Questions I am asked most often when I tell people I am a dietitian:
- “So, are you like, the food police?” — Yes, as a matter of fact. Now excuse me while I rummage through your pantry and give you a written citation for those Hostess cakes.
- “What should I eat?”
- “What do YOU eat?”
Since #2 is very personalized, I decided to expand on #3 and go through an entire day of what I eat. I’m going to lay out every meal and every snack, include information on meal timing and portion sizes, and provide calorie and macro-nutrient information.
I always eat at least three meals and three snacks per day. My meals and snacks are never more than 2-3 hours apart or my appetite will overpower me and I’ll start gnawing on my lower extremities. Ha.. ha… but really.
I always like to give the analogy of your metabolism being like a log fire. If you don’t put anything “on” it, it’s going to be measly flame burning very little calories and giving you very little energy throughout the day. Your body is a machine that runs on the fuel that nutrients provide it with. By refueling your body every few hours, you’re providing it with the resources and energy it needs to function optimally.
So let’s get to it!
5:00 AM – Pre-workout:
1/2 banana and ~1/3 scoop of protein powder mixed with ~3 ounces of coconut water. My two go-to protein powders are Perfect Fit in chocolate and Select Protein in Snickerdoodle. This particular day I went for chocolate. This has been the magic combination for me for early morning workouts.
Bananas are an ideal source of quick-digesting carbohydrates and are packed with potassium, aiding in the maintenance of nerve and muscle function. The small amount of protein powder provides some essential branched-chain amino acids to promote muscle-protein synthesis. Pairing a quick-digesting carb (such as a banana) with a source of protein helps slow down the digestion of the banana while keeping me satiated and energized throughout my workout.
Not pictured: 1/2 cup of black coffee….. or else I’m a walking zombie.
Calories: 85; Fat: 0 gms; Carbohydrates: 17 gms; Protein: 5 gms
7:30 AM – Breakfast:
The most important (and my favorite) meal of the day! Breakfast is inhaled ~30-45 minutes after I complete my morning workout. At this point, I’ve entered my “anabolic window” and it’s time to refuel those depleted glycogen stores. Including carbohydrates post-workout is crucial to replenish the muscle glycogen that you burned during your workout.
I try to keep my breakfasts/post-workout meals relatively low in fat, high in protein and relatively high in carbs. This day I toasted a Thomas Double Protein English Muffin and topped one half with 2 egg whites, 1/4 of an avocado and Sriracha. The only half was topped with 1/2 tbsp of Jif Whips Maple Brown Sugar Peanut Butter, half of a banana and a drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup.
Calories: 340; Fat: 9 gm; Carbohydrates: 42 gm; Protein: 19 gm
10:00 AM – Mid-morning Snack:
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