I’ve noticed a bunch of blog posts out there from nutritionists showing off what they eat in a day. What bugs me is the continued low-fat, low protein, high carbohydrate and generally low quantity of food these poor skinny women are bragging about. I feel sorry for them that they’re still brainwashed into thinking that they need to eat low-fat in order to be skinny, and that being skinny is equal to being “good”. I thought it might help to show what I eat in a day, as a busy mom of 2 and working full time (plus a commute) doing my dietetic internship. I have a very busy life. I get that it’s hard to get food on the table that’s tasty and healthy. I also find that illustrating how I eat really changes people’s perception that the paleo diet is “meat centric”. I do eat lower carbohydrates than most Americans, but I have found that for me, this works best for my energy levels and overall health.
Breakfast is quick. It takes less time for me to scramble eggs than it does to boil a pot of water for my tea. I usually have 2-3 pasture-raised eggs, either over easy, in an omelet with veggies, or scrambled in butter like above, with about 1 tablespoon of pesto (or a little more). I’ll have one cup of lapsang souchong tea (it sort of tastes like a campfire) and then bring a cup of black coffee (1/2 caffeine, 1/2 decaf) along with me to work. When I don’t have my own farm eggs, I like to buy Vital Farms brand.
This lunch is very typical of what I normally eat. Here is a big bowl of greens of mixed greens with herbs that I added 1/2 sliced red pepper and about 4-6oz of wild salmon that my dad caught, leftover from last night. Before I added the greens, I drizzled some olive oil and lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl so that I can shake it up right before I eat it and the lettuce stays crisp. If I don’t have salmon, I’ll usually have some wild tuna or leftover protein (chicken, lamb, beef, pork) from the night before.
If I go to the gym or have a long time till dinner, I’ll have a quick snack. Here is a handful of nut and dried fruit mix along with a blood orange. I actually don’t eat a ton of fruit, but when I do, I make sure to have a little protein and fat with it like nuts in order to make sure the blood sugar spike is minimal. During the summer, I focus on locally grown berries and melon from the farm and in the winter, I have either frozen berries or citrus.
Dinner for me these days is usually something I have make in the Instant Pot. It’s great because I can toss in a bunch of vegetables, meat, broth, and herbs and in about one hour, dinner is done. This day, dinner was made from leftover rib roast. I placed the bones and some of the leftover meat into the pot, added carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, celery and about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. I covered it with water then added some fish sauce and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. I locked the lid and pressed “stew”. I garnished it with chopped fresh parsley. Our whole family had two bowls each.
A note on how I feed my kids:
We try very hard to all eat together, which normally happens all but 2 or 3 nights a week due to sports commitments in the evenings. The kids generally eat what we eat. If I’m experimenting with a crazy spicy recipe or if they really hate the meal, they can have scrambled eggs or leftovers from the fridge. We seldom have dessert. If we do, we don’t tie it to good behavior or “if you finish your plate”. I’ll make creme brûlée for guests sometimes, or the kids will have some ice cream occasionally.
The kids generally eat eggs and sausages for breakfast. I do allow them to get school lunch sometimes (yes, shocker) however they know that this food isn’t “optimal nutrition”. Our home is gluten free because of me (I have diagnosed Celiac disease and the kids have tested negative), and I don’t keep sugary drinks or junk in the house. The kids are free to make their own choices when they’re out. We talk about how to balance meals, what is “healthy food”, and how their choices affect their energy levels. I’m proud to say the kids generally make very good choices. Because their ages are 10 and 12, I feel like my job as a good parent is to help them be independent and to think for themselves. I also teach them kitchen skills and they can now make meals for themselves (and sometimes cook for us!) I can no longer personally prepare every meal and control what goes into their mouths at all times. I believe they need the right tools to navigate the “outside world” and I’m pretty proud of the choices they make. They’re both very healthy, athletic, and smart kids who can really take care of themselves.
Phoebe, age 10. She wants to be a famous actress, a writer, and a million other things.
Anson, age 12. He wants to be a professional baseball player and then when he retires, a farmer in the summer and a surfing instructor in Costa Rica in the winter. I think he’s got things pretty much figured out.