After sharing my tips to give up junk food, a few of you asked me what I actually eat during an average week. But here’s the thing; for me there is no average week. One week I could be working from home, the next I have meetings across the country, the next could be spent in Wales, and on it goes. Not that I’m complaining, I love my slightly bonkers life and wouldn’t have it any other way. So I thought it might be helpful if I put together post showing you what I eat, and how I make healthy choices when I’m out and about.
Or the one where I work from home, is pretty typical for me. I actually enjoy healthy foods but like to throw in the odd treat – and fizz, I do love my fizz. I believe I have a pretty good approach to nutrition and I don’t really ‘diet’. I tend to separate foods into two groups: those that nourish my adult body and those that nourish the small child in me.
Let me explain – whether we want to admit it or not, most of us know what we should be eating. We know that a giant burger, fries and a coke are not going to give us the good stuff that our bodies need, but we eat it anyway. I believe that there’s a small, demanding child in all of us who wants to eat all the naughty-but-nice treats all day, every day. The key for me (and I’m not saying this will work for everyone) was to accept that it’s OK to give in to your inner child – just not every day. So my approach is probably around 80% good stuff and 20% treats. Although there are things that I rarely, if ever consume. Such as fizzy pop – no, just no!
Alongside breakfast, lunch and dinner I snack on either fruit, nuts, yoghurt, wholewheat crackers or rye bread. I also eat a small portion of dark chocolate either in the evening, or during the day if I feel a bit of an energy drop coming on. My beverages throughout the day include plenty of water (around a litre and a half), herbal teas, tea, coconut water and very occasionally coffee. If I’m feeling extra hungry I’ll whip up a smoothie.
This is how my week in food panned out:
- Breakfast – I had quite a few deadlines to hit, and thought I might get overloaded during the day. I wanted to start the day on the right foot, so I plumped for a kipper, poached egg and spinach.
- Lunch – I pretty much sailed through the morning and had plenty of time to whip up a decent lunch. Pitta filled with king prawns, sweetcorn, mango, coriander and yoghurt hit the spot perfectly.
- Dinner – I fancied something on the light side so I rustled up green tea salmon and sweet chilli charred veg.
- Extras – Apart from two snacks, I had two small glasses of red wine.
- Breakfast – Thick slice of wholemeal bread topped with banana, drizzle of honey, plain yoghurt and tinned prunes. This tastes amazing and give me a lot of energy.
- Lunch – For some reason I was really feeling the cold and wanted something warm. Roasted avocado, poached egg, spinach, tomatoes and rye bread topped with ricotta cheese and chutney had me feeling toasty and satisfied.
- Dinner – I really ran over work wise and needed something pretty quick to cook. I tend to make food in batches and freeze it in portions, so I defrosted some veggie bolognese and served it with wholewheat pasta.
- Extras – Two snacks and one small glass of red wine. I was really hungry in the evening so I whizzed up a grapefruit, grape and coconut water smoothie.
- Breakfast – Although I’m by no means dairy free, I do suffer with catarrh so I’m slowly dropping my dairy intake to see if there is any noticeable difference. I topped my porridge oats with unsweetened almond milk, blueberries and a drizzle of honey.
- Lunch – I got caught up in work and missed my mid-morning snack, by lunch I was ravenous! I just about managed to resist the temptation to pop to the chip shop (I wouldn’t normally worry about indulging, but I knew Valentine’s weekend was fast approaching and didn’t know what Andrew had planned). I drank a large glass of water which sated my appetite for just long enough to throw together a sweet potato and sweetcorn burger with mashed avocado and beetroot slices served in a wholemeal roll – which was much bigger in real life that it looks in the pic!
- Dinner – Chicken and mushroom mock risotto and spinach. I make this using a pack of quinoa and brown rice mix. Really quick and easy to make and utterly delicious! Let me know in the comments if you want me to post the recipe.
- Extras – One snack.
- Breakfast – I had plans for a lunch meeting and really needed to keep going, so I fried up some mushrooms, tomatoes and mixed peppers topped it off with a fried egg and served it with wholemeal toast – yum!
- Lunch – My meeting did, as I thought it would, run through lunch. By the time I got home it was well into the afternoon and I didn’t want anything too heavy. King prawn, mango, couscous and salad hit the spot.
- Dinner – I made way too much couscous for lunch so I served the leftover with sweet chilli salmon, grapefruit and green salad and sweetcorn.
- Extras – I had a glass of fizz during my meeting. I was still hungry in the evening so filled up on a small bowl of porridge made with almond milk. Then demolished a pack of crisps – that’s what I get for missing a meal!
- Breakfast – I had another meeting today, this time mid-morning. I didn’t have time for breakfast so grabbed a smoothie and a banana which I ate in the car. The mixed nuts were packed in case the meeting ran over.
- Lunch – My meeting finished early (yay) and I arrived home in time to make a sweet potato topped with spring onion and plain yoghurt served with a mighty fine salad and couscous (yep, there was still some left!).
- Dinner – I don’t tend to eat a lot of red meat, I’m not that keen on it, so when I get the urge I go for it! A beef burger with trimmings in a large, wholemeal bun served with paprika fried potatoes – nice!
- Extras – Two snacks and half a bottle of Champagne.
- Breakfast – A totally indulgent feast of croissants, jam and bucks fizz – well, it was Valentine’s weekend!
- Lunch – This I skipped, due to the fact that Andrew had booked a surprise afternoon tea to celebrate The Barefaced Chic being shortlisted for a UK Blog Award. And absolutely delicious it was too!
- Dinner – I was still stuffed so half a tin of soup, a small banana and a small slice of toast sufficed.
- Extras – I toasted St Valentine with half a bottle of champagne.
- Breakfast – I fancied a full cooked breakfast. Leaving off the sausage and hash browns, cutting the fat from the bacon and not spreading the toast with butter actually makes this a pretty healthy fry up. And yes, I have covered my tomatoes and mushrooms in brown sauce – don’t judge me 😉
- Lunch – This was served more mid-afternoon as I was still full from breakfast. Tuna and sweetcorn sandwich, banana and a few cashews.
- Dinner – I do love a good roast! Sliced, lean chicken breast, a few roast potatoes, plenty of veg and gravy – perfect.
- Extras – I had a bottle of beer in the evening and one snack.
There you have it, my week in food. I do realise I’m pretty lucky, in as much as I work from home and am able to cook up a storm when the mood takes me. However, I do still cook quite a few of the meals above; even when I’m pushed for time.
Looking back at the week, I have no idea what the calorie count is, but I don’t count. I do think I did pretty well as far as my five a day is concerned, I’m surprised by just how much fish I eat and (according to my calculations) I was well under on alcohol units.
All-in-all, I think I do a good job of not overindulging. Although not being (or claiming to be) a nutritionist, I do wonder if my eating could be improved in any way.
What do you think? Could I do better, or has this week of working from home been a success as far as healthy eating is concerned?