Steph chats to some of her favourite inspirational foodies and friends about all things nutrition - from how they stay balanced to their favourite indulgence and their best health hack to keep things quick and easy.
This month Steph chats with....
Tris Van Der Kley
Tris is a Nutritional Medicine student, recipe developer & health writer. Find her on insta @balanced.body.nutrition
How would you describe your diet?
My diet consists of mostly whole foods and I guess similar to a Mediterranean style diet. I love to include an abundance of colourful veggies, quality proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. I like to include a few plant-based meals each week as well. Variety is a big key in my diet as it’s great for a healthy gut microbiome. Over the years I’ve learnt what does and doesn’t work well for my body, so I tend to minimise things that don’t make me feel great.
What is your idea of balance?
I believe moderation is important, so I enjoy an occasional indulgence and love sharing meals with family and friends. Our social, mental and emotional connection to food is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to enjoy food and feel relaxed about eating and making food choices, so I don’t label foods as good or bad.
Why is it important to you to eat healthy?
I want to live a long healthy and happy life, whilst encouraging and inspiring others to do so. Eating healthy helps to optimise our long-term health and reduces our risk of disease. On a day-to-day basis, eating healthy means I have the energy to achieve a lot in my day, gets my brain fired up for study sessions and improves my mood. I also love training, so healthy eating helps me achieve my fitness goals.
What’s a typical day on your plate?
I start everyday with a big glass of warm water with fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar. It stimulates our vagus nerve and aids digestion, as well as supports liver health.
I then have a black coffee with medicinal mushroom powder and ATP Science AMP-V (it’s an oil supplement with omega 3, 5, 6 & 9). This gets me going for a fasted training session!
Breakfast depends on the day. If I’ve had a hard training session I’ll have cooked oats or buckwheat porridge with egg whites, or overnight oats with a plant-based protein powder and berries. If I’ve had a slower morning I might have a 3-whole egg omelette with mushrooms and greens or even some leftover veggies and protein from dinner.
Lunch is usually plenty of veggies and leafy greens, some chicken or tuna, brown rice or quinoa and avocado.
In the afternoon I’ll either have a protein smoothie with berries, nuts or seeds and maca powder, or a couple of boiled eggs and veggie sticks.
Dinner always varies and depends on the season, but includes a source of quality protein, again lots of veggies and a small serve of complex carbs if I feel like it. I like to include salmon or oily fish twice per week. Stir frys and curries often feature, in Winter I use my slow cooker a lot and I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking with.
What are three ingredients you won’t leave the grocery store without?
I like to shop at my local markets and never go a week without buying eggs, broccoli and blueberries.
Every foodie has a favourite indulgence that keeps them balanced, what’s yours?
Dark chocolate. And an occasional gelato in summer.
What is your best health hack or tip when it comes to making healthy eating easy?
Meal prep! I’m a really big believer in this. It saves time, money, avoids food waste and helps you make healthy conscious food choices for the week.
Start by buying plenty of fresh produce for the week ahead and set time aside on Sunday to do a cook up. Keep it simple. Roast or steam a big batch of veggies; cook some brown rice or quinoa or roasted sweet potato for complex carbs; grill or bake chicken for protein. Then add in some fresh leafy greens and avocado, and you’ve got yourself a balanced macro bowl ready for work lunch the next day. You can even prepare breakfast (overnight oats is a favourite of mine), so there’s no excuses.
As you become used to meal prepping, you can start to plan out your weekly meals ahead and only buy what you need.
Which do you prefer?
Breakfast or dinner? Dinner, as my partner and I sit down together and catch up on each others’ day.
Sweet or savoury? Savoury
Eating at the dining table or couch? Dining table
Asian or Mexican? Mexican
Wine or kombucha? A glass of red wine with friends
Cook or clean? Both. I like to have a clean(ish) kitchen as I’m cooking.