My 'Day On A Plate'
A question I get often in Ask Alex is: What do you eat over a day? Or for breakfast? Snacks? And so on!
I have been hesitant in answering this as everyone is different and obviously intake needs and taste are different for EVERYBODY (age, sex, active, less active, culture, job, beliefs, intolerances), so please keep this in mind- but I decided to give an overview of what and how I eat to give some ideas and a snapshot of some healthy options
Breakfast usually is:
- My oats+ recipe here
I find it filling and it is really balanced and healthy
- On a weekend I usually go out to one of Melbourne’s amazing cafes for breakfast, and my go to is: poached eggs on multigrain toast with a side of avocado (quarter), and fresh (not cooked) tomato and spinach
- Cup of tea or a coffee (long black, dash of milk) and a piece of fruit (kiwi, apple, pear, cup of berries, dragon fruit, banana, mandarin, some papaya, orange etc) – I always mix up the fruits and veggies I eat daily (and seasonally)
- 200 g plain Greek yoghurt with a piece of fruit (I love yoghurt with pomegranate or berries at the moment!)
I change up the brands and types of yoghurt I buy too, I just always make sure it has no added sugars in the ingredients.
Lunch and dinner are different daily, but are nearly always made up of of the following 4 points:
1: Half a plate filled with mixed salad or raw/cooked vegetables. Eg:
- stir fry with mixed veggies (onion, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower etc)
- steam/grill your favourite veggies
- finely chop some veggies to mix through your meal (think fried rice)
- make a yummy side salad with some olive oil or feta cheese
- grated raw veggies to mix through your meal
This is to get my 5+ veggies a day in. To nourish and fill you up!
I aim for at least 2-3 different serves of veggies per lunch and dinner
2: A quarter plate of low GI carbohydrate
- 1-2 x wholegrain or sourdough bread (-article on bread attached)
- some cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes
- half a cup of cooked rice/quinoa/beans/lentils/corn)
3: A quarter plate of protein
- 100g-150g grilled/baked fresh white fish or salmon
- 100-150g grilled/poached chicken breast or lean red meat
- 150g cooked chickpeas/lentils/beans
- a tin of tuna
- 100g tempe/tofu
- 2 poached eggs
- some seafood
4: And lastly I include some healthy fats
- 1/4 avocado
- tbs of extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut milk
- 25 g cheese or nuts
Using this as a guideline, many things can be made up if you think about it:
- Yummy mixed salads (warm or cold) including veggies, protein source and a carb source
- Sandwich or open toasted sandwiches, with a side salad for lunch
- Stir fry’s with some veggies, protein and a carb source
- Avocado or eggs on toast with a side of tuna/salmon and some fresh veggies/salad (spinach, tomato, mushrooms)
- Warm quinoa, beans/lentils/meat and mixed veggie salads
- Fried rice with veggies and a protein source
- Veggie omelettes with some wholegrain bread
- Roasts, stews, casseroles, curries , etc. Using lots of veggies, a protein source and some potatoes
- Sushi with a side salad/mixed veggies
- Here is a quick lunch I made to take to work: Can of tuna, some rice, zucchini, spinach and avocado
- Here is a meal I ordered eating out:
Check my recipes tab for more ideas!
Not every single meal will do all of these things, but I believe its a great way to think about your meals to ensure you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need from all of the food groups.
Sometimes dinner might be pizza or pasta, which is carb heavy, so I will still try to include some veggies/salad with my pasta/pizza, and at lunch I would choose a protein rich meal like a grilled chicken salad.
My point being that you don’t need to get stuck up on balancing every single meal, but it’s a nice model to focus on for simple day to day meals.
If I feel peckish between lunch and dinner I will have a cup of tea, or I will have one of the following:
- 1 or 2x whole grain toast with a little nut butter/honey/avo/vegemite/relish/tuna (if I have been active I go for this snack)
- Cup of tea
- Piece of fruit &/or plain yoghurt
- raw veggie sticks (cut up some carrot/zucchini/capsicum/cucumber/ or beans) with 30-50g of hummus or tzatziki
I usually finish my day with a peppermint tea or cup of raw cacao (my healthy hot chocolate recipe here) at night