I’m often asked what an average day for me is, meal-wise, as a Personal Trainer and fitness enthusiast. What can usually be found on my plate? It’s hard to answer this question directly, as I enjoy such a variety of foods. I don’t follow any particular diet, I am totally against fad dieting and fasting, I don’t overload myself with grains or refined carbs and I do stick to my own version of the health food pyramid.
I avoid low fat versions of anything – full fat all the way, I aim to consume protein with every meal, and preferably every snack and I don’t completely avoid grains.
MY DAY ON A PLATE….ONE RECENT EXAMPLE
Breakfast: Sautéed sweet potato on a bed of baby spinach, 2 poached eggs, 1 slice of sourdough toast and a banana-berry smoothie with slippery elm or spirulina included.
Snack: Carrot and cucumber veggie sticks with home-made hummus
Lunch: Shredded poached free-range chicken breast in a salad with rocket, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, topped with some walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil.
Snack: 1 or 2 bliss balls and a cup of Green Tea
Dinner: Red lentil soup with a dollop of natural yoghurt.
BREAKFAST – THE BEST MEAL ON MY PLATE
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and for this reason, I make time. I get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier so that I can prepare myself a beautiful breakfast. Even when I don’t have much time, I still make sure my quick and easy breakfast is healthy – and I make sure I never skip breakfast!
Vegetables: I ensure that I have about 5 serves of vegetables every day; loads of different colours and varieties, both cooked and raw to ensure I’m getting a plethora of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. The more you fill your shopping trolley up with fresh produce, the better your diet will be.
Fruit: Fruit is also an important part of a healthy diet. I limit my intake to 2 serves a day so as to not overload my body with sugar. Studies show that too much fructose can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, weight gain, and diabetes.
Protein: When it comes to protein, I like to have some with every meal as it keeps cravings at bay and helps keep me perky at that 3pm dip in the afternoon. I include a lot of vegetarian protein as well as animal protein; keeping to free-range and organic as much as I can.
Grains: Grains are something I keep to a minimum but don’t eliminate altogether. My body has shown me that it’s not a big fan of gluten so I keep the gluten to a minimum and try to choose gluten-free selections where possible. Grains are a source of fibre and some nutrients. The less processed the better as the milling and processing of grains into flours and bread products destroy an enormous percent of vitamins and minerals.
Dairy: Milk and dairy products are another group that I don’t completely eliminate, though again, my body doesn’t like too much. Natural yoghurt, preferably Vaalia or Jalna (as they’re medicinal yoghurts) are my favourites. If you’re vegan you can opt for almond milk which is still quite a good source of calcium or other fortified nut milks. Which is best? That’s a whole other blog in itself.
Fats: Fats are vital and we need to rid ourselves of this fear of it. Healthy fat is good for us, healthy fat is essential for our health; healthy fat does not cause heart disease!! It is the types of fat that we choose which make the difference. Want to know healthy from unhealthy fats?
I may be a Personal Trainer and fitness enthusiast, but I am also human and from time to time I treat myself. More often than not I will make a healthy treat at home; bliss balls, banana bread, muesli bars or some nice-cream… but on occasion, I will treat myself to something that would be considered a ‘nightmare’ for a dietician or Trainer… and that’s okay. I don’t do it often.
Food is not the enemy, food is nourishment, life, energy, and good food is our birthright! Enjoy it, share it and experiment with it, and never fear it.
If you are looking to take your health and well-being to another level, why not get involved in Martial Arts? At Wu Xing Dao Kung Fu, we take a holistic approach to Martial Arts. It’s not just about learning self-defence and punching and kicking, it’s also about self-discipline, health and nutrition.
After you have enrolled in martial art classes, we take time to help you understand the different types of martial arts and the various life skills that come with them. This allows you to make an informed decision when choosing the martial arts style you would like to learn. We ensure that every trainee learns how to defend themselves effectively as well as enjoy the many other health benefits that martial arts offer.
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