Food Diaries: This is What a Nutritionist, a Naturopath, and an Athlete Eat in a Day
Ever wonder what health professionals eat in a day? We did, so we convinced a Nutritionist, a Naturopath, and a Former Pro Athlete to write a food diary and let us publish it—can’t hurt to adopt bits and pieces from each, right? After all, they’re the experts! Read on to find out what they eat in a day (supplements not included – we’ll save that for another day!).
Mandy King | Holistic Nutritionist
Hey everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and the Founder of HEAL – Healthy Eating And Living. As a Holistic Nutritionist, people are always very curious what I eat in a day. Since getting into the world of health seven or so years ago, what I eat on the regular has evolved. There’s no exact label for the way I eat, but I’d call it part paleo-part vegan. I eat animal proteins, but plant-based foods are my focus. Here’s a snapshot of what I’m eating in a day these days.
First of all, I should say that I almost always prep a lot of food on a Sunday so that there’s food in the fridge for the week. It just helps when things get busy, plus I feel so much better eating home cooked food most of the time.
There will always be some roasted vegetables as part of the meal prep.
I also love roasting a chicken with vegetables because you can get a few meals out of it, use the chicken in salads afterwards, and then use the carcass to make a bone broth. You can grab the recipe for this roasted chicken here.
Breakfast is typically a smoothie, though in the winter months I often have leftover dinner foods as they are warmer. With spring slowly approaching, I’m back into smoothies though. My fave smoothie is:
- 1/2 cup berries or 1/2 frozen banana
- 1.25 cups water
- 1 scoop plant-based protein
- 1 tbsp flaxseed
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 handful spinach
- Pinch of cinnamon and hemp hearts on top
I was working from home on the day I wrote this so had the benefit of getting to make a fresh lunch! I made zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) in tomato basil sauce.
My afternoon snack is almost always either some sort of paleo muffin or energy ball. These low sugar energy bites are super satisfying and will keep your energy up all afternoon long!
Thankfully, due to meal prep, dinner is usually a thrown together mishmash of whatever exists in the fridge. There’s almost always a protein, tons of veggies and yams or beets for the complex carbohydrate. This dinner was baked salmon, roasted yams and an asparagus and arugula salad.
I try to have an herbal tea after dinner if I’m craving sugar, but every now and again this freezer fudge is my dessert. It’s low sugar and just a small amount will satisfy that sugar craving!
Dr. Laura Belus | Naturopathic Doctor
8am – Lemon Water
Doing this first thing upon waking is one of the best ways to kickstart your digestive system and improve liver and gallbladder function for improved detox. The pinch of salt can be helpful for the adrenal glands to help keep energy up while balancing blood pressure & blood sugar.
8:15am – Breakfast
Lately, I have been back to my morning smoothies. The reason is two-fold: First, liquids are very easy to digest in the morning so this is a great way to ease into your day. Second, I get enough protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates all in one glass–talk about easy & yummy!
8:45am – Coffee
I almost never drink black coffee without my add-ins anymore! The addition of healthy fats from coconut slow the caffeine absorption into the body (which is better for your hormonal system!). The marine collagen is great for hair, skin & nails and doesn’t change the taste of my java when mixed in!
10:30am – Tea
1 cup organic green tea.
I love tea varieties with jasmine, citrus or ginger for a flavourful brain boost. And thanks to the l-theanine in green tea, I can stay focused until lunch without the jitters of a second coffee.
1:30pm – Lunch
2 eggs with turmeric & black pepper, avocado, a handful of Mary’s Gluten Free Seed Crackers & loose leaf greens.
If I start clinic later in the afternoon or if I’m working from home, I really enjoy a more substantial ‘breakfast’ at lunch time. This combo of higher fat and high protein without refined carbohydrates keep me full and productive throughout the afternoon. I love to use this opportunity to pile on spices like black pepper and turmeric as well as detoxers like parsley pesto, fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to maximize the health punch of this meal.
Afternoon – Snack
1-2 cups of herbal tea plus 1-2 glasses of pure water 2-3 squares of dark chocolate.
Truth be told, chocolate is probably my favourite food. Over the years, I have adjusted my taste buds to enjoy quality, dark and unrefined chocolate. It’s packed with magnesium and antioxidants and can help quench any sweet cravings that may pop up mid-afternoon.
6:30pm – Dinner
Baked salmon fillet, roasted sweet potato & broccoli.
I use dinnertime to ‘round out my day’ nutritionally. If I’ve eaten meat at lunch, I’ll opt for vegetarian rice bowl with lentils, but at least 1x per week I’ll enjoy a small portion of wild salmon and roasted veggies. The high omega 3 content of the fatty fish is great for lowering inflammation and maintaining brain health. While sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable, they are packed with beta-carotene and fiber for a filling dinner and glowing complexion.
9pm – Tea & Snack
Lavender tea and a homemade sweet treat.
I know, I know, eating super late is never ideal. However, since I tend to start and end my day later than most people, a small high fiber treat with my nighttime tea ritual is a perfect way for me to the end the day. I bake with nut flours and sweeten with dates, banana or stevia for a no-guilt ‘dessert’ that doesn’t disappoint. Pairing it with lavender is calming on the nervous system and prepares my body for sleep.
11:30pm – Lights out!
Julia Hamer | Former Pro Athlete
As a former Team Canada athlete for beach volleyball, I’ve lived on the extreme end of the high-performance spectrum, from counting my macros to timing and measuring my food. But now, as a neuroscientist, a life partner, a university teacher, and a fitness leader, I’m juggling a lot of time-consuming responsibilities (as we all are!) and have found a way to simplify my food prep while maintaining the highest quality nutrient intake (or at least I think so!). My food intake is based on three guiding principles:
- Planning ahead and cooking enough food for a small army (you can always freeze leftovers!)
- Ensuring that all nutrients come from natural, whole food sources
- If #2 is not possible, supplementing from quality sources is a must
6:30am – Breakfast
I rotate between the following options:
Morning Smoothie – My key ingredients are (1) organic frozen fruit, (2) liquids – a combination of almond milk or coconut milk, water, and/or no-sugar added fruit juice or puree, (3) quality grass-fed protein powder, (4) greens – either spinach or a powdered form of greens and (5) health boosters – maca root powder, ashwagandha powder, chia seeds and/or flax seeds.
Mango Madness Smoothie
- ½ banana
- 1/3 cup mango
- 1/3 cup mango or pineapple juice
- 1 cup water or almond milk
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 5 tsp maca root powder
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Greens+ Tangerine
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+ Powder Vanilla
PB-Jelly Sandwich Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 5 tbsp PB&Me Natural Powered Peanut Butter
- ½ cup frozen organic raspberries
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp ashwagandha powder
- 1 tsp Vega Maca Powder Chocolate
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Natural Chocolate
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Greens+ Cappuccino
I always mix up the fruit combinations – sometimes cherry-mango, other times banana-raspberry, sometimes I add basil with watermelon, other times cinnamon and dates… You get the picture! My mornings are for being creative with the blender!
Avocado toast – Always on rye bread and with a poached egg (runny yolk is so nutrient dense and incredible for you!) and kimchi (fermented foods are awesome, and it adds in some nice spice!)
Greek yogurt – 5% vanilla bean (my favourite! I never ever eat 0% fat) with Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin FlaxPlus Granola and a banana or wild blueberries (great brain food!)
10am – Morning Snack
If I do a workout in the morning, this snack comes pretty quickly after I sweat because I’m hungry! I usually have an earl grey or English breakfast tea with almond milk and honey with one of the following:
Protein bar: I ONLY eat Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter because they’re so amazing and addicting and, well, I love chocolate and peanut butter (who doesn’t?!).
Nutrient bar: Some of my favs include Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bars (blueberry is my favourite), MadeGood Apple Cinnamon Organic Granola Bars, and Nomz energy bites.
Fresh fruit: Sliced apple with aged cheddar, a cup of grapes, or a banana with peanut butter
12:30pm – Lunch
Leftovers, always! *See dinner
3:30pm – Afternoon Snack
I snack A LOT throughout the day. I love munching as I’m getting work done – keeps me going! I usually have one of the following snacks with a green tea:
- Central Roast Indulgence Yogurt Raisins
- Prana Sumsuma Sesame Squares
- Central Roast Raw Cashews
- Fresh fruit – mandarin oranges, another apple, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis
- ½ avocado with soy sauce
- Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter (especially if I’m headed to the gym in the evening)
6:30pm – Dinner
I cook just about everything, but the main things I focus on for a meal are:
A quality meat source – either organic chicken breast, organic boneless chicken thighs, flank steak (less often), pork tenderloin, salmon, wild Alaskan sole, or shrimp. Mostly, I eat chicken, salmon or sole fish. I love marinating my meats the night before I cook them so they’re extra flavourful. I don’t have a BBQ so everything is cooked in the oven.
Delicious veggies – either a raw kale Caesar salad, a spinach-strawberry-pickled beet-feta cheese balsamic salad, or arugula goat cheese sweet potato-golden raisin- chickpea salad, all with homemade dressings. Or if I want my veggies hot, I do a veggie bake on the skillet – usually beets, cauliflower, broccoli or brussels sprouts with Himalayan sea salt and ghee (check out Lee’s Ghee).
That’s it! In summary, I love to eat! I focus on making healthy big dinners that I can take to work for lunch the next day (huge time-saver), and having the right supplements for a quick smoothie or healthy on-the-go snacks readily accessible.