I have a lot of friends ask me what type of foods I eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so I thought it was about time I write a blog post about this topic, and provide some insight into what I typically eat throughout the day, and why.
When I first started my health and fitness journey, I thought the only way to lose weight was to go on a diet and exercise like crazy. Yes, I was THAT person who thought that carbs were the enemy, and I had to stop eating bread if I ever wanted to get the body I always dreamed of. You live, and you learn! While nutrition and exercise are key in creating a healthy body, I have come to realise that no particular food should be considered ‘the enemy’. Obviously everyone is different, and certain bodies react differently to different foods. It’s important to find what works best for you, and unfortunately that can mean a lot of trial and error. When I tried cutting out carbs, I was not enjoying my meals. I never felt satisfied after I ate, which led me to binge and over eat on weekends. This was not healthy, or maintainable.
I feel as though I have finally found a healthy balance for myself. I like to think my diet consists of 80% healthy foods, and the remaining 20% I keep for pasta, cheese, and wine. Some weeks it’s more like 60/40, but hey, that’s life! Nobody is perfect, so please don’t ever beat yourself up for indulging in treats here and there. I also believe a workout should never be punishment for something you ate. Part of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to find activities you love. That could mean yoga, running, lifting weights, or hiking, just find a workout that doesn’t feel like a chore. I have days myself where I don’t feel like doing my Kayla Itsines workout, or I don’t feel like going to yoga. I don’t force myself to do it, instead I might go for a walk and listen to some music. Just get your body moving, and do something that you find enjoyable.
Sorry for my little rant. I know you’re probably all thinking ‘just hurry up and show me pictures of food’, but I think these things are important to remember. There is no ‘quick fix’ to living a healthy and maintainable lifestyle.
OK, OK, I’ll finally get to it. Here is my ‘What I Eat in a Day’
Breakfast: I have been obsessed with smoothies for a while now, and I’ve been having one for breakfast nearly everyday for about a month. I get in these weird habits of having the same thing for breakfast, first it was chia puddings, then oats, and now I’ve moved on to smoothies. I generally go with things that are easy, and don’t take too long to prepare. This smoothie was pretty basic, but it’s delicious and fills me up. I also had a green tea when I first woke up, but I was too sleepy to bother taking a photo of it.
CHOCOLATE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE:
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1/2 tbsp of peanut butter
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
I know some people find avocado in smoothies a little weird, but it makes the consistency so creamy! It also means you’re adding a great source of healthy fats to your breakfast, which helps keep you fuller for longer. I always add chia seeds to all my breakfasts, because they are a great source of fibre. A little trick I’ve learnt, is to add chia seeds to your water throughout the day, as it helps keep your appetite satisfied.
Snack 1: Sometimes for my morning snack I’ll have a piece of fruit or something, but I was feeling pretty good after my breakfast so I decided to just have a coffee with almond milk. I find a coffee is good snack for me when I know I’m going to do a workout after. I don’t drink pre-workout, so a caffeine hit is always a good way to give me a bit of a boost.
Lunch: I always need a carb/protein based lunch after I’ve worked out. Especially if I’ve had an intense session, I need something super filling. These were Falafel Whole Wheat Wraps, filled with lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, hummus, cheese, and BBQ sauce. I don’t have the exact recipe for the falafels, I just kind of throw all the ingredients together and hope for the best. But they were made out of chickpeas, garlic, lemon, parsley, cumin, and flour. I also made the hummus myself out of leftover chickpeas, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and sesame seed oil – normally you would use tahini paste, but I haven’t been able to find it in Indonesia, so I use sesame seed oil instead. Once I figure the exact measurements for both, I will post the recipe for you guys.
Snack 2: I don’t know about you guys, but I always need a snack to tie me over before dinner. Blue Dinosaur bars are my favourite snack at the moment. They are DELICIOUS! You can buy these from most health food shops in Australia, and online. I brought a bunch back with me after my last trip home, I’m quite sad because now I only have two left. This Lamington is by far my favourite. It actually tastes similar to a proper Lamington. The great thing about Blue Dinosaur, is that all of their bars are made out of 100% natural ingredients. If any of my Aussie friends want to try them out, I also recommend the Sour Cherry, and Brazilian flavour, they’re the bomb!
Dinner: Chris and I try to keep our dinners pretty simple, so we quite often make dinners that include a source of protein, with salad or veggies. I’m not a massive meat-eater, and steak is not my favourite, but I have always struggled with low iron levels so Chris makes sure I have red meat a couple of times a week (he’s a good husband!) Living in Indonesia means we do eat out a lot, because it’s cheaper than buying groceries. If we eat out through the week, we still try to eat somewhat healthy, we’ll often opt for Sushi because it’s light and delicious. However, we generally will make something a bit heartier later in the week like a curry, or a pasta.
Dessert: I probably shouldn’t call this a dessert, because to me it’s more of a late night snack. I was feeling a little peckish after dinner, and there’s something about watching TV before bed that makes me want a snack. It’s a tough habit to break out of. But I have found having a green tea after dinner, and some Loving Earth chocolate (100% natural) helps subside any sweet cravings. Don’t get me wrong, come Thursday night I generally will want, and have, a glass of red wine while we watch the latest episode of Suits. As long as I don’t over indulge, I don’t find this to be a problem.
I also should note, that I try and drink between 3-4 litres of water a day. Hydration is so important, and if you’re feeling hungry even after you’ve finished a meal, it could be because you haven’t had enough water. I keep a bottle of water on me when ever I can, otherwise I would honestly forget to drink water.
At the end of the day, I think the key to a healthy and balanced lifestyle is simplicity. The best advice I’ve been given is – ‘workout, eat well, be patient, and your body will reward you. It really is that simple!
The Healthy Mermaid x