People often ask me what I eat. Being a nutrition specialist, I think they’re under the impression that I eat perfectly all day, every day. While I think I do, indeed, eat perfectly, I doubt they have the same definition for “perfect” as I do. To me, in this case, perfect means eating whatever makes me happy. (Side note: composing my diet entirely of junk food does not equal happy. That’s what I used to do and I was far from happy.) To others, perfect most likely means that I devour salad, fruit, and vegetables for every meal and never crave unhealthy foods. Not true.
Salads are good and often I do crave me a mean salad, but fruits are my nemesis. I only eat fruit because I feel that I should. They contain great nutrients to make me healthy and are low in calories to help keep me lean. This doesn’t mean that I force-feed myself disgusting fruit that I don’t like. I simply limit my intake to those few that I do enjoy such as apples, oranges, and plums. In fact, I love plums.
I think my hatred for fruit stems from my general hatred for sweet foods. This sprouts all the way back to when I didn’t care about what I ate. I would be much happier with a bag of potato chips than with candy or chocolate. Nowadays, it’s peppers and hummus over berries.
Vegetables are different. I find them to be extremely flavourful, fresh, and satisfying. I have a much easier time incorporating vegetables into my diet than I do fruit. To me they are more versatile. I can toss heaps of chopped pepper, onion, or spinach into my morning omelet. I can stuff sandwiches full of lettuce and cucumber. Vegetables can even be sautéed by themselves for a delicious stir-fry.
I understand that most people tend to think the opposite and would much rather a bowl full of sweet fruit, but this is how I’ve been all my life. Why change something that makes me happy? Forcing myself to eat fruit, which I generally despise, would be temporary and go against what I preach – If you enjoy doing something, you will do it for a longer period of time. Which is why most restrictive diets fail but that’s another topic all on its own.
I am no different than anyone else. I have my preferences just like you. I choose to pass on that bag of Doritos because I prefer to eat something that can benefit my body, not because I don’t like the taste. Doritos are scrumptious.
I realize that it is tricky to eat properly in our time, but it is that realization that influences my dietary preference. I always have and always will eat what I want, but now I understand how huge of an impact nutrition has on our health. That is why eating well now makes me happy.
So when it comes to what I eat, as I’ve been trying to explain, I eat what I want. I want to eat healthy foods. What if I want to eat a basket of chicken wings? I eat them. However afterwards I generally want to make up for it and push myself a little harder in the gym, or be stricter with my eating for the remainder of the day.
My typical day of eating would look something like this:
I love eggs, so for breakfast I devour an omelet, which I’ve mastered by the way. Flipping it into that perfect half-moon shape is no longer an issue. I’ll pour two scrambled eggs into a pan and pack on the tomatoes, peppers, onion, spinach, and Sriracha because that shit is good on everything. With that omelet I’ll toast a whole wheat english muffin, smear on some almond butter and brew a fresh pot of coffee.
About 3 hours later I’ll have a snack – a stick of cheese with some Triscuits for example.
At lunch time I can make myself a turkey sandwich, with veggies, and have a side salad with more veggies. My favourite dressing is oil and vinegar because it’s light and tastes like heaven.
Soon enough I’ll be eating another snack, maybe some greek yogurt and a plum, or nuts and dried mango – something that will keep me full until dinner.
Dinner for me typically consists of some kind of meat, potato, and a veggie or two. Chicken or some other kind of lean meat is a better choice, but if I feel like beef I eat beef. I do limit myself of course.
Believe it or not, even after all of that is said and done I leave some room for yet another snack closer to bedtime. This is usually a small bowl of cereal with raisins, or something else a little sweet because as it turns out I don’t eat many sweet things, but if I do it’s at night to end the day.
This is the style of eating that has been successful for me and others I teach because it is long-term. Just because I like to help others lose weight and eat better doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from the same human cravings you do. Defeating those cravings has a lot to do with your mentality and approach towards eating. I don’t advocate eating junk food whenever you want, but I do teach to eat what you want. You just have to want healthy.