Well, I am venturing a little out of my fashion comfort zone on the blog today to share about another topic I love to talk about, living a healthy lifestyle. A few years ago, I did Whole 30 and it really changed the way I eat. I even shared my journey with you all HERE and HERE. It opened my eyes to how my body responds to the different kinds of food I choose to eat from my appearance to my food cravings.
For a the past few years, I have found nutrition interesting, so I started diving deeper into eating more healthy. I found a documentary called In Defense of Food and started to look at food and what I ate in a whole new light. I took the focus off good vs bad and calories and fat. I started focusing on one thing – how is the food I am eating serving my body. I watched more documentaries and read articles, even accidentally purchased a vegan cookbook on my quest to find more plant based recipes and to learn about the nutrients in these recipes.
I started noticing how great my skin looked. My high energy levels and focus were amazing when I ate a diet filled with real food that I cooked. I also noticed how sluggish I felt, the skin breakouts, and the strong mid day cravings I got after eating multiple fast food meals, dairy, and too much sugar. I really started paying attention to how different foods affected me and started really enjoying/craving all the vegetables. I stopped worrying about weight, and the craziest thing happened – I started dropping weight without trying. People started noticing and asking what I was doing to lose weight, so I decided to put together a blog post to share what I eat in a week, along with a few of my healthy meal prep and dinner ideas.
Also, I do want to mention that the way I eat is based on what makes me feel good. Everyone is different and will need different nutrients for their body. I did tons of research and lots of trial and error to find the best food for me. This post is not intended as a guide on how to eat just a glimpse into what I love to eat on my journey to living a healthy plant based lifestyle.
I’m also not perfect. I still eat Whataburger and cupcakes. I still visit the vending machine at work every so often for a bag of Cheetos and will happily share an order of fries. If I’m going to my Grandma’s house, I want her food because it’s comforting and delicious. I don’t believe in depriving yourself. I live under a 90/10 or 80/20 rule. Most of the time I focus on putting all the good nutrients into my body, and sometimes I let myself indulge in a comfort food or small craving. I’ve also learned that the next day I am going to have to fight off some serious craving for more junk food, so I keep healthy options on hand. As I mentioned, I’ve learned how my body and mind responds to different foods.
So now that I have shared a brief look at why I eat what I eat, let’s look some of my regular meals. I will note I am someone who can eat the same thing over and over. I meal prep my lunch every Sunday and eat the same thing all 5 days. If you need variety, you could try meal prepping a few weeks at a time and then mixing and matching each week.
I’m not a big breakfast person, never have been! I love breakfast food, just not first thing in the morning. My normal Monday through Friday breakfast consists of black coffee mixed with collagen peptides, a Vega One protein shake with MCT Oil, and hot lemon water.
I know breakfast really helps set up my hunger levels and cravings for the day. I tried doing eggs and avocado in the morning. I loved how the fat and protein from this meal kept me full until lunch, but most mornings I’m not that hungry. When I skipped breakfast, I would be starving by 10. I found when I switched to a liquid breakfast approach, I was able to make it until lunch before becoming hungry, and I was consistent with breakfast everyday. I stuck with the protein/fat combo with my morning shake. I’m still learning about MCT oil to know just how beneficial it is for me, and I highly recommend doing your own research before trying it out.
Another breakfast favorite of mine, avocado toast! I know so basic. LOL. I love to sprinkle mine with red pepper flakes or smoked salmon. This breakfast is one I keep on rotation on weekends along with eggs and avocado.
If you follow me on Instagram, these weekly meal prep pics may look familiar. Every Sunday, I meal prep my healthy lunch for the week and share it on Instastories. I typically have a lean protein like turkey, chicken, or salmon along with as many vegetables as I can fit in my container. I also try to find some kind of fat like olives or oils to add to the meal. Every so often, I opt for a vegetarian or vegan lunch option like Eggplant with Tomato Sauce or Lentil “Meat”balls.
I usually think about what I’m craving and then head to Pinterest to find a healthy dairy free version of what I want. I also love creating healthy recipes, so sometimes I just toss things together and hope for the best. Changing to eating real food meant cooking tons more, so I learned lots along the way about what flavors, foods, and spices go well together which helps with the whole throw things together plan.
For my vegetables, I usually pick up 2-3 vegetables that are in season at the store. I’m pretty basic with how I cook them by either roasting in the oven or sautéing. When I’m busy, I will cheat and buy frozen vegetables because it’s quick and easy. A good guide for me on what produce is in season, it’s usually the more affordable options that look really fresh and vibrant.
I am a snacker. I try to break the habit, and some days I can go from lunch to dinner without wanting or needing a snack. For days that I need a little something, I keep healthy options in my desk and fridge at work.
About once a month, I make mixed nut bags. I buy about 4-5 different nuts, toss them all in a bowl, and package them in half cup servings. I keep them in my pantry and desk. A few of my favorite nuts are pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. A few other favorite snack options are baby carrots with hummus and Cuties/Halos mandarins.
Dinner is where I have the most variety and fun with vegetables. Some days I’m basic with Salmon and a vegetable side and other days I play with some of my favorite recipes like Minimalist Baker’s Cauliflower Tacos. FYI – it’s one of my favorite recipes! I usually buy 2-4 vegetables at the store and cook a different 1 or 2 each night. This helps give me some variety. If I eat meat at night, it’s typically fish and usually salmon. On a night when I’m craving a salad, I love to top it with smoked salmon and a Primal Kitchen salad dressing.
Similar to lunch, sometimes I play and toss things together and see what happens. I have found some really good recipes this way. I really focus on eating a variety of colors each week, and I try to buy a new to me vegetable every week or two to keep things different and to keep expanding my options. I don’t eat meat every night. A big bowl of vegetables will satisfy me, and I love using dinner as a time to play with different flavors and vegetables.
If you are one of the people who have asked for a look at what and how I eat, I hope this answered some of your questions. A few things you may have noticed, I don’t eat a lot of dairy or sugar. It’s a personal decision that works best for my body. I do still occasionally indulge in cheese and dessert because I love both and don’t feel the need to fully say good bye and deprive myself. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, and sometimes that sweet tooth really wants a cupcake or chocolate cookie. When I treat myself to a yummy dessert, I savor and enjoy every bite.
I also don’t eat too many grains or much beef. Every so often I might crave one of these like a nice juicy burger, but I can mostly live without these foods. I put focus on not depriving myself of certain foods, and I also don’t eat something if it’s not my cup of tea.
Thanks for sticking with me through this long and different post. I’m planning to start sharing a little more about my love of living a healthy lifestyle, so stay tuned for more!
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