Let me start by saying that I do not, I repeat, I do NOT follow a strict diet. I literally eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I am, however, conscious of what I am putting into my body. This is something that didn’t happen overnight and instead was more of a lifestyle change.
Growing up I was always an active kid, having been a competitive swimming and dancer well into my late teens. But a few years ago there was a period in my life where I never exercised. I ate fast food a few times a week, drank alcohol a few nights a week (sometimes in excess, I swear the amount I could drink would kill some first years – shout out to the Bermudian liver I developed, haha). More than anything I wasn’t happy with myself.
Two years ago, I started practicing yoga. At first, I didn’t get it. I reaaaaallly didn’t understand why people would pay money to lay on the floor in silence for 10 minutes. It took me months of practicing a couple times a week to feel a shift in my mind and body. It was then that I started to take better care of myself. I started to drink more water, drink less alcohol, and eat cleaner food. I noticed I started to lose weight (without even trying) and my (what I thought was natural) negative energy began to turn positive. I felt happier and lighter all around. I started to love taking care of myself, and that extended into my diet.
So what does my diet look like? I’ll walk you through a typical day. Generally speaking, I don’t really eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tend to eat when I’m hungry and snack throughout the day. But it’s all about eating in moderation!
I’ll break things up based on time of day, rather than specific meals.
Water. Water. Water. As soon as I wake up, before coffee or ANYTHING else, I will drink a crap load of water. This is incredibly important, especially in the morning since your body is deprived of water while you sleep. In the winter, I really like having warm water with lemon. Drinking water before you eat is a good idea too. Many times, the body will confuse thirst for hunger. So drink up!
To be honest, I don’t usually eat first thing in the morning. I tend to go to a morning yoga class or workout sesh and eat right after. If I am really hungry when I wake up, I will eat a banana before my workout.
Morning go to’s:
- Fruit, I LOVE FRUIT! – Bananas and avocados and probably the most common in my diet. I also love apples, pears, berries, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon and mango. I’d honestly live off of fruit if I could. It’s nature’s candy…
- Yogurt – sometimes I’ll mix it with the fruit and make a smoothie.
- Eggs – I love making breakfast burritos and omelettes
- Whole grain or oatmeal toast
- Low-fat cottage cheese. I’ll literally eat a few spoonfuls right out of the container. It’s loaded with protein and calcium!
I usually eat my morning food all day, haha. I think I’m a fruitarian. But otherwise, here is what I’ll eat later on.
I try to eat veggie-based meals and snacks. For instance, if I’m eating a stirfry, I’ll try and have mostly veggies on my plate, followed by protein and then rice/noodles.
- Veggie Pastas
- Chickpea Salads
- Burrito Bowls
- Veggie Stirfry
- Spaghetti with Meat sauce (lots of added tomatoes and mushrooms)
- Wraps! I love wraps…
- Raw veggies with tzatziki or homemade guac to dip
- Quinoa mmmmm
- All the salads
- Salmon and tuna
- Chicken breast
- Healthy trail mixes
To be honest, I hate cooking and I’m notorious for ordering takeout. I find that many restaurants will give you portions that are WAY too big, so I often eat half and leave the other half for lunch the next day. My favorite Vancouver restaurant for doing this? Bob Likes Thai Food… om nom nom. Another restaurant I love is Freshii.
- I try not to eat anything too heavy after 6/7pm. I find eating a lot before sleeping makes me feel heavy and bloated in the morning. I also drink decaf ginger tea before bed to help with digestion and keep my tummy settled.
- Don’t eat a meal just because you think it’s “time for dinner”. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat!
- I don’t count calories, but I do check the nutrition labels when doing my grocery shopping. If I see something is LOADED with unnecessary calories, I won’t buy it. If I see there is a low-calorie option, I will take it. If I see something has a low-fat option, I will take it. It all adds up!
- Don’t load your plate with food. Take less than you think! If you’re still hungry after you finish, then take some more. Also, chew your food and eat slowly. I used to be notorious for INHALING my food. But take your time! Stop a few times for some sips of water. You might notice you’re full before you even finish your plate.
- Remove crappy foods from your house! Not having them around means you can’t eat them. That said, if you LOVE Nutella, then keep Nutella. But it’s all about moderation.
Foods I try and stay clear from:
- Fast food, bar food, fried food, pizza (Fries or salad? Take the salad..)
- Beer, coolers, cocktails, etc. Although I will have them if I’m on vaycay.
- Sugary soda (I don’t know how it’s even legal.)
- Ice cream
- Starbucks sugary drinks
- Sparkling water
- Gin and Tonic or Vodka Soda (low-calorie drinks)
- Thin crust veggie pizzas
- Frozen yogurt
- The skinny option of your fav Starbucks drink! I rarely get Starbucks anymore. It’s expensive and I was able to wean myself off.
I hope you find these tips useful! Remember not to be too hard on yourself and to approach your diet more as a lifestyle change that happens gradually rather than a strict set of guidelines. Giving yourself too many rules means you will be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, see it as a health journey and see each healthy choice as an accomplishment.
Happy eating, friends!