Hannaford’s, and Stop & Shop all stock it in my area). I love buying frozen bread because it’s more economical; when I buy fresh bread I end up tossing more than half the loaf because it goes stale before I can use it up. I toast the bread and then top it with all natural peanut butter – I like to buy the freshly ground variety available in the Whole Foods bulk section. Lately I’ve been going with the honey roasted variety, but the unsalted peanut and the almond butter varieties are also both great options! Lastly, I’m in love with this apple variety, also from Whole Foods – Envy Apples. They taste AMAZING! I prefer to buy local apples when I can but it’s not quite apple season yet, so I’m indulging in these until fall gets here. The meal comes in at about 400 calories, which is great for lunch.
3pm – Afternoon Snack – Iced green tea or water and Krave beef jerky – 80 calories
Danielle, the amazing owner of Studio Poise, turned me on to Krave jerky. HOLY COW IS IT DELICIOUS. The company makes a variety of jerky flavors, and produces pork, beef, and turkey jerky varieties. I picked up the Five Peppercorn beef jerky when I was shopping at Whole Foods last night and I’m addicted. It is REALLY TEMPTING to just keep dipping into the bag, so the next time I buy this, I’ll portion it out at home into the appropriate sizes. One ounce of the jerky comes in at 80 calories and gives a nice protein boost to carry me through the end of the afternoon. The sodium content in this brand of jerky isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other brands on the market, but jerky is a salty food, so make sure to keep up with water intake alongside this snack.
7pm – Dinner – Skinny Huevos Rancheros – 500-550 calories
This is my FAVORITE go-to dinner after a workout! Confession time: when I was first starting out on my fitness journey, I would occasionally rationalize to myself that by going all-out in Zumba, I had earned the right to stop at Chipotle on my way home. I was sabotaging myself! I love Mexican food, and it is possible to make a meal at home that doesn’t destroy your diet, as long as you’re smart about your ingredients. This meal feels like a real indulgence, but it comes in at about 500 calories! I topped mine with two eggs tonight because I was hungry after taking two classes at the studio. I listen to my body — if I wasn’t as hungry, I’d probably only make one tortilla. This is also a great recipe to share with someone; just add a nice green salad to round out the meal.
What are some of your favorite healthy go-to meals? Where do you go to find healthy recipes? Let me know in the comments!