Gemma's food diary

July 12th, 2017 - By gshorter

I thought it would be interesting to share with you what I eat in a day.

I’m a big foodie, so I don’t restrict myself from eating any foods. I like to think that I’ve developed a healthy relationship with food, where by consuming a balanced diet allows me to not feel guilty when I treat myself. I believe food should be about enjoyment, it’s one of lifes great pleasures.

Breakfast

I’m going to be honest, I love my sleep, so I often end up hitting the snooze button at least once. I usually don’t like to eat when I first get up, so I save breakfast till when I get to work. My commute usually takes around 1 hour 10 minutes, so I use this time to drink a bottle of water (with mint or cucumber to liven it up) and read the paper or a book.

Now that its summer, my breakfast will usually be a big bowl of protein-rich Greek yogurt, a banana, antioxidant-loaded berries such as raspberries, a tablespoon of oats (or my homemade granola), a sprinkle of The Food Doctor's Raw Power Mix, a dollop of almond butter and some cinnamon. I vary what I eat so that I’m consuming a wide variety of nutrients and I try to ensure that each meal is a good balance of complex carbs, healthy fats, protein and a plenty of vitamins and minerals.

In the winter I have a warm bowl of porridge when I arrive at work, made with milk and water and combined with any of the toppings mentioned above. The fibre in the oats and the protein from the nuts, keep me full for a good 4-5 hours until lunch and help stabilise my blood sugar levels so I don’t get that dip in energy.

I don’t like the taste of tea or coffee, so I will usually just drink water, but if I fancy a warm drink I will often have a mint, ginger, chai or green tea.

At the weekends I have a big brunch after my local parkrun or British Military Fitness class. I often pick up a loaf of bread from the bakery and have it with avocado and poached eggs.

I never skip breakfast as it helps to set me up for the day and stops me getting a headache or feeling nauseas.

Lunch

As my breakfast generally keeps me full till lunch, I don’t snack mid-morning.

I’m lucky enough to have my office in the hub of London with hundreds of eateries within a few minutes’ walk. However, buying lunch out is expensive, so I only allow myself to buy lunch out once a week.

I will either bring lunch with me or at the beginning of the week I will head to the shop to buy food to make lunches for the week. In the summer this will usually be a big bowl of salad, as I know I can mix it up to keep it exciting and throw in any leftovers from the night before (such as roasted sweet potato, brown rice, hard boild eggs, aubergine, peppers or broccoli). From the shop I will often pick up some greens such as spinach, kale or rocket, tomatoes, beetroot, avocado and a protein such as mackerel, feta or cottage cheese (or whatever’s on offer). I dress the salad with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, and sprinkle with some of The Food Doctor's Super Seeds Mix for a boost of fibre and healthy fats.

I will always get out the office at lunch for at least a 20 minute walk. I find it makes me feel more awake, clears my mind and helps me feel energised for the afternoon. I try not to eat my lunch at my desk, as I believe it’s important to be aware of what I am eating and the way that it makes me feel. If it’s nice weather then I head to the park to eat my lunch.

Snack

Within a couple of hours of eating lunch I will often crave something sweet. We keep a big bowl of fruit in the office, so I will either have a piece of fruit or a bar, such as The Food Doctor's Goodness bars. The Fig and Mango bar used to be my favourite but The Food Doctor have recently launched a brand new range of veg bars and the Beetroot and Walnut bar is now my go-to.

If I’m planning on doing exercise in the evening, I often have a little snack when I get home from work. This may be one of The Food Doctor's snack mixes or either a carrot, sugar snap peas, a pitta bread or oat cakes with some houmous. I often make my own houmous as I know exactly what I put in it and can alter the amount of oil I add to it.

Exercise

During the week I usually exercise in the evenings rather than the mornings. I very rarely exercise inside or go to a gym, as I believe half the benefits of exercise come from being outside (even in winter). In the summer months I swim at Shepperton Lake once or twice a week and in the winter I swim at my local outside swimming pool (heated to 28°). The rest of the week is split between running, cycling and British Military Fitness Classes in my local park. I usually try to exercise 4-5 times a week but this will vary depending on my week.

Dinner

By the time I’ve got home from work and done some exercise, it can often be 8.30-9pm. I therefore want to cook something for dinner that is quick, tasty, healthy and not too expensive.

Tray bakes will often be my go-to when I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I include lots of veggies, some complex carbs and protein. My favourite is salmon, sweet potato wedges, red peppers and long stem broccoli, served with spinach, tomatoes, feta and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Another quick dish I make regularly is vegetable or prawn green Thai curry using Thai Tastes Green Curry Paste and pre-cooked brown rice sachets. Fajitas are also a favourite of mine, made using onions, peppers, courgettes, black beans, fajita spices, tin tomatoes and served in a wholemeal wrap or pitta bread, with guacamole, Greek yogurt and rocket. If I have more time to prepare dinner then I may cook a bean stew, a ratatouille or one of my favourites, aubergine parmigiana. We don’t eat much meat in my house, so our meals are often based around vegetables, beans and fish.

More often than not I eat dessert (I blame it on my sweet tooth). It would be very rare if I didn’t finish the evening off with a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate. My cupboards feel bare without it.

At the weekends I will often eat more indulgent meals or go out for dinner. If I’ve eaten well during the week, then I’m happy to treat myself at the weekends or on special occasions.

So thats me.

Speak again soon.

Gemma, The Food Doctor nutritionist

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