A Day On My Plate..

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a day on my plate and with my wedding fast approaching there is a lot of interest about what I am eating day to day. It’s important that I set the background first as to why my diet is the way it is at the moment because it’s forever changing depending what my needs at that current time.

At the moment obviously my wedding and looking my absolute best for it is a focus of mine but I am navigating my way through how to get to that point taking in mind where my body is at at the moment. I previously mentioned in a blog post that I had a parasite and adrenal fatigue recently picked up by my integrative GP so that is more of the focus at the moment. The main changes here meant no dairy and no gluten until the digestive symptoms from the parasite have settled but otherwise I eat a mainly vegetable based diet with small amounts of meat, fish, legumes, complex carbs, nuts and seeds and other healthy fats. So here we go…

Upon waking: this is always a few sips of water before I go off to exercise or walk the dog but is then followed by a herbal tea which can either be green tea or dandelion root tea or recently my throat has been a bit sore so it might be hot water with lemon, ginger cayenne and honey fermented garlic. Lately I have also been enjoying a medicinal mushroom coffee some mornings. I will add a serving of collagen powder to this hot beverage to help seal the lining of my gut and for rejuvenating my skin.

Breakfast: I don’t have a huge appetite in the morning most of the time so breakfast often happens a bit later in the morning for me. I will mix this up between a millet porridge made with coconut milk and served with walnuts and blueberries, or a chia pudding made with coconut milk and served with almonds and strawberries. I have a gluten free version of my spinach and zucchini loaf in the freezer all of the time so some mornings I have this with some organic chicken liver pate, almond butter or avocado. I am also including 3-4 cooked veggie based breakfasts each week which is usually a mix of spinach, kale, asparagus, broccolini, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs and occasionally sweet potato.

I don’t snack mid morning as my late breakfast lasts me until lunch but I will have another 1-2 herbal tea’s. Or I do love a prana or calma sutra soy chai latte so when I’m out and about I will get this once or twice per week from a cafe.

Lunch: Lunch is either a salad made on the spot, leftovers or part of leftovers from the night before or a meal I have taken out of the freezer such as my Chicken and Turmeric Curry or my Mung Bean Nourishing Soup. When I’m making a salad on the spot it’s generally got rocket as a bitter green to help digestion, seasonal veggies such as fennel, asparagus, mushrooms or maybe some roast pumpkin, broccolini, beetroot or zucchini. If I feel like some complex carbohydrates it might be sweet potato, buckwheat noodles, quinoa or brown rice. Protein can often be leftover chicken or salmon from the night before, or eggs or tinned mackerel. If you’ve done a cooking class with me you will know I drizzle extra virgin olive oil over everything and often just dress my salad with that and lemon juice. Extra’s that I love to add for a nutritional boost are avocado, fetta (vegan a the moment), hummus, pesto (dairy free at the moment), fermented veggies, microherbs, toasted walnuts, toasted pepitas and sesame seeds.

Snack: I do have a snack in the afternoons partly as energy boost and partly as a break in my routine and to re-group for a final few hours of productivity to finish off the day. This can either be tomatoes and pate, rice cake with avocado or nut butter, some homemade or some 90% chocolate, or just simply a handful of nuts. I also go through stages where I make exciting snacks like my Cacao and Sweet Potato Muffins or my Protein Balls but as these are sweeter options I’m having less of that at the moment because parasites thrive on any amount of sugar (natural or not!). I always have a herbal tea here also and will add collagen if I haven’t in the morning.

Dinner: This is so varied and because I create recipes for a living I am rarely cooking the same meals more than once! Regulars however are a stir fry (last night was tempeh, mixed mushrooms, broccoli, kale, garlic, onion, brown rice noodles and a tahini and miso sauce), salmon with greens or a salad and a frittata with any veggies that in the fridge and a salad. All meals I have are about 60% veggies and then I compliment that with small portions of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I try to pack in antioxidants and polyphenols at every chance I get so herbs, spices and oils like extra virgin olive oil, sacha inchi, avocado or walnut make regular appearances in my meals. We usually eat 2-3 nights vegetarian, 2 fish, 1-2 chicken and 1 red meat.

Post dinner: In case you don’t know yet, I eat 90% dark chocolate almost, if not every, day of the week. I love that it’s one of the best sources of polyphenols and antioxidants along with being high in magnesium and being a natural mood booster. So if I haven’t had any in the afternoon I will have 2 pieces of dark chocolate with 1-2 herbal tea’s - either a peppermint to help with digestion or a chamomile to help relax and unwind before bed.

This routine is very similar on weekends as my weekends are all about resting, sleeping and re-charging my batteries at the moment. If I go out socially I may have 1-2 glasses red wine (I choose organic if I can BYO). If there is a special occasion I usually would have more drinks but I am very much limiting my alcohol intake until I am on top of the parasite and adrenal fatigue. If I have brunch or lunch out I will order a bunch of sides such as poached eggs with mushrooms, greens (sometimes a double serve) and avocado to make up a meal.

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