One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a health coach and personal trainer is “What do you eat on a daily basis?” While my eating plan varies from day to day, the foundation for my meals is simple: vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats.
Over the years I’ve become a very intuitive eater. I’ve learned how to listen to my body when it’s telling me which foods it thrives on and which foods make it feel sluggish. I’ve also learned how to be more mindful of whether or not my emotions are driving my hunger or if I’m actually hungry.
Most mornings I don’t eat until about 11:00am. My morning fasts aren’t intentional. Most of the time I’m just not hungry in the morning. I’m a firm believer in eating WHEN: When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Also, if I workout in the morning I don’t like to have any food in my stomach because I’ve found I get cramps during my workout with food in my belly. I will, however, have a cup or two of black coffee and water in the morning before a workout. If I do eat breakfast, I will have eggs by themselves or with vegetables depending on my hunger level. Occasionally I’ll have left over protein and vegetables from the night before. If I’m not that hungry, or I’m too busy to cook, I’ll make a smoothie in the blender with a banana, nut butter, chocolate or vanilla protein powder or both, raw cacao powder, maca powder, and nut milk. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder to my coffee as well.
For lunch I typically eat a big salad with lettuce (spring mix and butter lettuce are my favorites), olives, pickles, tomatoes, onions, radishes, and a healthy protein such as leftover chicken or meatloaf, sardines, or hard boiled eggs. I like to rotate my proteins each day so I have more of a variety for my salads. My go to salad dressing these days is avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar.
I try not to snack during the day because if I’m eating enough at my main meals I shouldn’t be hungry. If I’m tempted to snack, it’s usually driven by my emotions which means I’m not actually hungry. If I do snack when I’m actually hungry, I’ll have carrots dipped in nut butter with or without a little honey. Or I’ll have a handful of raw nuts or a few pieces of dark chocolate.
For dinner, I make a healthy protein such as meatloaf, baked salmon, taco meat, bison or beef patties, and vegetables. This is really easy to stick to since I plan our meals for dinner for the entire week. Meal planning makes it easier for us to just start cooking when we’re done with work rather than having to make one more decision at the end of a long day. It’s also really helpful when we have somewhere we need to be at night during the week or we’re working late. If we’re working late, I’ll make a one pot meal such as chili with broccoli or kale in the slow cooker. By the time we’re ready to eat, it just needs to be served in bowls. This makes dinner on busy days super easy.
The only sweets we have available in our house is dark chocolate, fruit, and healthy homemade ice cream. During the fall, I will occasionally bake gluten-free pumpkin bread or brownies with minimal sweeteners.
The two key components to my successful health eating plan are:
These two simple things make it super easy to maintain a healthy eating plan!
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Melissa King is a qualified Health Coach and ACE certified personal trainer for Bluebird Weight Loss. She is passionate about health and wellness and helping others.