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This Is How I Eat (Or: How To Eat Well And Stop Stressing About It!)

June 20th, 2012
"healthy diet plan"

(everybody knows I’ll never give it up!) – photo by Ambrozjo

You want to know something that might shock you just a little bit? In no particular order, here are some things I’ve delightfully gobbled up this week –

  • Fresh organic dates
  • Pretty much an entire jar of almond butter
  • Several glasses of good red wine
  • A rather larger-than-necessary piece of home-made gluten free chocolate cake at my brother’s 30th (AND I ate all of Enzo’s frosting as well)
  • Mmm, on the chocolate side of things I’d say about 3 Loving Earth Coconut Mylk hearts, a row of Cadbury’s hazelnut dairy milk (yes dairy milk!), a row of Old Gold peppermint chocolate, and approximately 4 small dark truffles of various kinds. Oh and about 20 chocolate bullets. LOVE.
  • A big bowl of raspberries. Several times over,
  • A piece of gluten free toast with grilled cheese (YUM)

I could be missing something, but that seems about right. And no, it’s not my birthday week.

real life eating – that works AND is fun

Okay, so if you’re new here you’re probably thinking ‘um, yeah, and her point is?‘. But if you’re not new, or if you’re totally convinced that looking and feeling stupendously hot is all about eating extra extra clean all the time, then you’re quite possible sitting there feeling completely stunned by my frivolous disregard for acceptable clean eating rules.

You wanna know something? Something that those who know me well already know?

The big secret about me and how I stay in shape is this –

I do my very very best to be kind to myself. Which means –

  • I choose foods that I feel excited about eating and which I also know will make me feel good afterwards. The afterwards is key.
  • Sometimes this means super-uber-clean, and other times it means I eat the damn chocolate. Clearly, as you’ve seen above :). I do avoid eating the whole block at once these days though.
  • I really try to listen to my body about what I need and will enjoy as well as benefit from physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.
  • So whilst I used to be completely caught up in eating the perfect high protein and fat diet with only super-structured treats, I don’t do that anymore.
  • Why not? It does work, that’s the thing. If you’re coming from a background of binge eating, or no-idea-about-healthy-food eating, or just plain old poor discipline and disorganisation, you can definitely afford to follow a bit of a plan. This helps you to become aware of what works for you, and it also beats cravings and silly patterns that just make you feel bad. BUT – once you ‘know’ how to eat well and you’re pretty much doing it, and unless you’re planning on doing a bikini competition in a bodybuilding show, I just don’t think that strict rules are the way to go.
    • They’re not fun
    • They make you not fun
    • You get stressed out when you can’t or don’t follow it (and this messes with your hormones and can stop you getting leaner!)
    • They set you up for a ho-dinger of a binge at some point or other unless you are in fact a robot
    • Every diet sucks. Yes, even your diet sucks. Diets, by definition, do suck.
    • Dieting implies an end date, not a lifestyle
    • And it takes no account for your changing needs. It creates fear and rigidity. I don’t know about you, but I want enjoyment and vitality to be the key words I associate with my food. And yumminess, of course.

how to eat like a human – a happy and healthy one

So, just so we’re clear I don’t exist entirely on nut butter, chocolate and wine :)

Here is a rundown of how I eat over a typical week, a mouth-watering (I think!) sample of my standard sort of meals and snacks. I’ve based it on this current week so it is completely real! And just so you know, the above list was not an example that was the actual yummy treat type stuff I have eaten since last Saturday. Now being Wednesday as I write this.

brekkie

"healthy breakfast"

(cooking up my ‘roo at 6am!)

My first meal is often around 6.30/7am, sometimes earlier. I get up by 6 pretty much 7 days a week, and either head into town where I go to a cafe and write on my 3 work days each week, or else I go to my study at home and write. On Sundays I don’t write (well, except journaling) but I do still get up early and either read, or go for a walk, or just sit and think. I love love love having the morning stillness to myself.

"breakfast ideas"

(Kangaroo and mixed nuts, with salt. A fave energising breaky of mine)

Some of the things I would typically eat for breaky:

  • Meat of some kind with a handful of nuts. A serving similar to what you see above, although I did end up going for another piece of roo after I took that picture
  • Fried eggs (in coconut oil, my preferred cooking oil) x 2, with about 1/3 block haloumi. Maybe some raw vegie sticks with this, or a little bit of leftover meat
  • If out, scrambled eggs with avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes (so into grilled tomatoes right now), bacon
  • Meat/chicken/fish etc with some avocado
  • If I’m rushing out the door and disorganised, I’d have a protein shake like my Woman Incredible organic whey protein. My current fave flavour is Choc-Cherry.
"healthy breakfast"

(haloumi, fried eggs, little bit of leftover red meat)

And always, always coffee. I drink about 3-4 coffees per day, mostly black. Sometimes with cream and cinnamon, sometimes a long macchiato if I’m out. A couple times each year I try and cut out the coffee for a few weeks. My body usually tells me when I need to do this!

"healthy food ideas"

(this is my 2 yr-olds breaky ‘snack pack’. Fried eggs, kangaroo, nuts, chopped vegies. We go for a coffee (babycino!) together before daycare days and she takes her snack pack with her to have at the cafe. And yes, I do usually let her have a marshmallow)

lunch

Lunch for me is pretty much always on the go. Even when I’m having a day with Alyssa, which is 4 days per week, we are always always out. She wakes up around 8.30 and I’ll make her breaky and sometimes eat my second breaky with her. See ‘snacks’ below for what that might be. We always head out by 9. Without exception. Gym/cafe/park/playdate/shops/walk/church/animal farm/zoo … those are the standards.

So we take lunch with us, same as I do when I go to work. Occasionally we might come back by 1230 and I’ll make it at home.

Either way, what we eat is pretty much the same –

  • Salmon and cucumbers
  • Panfried meat of some kind with steamed broccoli or other greens
  • Leftover dinner meat and salad or veg
  • A lot of homemade vegie soups at the moment, usually with chicken or something thrown in
  • Occasionally I’ll get more creative, like make my own turkey or ‘roo burgers and serve with salad and cheese
  • I generally add some kind of good fat like nuts, avocado, haloumi.
"healthy lunch ideas"

(a somewhat unattractive looking but tasty at-home lunch of purple carrot and broccoli soup, macadamias, and a chicken thigh)

dinner

We definitely go overboard on dinner preparation. If you dropped in around 7pm and brought your entire yoga class with you, nobody would go hungry. Here’s a typical spread:

"healthy dinner ideas"

(enough for 2 and a toddler … and everybody’s lunch the next day!)

I often use the leftover dinner vegies for Alyssa’s morning snack packs. And my own!

Some dinner-y things that we eat pretty often –

  • Grilled or pan-fried (in coconut oil usually) chicken or beef or lamb or turkey or rabbit or kangaroo or fish … you get the idea :)
  • Always we have salad. I usually add various veg. Sometimes I do it in lots of small bowls like above, mainly for Alyssa
  • We have a bit of cheese probably half the week, either hard organic cheddar or haloumi
  • Wine for me probably 3 nights a week. I’m not into big drinking nights these days
  • Sometimes bolognaise sauce, which I serve over kale or spinach or zucchini
  • Sometimes a smaller main with soup first
  • I might do fish fingers or schnitzels or parmagiana by making a crumbing of coconut and nut based stuff with herbs
  • Open burgers feature a lot – i.e. homemade burgers wrapped in huge lettuce leafs
  • Baked fish with olives, radicchio and veg
  • Roasts with veg
  • Homemade Mexican, which usually involves about 6 different dishes and days worth of leftovers. AND I do Nachos with it; blue corn GF ones :)
  • Some kind of Thai inspired stir-fry, with a coconut base. I’m no fat phobic, that’s for sure!

Pretty standard stuff :)

"healthy dinners'

(a typical dinner serve for me … except by typical I mean, part 1 as I always go for seconds:))

snacks

It’s really common for me to just eat smaller versions of any of the above as snacks. Mini-meals basically. As mentioned I often eat a ‘second breaky’ with Alyssa or even if I’m at work, it would be about 830 or 9 so it’s usually just more of breaky.

Other snacks I’ll go for include quality chocolate, sometimes a date or two with nut butter, occasionally an apple, or just a handful of nuts.

But the thing is that when I talk about snacks I consider them an addition to my meals and by meals I meant 4-5 meals a day not 3. So it’s not like the above stuff is all I’m eating between my main meals, it’s usually a follow on to a mini-meal. I think that’s the main reason eating this way works so well for me, I eat what I want but my ‘base’ is still a fair bit of good protein, greens and fats.

At night after dinner I’ll often have a bit of this type of follow on stuff as well.

how well does eating this way work?

I’m not looking to get ripped at the moment. I’m not sure if that will ever be a goal for me again. I love that I can fit into my skinny jeans and that I feel good both inside and out but that I can still basically eat whatever I want. And yeah, I get that whatever I want is still pretty healthy! That’s been a journey for me, it took me a good few years to truly say I love eating this way.

(shots from a recent photo shoot I did)

I have zero desire for eating anything gluten based or anything highly sugary in large amounts or anything baked/processed unless I baked it myself. So I’ve kinda got this good balance going on. And I’m really happy with the ease of it all :)

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still have my ‘bleugh’ days where I just feel gross and wonder if I should do a full on strict eating plan for a few weeks. And if I decide I really want to do that based on how I want to feel, I’ll do it. But the fear thing? I’m not really playing with that anymore.

It’s up to you of course, but after spending pretty much my entire adult life living in fear of what I should or shouldn’t eat, I gotta tell you – life is a hell of a lot more enjoyable when you can just relax and go with the flow a little.

And it tastes pretty darn good too :)

Life is Now. Press Play.

Screen-Shot-2014-02-14-at-10.22.13-am

PS And I did forget something. My Saturday morning french toast! Which is an incredible indulgence of gluten free cinnamon french toast with maple syrup, fried banana, scrambled eggs and bacon. Love love LOVE.

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2 people have commented
  1. GenniePapworth says:

    Love this post I really needed it this morning. I am celebrating my 50th birthday today and after a big party on the weekend, champagne with friends Monday night, lunch out today and tomorrow and dinner out on Sunday I am starting to panic a bit about my waistline. Your post made me stop and think that it’s not all bad, I am still training and eating well at other times and I just need to relax and enjoy my week of celebrating as I don’t do it often and train harder next week.

    • Kat says:

      Exactly! We are too too hard on ourselves, and whilst it might be nice to drop that extra 1 or 2, it’s also not (usually) the ‘most important thing’. It comes back to how you want to live your life, what do you want to spend your energy on and if that’s focused on and worrying about the finer details of an enjoyable and already healthy diet then by all means. But usually that is not what really and truly matters to any of us; not what we want to live by or be defined by.

      Happy birthday!

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