I often get asked to share pictures of the types of food I eat during the day. I used to be pretty good at posting pictures regularly, and you can see examples by visiting the sample meal plan part of my website. It’s been a while since I posted an entire day’s worth of meals though, so for day 10 of my 30 Days of Blogging Challenge (click here to learn more about that challenge), I thought I would share with you guys some pictures of my meals today.
Let me preface all this by saying that I don’t eat the same thing every day. Some people can do that and like the consistency, but when I eat the same thing every day, I start to get really bored with my food and usually fall off track. So, although these are pictures of the meals I ate on one particular day, it doesn’t mean that this is what I eat every single day. I typically aim for a certain number of carbs/fats/proteins (aka macros) each day and eat a huge variety of foods, the main thing I am concerned about is staying withing my calorie and macro range. For the most part, I try to stick with clean, whole foods that are nutrient dense. If you are not sure what that means or are looking for a good place to start learning about eating a healthier diet, check out my Where to Begin post that has good tips for getting started when wanting to change your diet and get healthier.
So, with that being said…..here is a pretty good idea of the types of foods I eat each day.
Lately I’ve started drinking what I like to call a ‘Superfood Shake’ right before my workout. I love it! It has all kinds of superfoods in it that are great for overall health. My favorite part are the cocao nibs. They aren’t sweet like chocolate chips, but they make the shake a tiny bit crunchy. I drink this before every workout, it has a bunch of healthy fats and 9g of fiber!
Here is what I put in the shake:
-1 scoop MRM Rich Vanilla All Natural Protein Powder
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-7g chia seeds
-7g flax seeds
-7g cocao nibs
-big handful of spinach (forgot to show that in picture below)
-a few ice cubes
-1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
MRM Reload (BCAA+G)
PostWorkout (6:30am or so):
-33g (3 Tbsp) cream of wheat
-21g (1 Tbsp) raw honey
-Generous amount of pumpkin pie spice (because everything tastes better with pumpkin pie spice this time of year!)
Meal 1 (8am or so):
1 jumbo egg, 1 jumbo egg white. These eggs really are jumbo sized, so if I were using a regular sized egg I would probably do two egg whites and one whole egg. 1/2 Avocado, 2 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon. During this meal is also when I take my MRM Fresh Omega Norwegian Extra Virgin Salmon Oil and MRM Beyond Basics Multivitamin/Mineral. I also usually have a cup of coffee (or two!) with skim milk.
Meal 2 (11am or so):
This meal is different every day, but most days I like something that is pretty quick since I’m usually not at home to eat it. Today I made one of my favorite treats: chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. Ok, it’s not really cheesecake but tastes like a healthier version of it.
-Plain Greek Yogurt
-Kal brand stevia (one tiny scoop)
-Natural Peanut Butter
-PB2 (makes it taste extra peanut-buttery but not necessary)
-Chia seeds (love the crunch of the chia seeds!)
-Unsweetened cocoa powder (forgot to put in this picture)
Sometime between Meal 2 and Meal 3 I shared half a nectarine with my 3-year old. I normally would have had the entire nectarine but the little guy wanted half, so we shared.
Meal 3 (3pm or so):
Usually for this meal I just do leftovers of whatever we had the night before. Today I had 2 cups (310g) of spaghetti squash and 1 cup of my homemade 30-minute turkey spaghetti sauce recipe (same one I filmed with Bodybuilding.com). This time I made the sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini in it. The food was heaping over the top of the bowl but I forgot to take a picture! Sorry, I was a few bites shy of finishing when I thought, “oh shoot I should take a picture of this!”
Meal 4 (7pm or so):
I sauteed random veggies I had in my fridge (kale, red onions, red peppers and broccoli) in 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil and seasoned heavily with sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Added chicken I had grilled earlier in the week and Trader Joe’s brown rice medley (brown rice, black barley and Daikon radish seeds). Best part? Took less than 5 minutes from start to finish.
After Dinner Snack (9pm or so):
I still had some calories left (mostly carbs and fat) and so after dinner I snacked on some mini caramel flavored brown rice cakes and habanero bbq almonds.
And called it a night! I hope this is helpful for you. I used to think that in order to lose weight I always had to cut carbs at night. But, the past month I have been trying something new and eating most of my carbs at night. As long as I don’t go over my daily allotment for carbs, I have found that it doesn’t really matter when I am eating them. Eating my carbs at night has helped me feel like I have more energy for my earlier workouts and I am still losing weight (I’ve lost 14lbs in the past 6 weeks). Because I always get asked this question: yes, I am still breastfeeding. My daughter is five months old and so we are exclusively breastfeeding still, but I will start to introduce solids later this month.
On days I don’t workout, my meals don’t change all that much. The only difference is that I don’t have my post-workout carbs. Everything else pretty much stays the same.
I hope this is helpful! If you have any questions, leave them as a comment below and I will answer as many as I can. Please keep in mind that I’m not a dietician or personal trainer, this is just what I have found works for me and my body.
I am taking the weekend off from blogging so I will ‘see’ you guys on Monday!
Hu! How many calories.does.this add up.too? Thanks.ellie
Hey Ellie! This is about 2,100 calories. I usually aim for about 225g carbs, 65g fat, and 140g protein but that is going to vary for everyone based on your background, metabolism, height, etc. I’m 5’8″ and 150.
Natalie, always so proud of you and what you do! I hope you know that <3
Thanks for taking the time and blogging your daily meal! I am curious.. When you started working out did your milk supply decrease? When I had my 3 year old and started working out I noticed my milk supply decreased.
I just had a baby and on Monday he will be 4 weeks old. I am dying to start working out again but am nervous about my milk supply :/ Also was wondering if you knew of anything to keep your milk supply up while working out? sorry for being personal but I am just curious!
Thanks in advance !
I have two questions for you. How long before your morning workout do you drink the pre-workout shake. Because honestly every time I eat anything before my morning workout I feel like I am going to throw up.
Second – things like -chia seeds, flax seeds, cocao nibs PB2, Kal brand stevia – Do you get those from Trader Joe’s? Thanks I love your blogs!
Hey Natalie! Thanks for posting this. I have definitely been so inspired by your progress as I am 4 1/2 months postpartum and you definitely give me hope that I will eventually get back in the shape I want to be in. I know that you said you were still breastfeeding exclusively and I am too. However, I am really struggling with my milk supply and I have tried EVERY recommendation from multiple lactation consultants. My question for you is whether Matt at Inov8 adds in calories for you to account for the breastfeeding. Since I am having so much trouble already, I have been very timid to do anything to alter my diet but right now I am pretty much eating whatever I want (although mostly clean foods) and not losing a single inch or pound. If Matt is able to take that into consideration, I am pretty interested in working with him too. Thanks so much for the constant encouragement you provide your readers!
Hey Natalie, thank you for this guidance. I’m 5’3 and 134. I stay active playing soccer and try to work out when I’m not working my butt off. I am getting married in 3 months and want to know how you would train and about how many calories should I consume (carbs, fats, protein). I just got my dress, it is too big but I know I might lose a bit, so I’m not ready to take it in to be altered. Any pointers?!? Thank You, Bethany from Houston….
I looked at the IFYM website you posted… It had several options for which macro break down you can use. What ratio do you follow?
Hey Brooke! I am not an expert, but I know that for me, a lot of it depends on my calorie deficit. If I am burning more calories than I am taking in (or only leaving a small margin) then it messes with my supply. I just try to make sure that my calories don’t drop really low and that I keep my carbs at a higher level. That amount will vary for everyone, but for me it is around 2,000-2,300 calories and between 225 and 305g of carbs each day. A lot of it is trial and error, if you notice that your supply starts to get effected then bump up your calories a bit and make sure you are taking in a ton of water too! I nursed my first son for 19 months and trained for a marathon during that time too, and as long as my calories/carbs were high enough I never really had an issue. Hope that helps 🙂
Hey Jenn! I usually drink it before I head out the door so maybe 10 minutes before I start working out. But, the biggest thing is making is work for you. So, some people prefer to train fasted and then drink their shake afterwards and that works too! Ultimately it’s about finding what works best for your body 🙂
The chia seeds, flax, and PB2 I got at WalMart, the cocao nibs I got at my local grocery store in the health food/organic section and the Kal stevia I ordered off Amazon 🙂
Love your posts! How do you figure out how much Protein, carbs, fat, fiber one needs daily? Is there a formula, or website?
First off, I cannot tell you how excited I am I found your site. I have long been into fitness and am a registered dietitian but I still love learning from others and seeing other individuals success stories–I’m hoping I’ll have a success story and learn to be more proud of my body sooner rather than later! So thank you for the information you share, it is incredibly motivating and helpful.
With that said, over the last year I have transitioned my goals from staying lean to gaining mass, definition and strength. Therefore, I have started focusing heavily on my diet. When you refer to your macros, how were you able to determine these ranges for your height and weight? I would like to get a more specific range for what I should be shooting for. Right now I just try to incorporate CHO’s after my workout along with protein as a sustainable energy source and throughout the day focus on high protein, clean foods while adding veggies at meals 3, 4 and 5. Thank you for any help and I cannot wait to hear back 😀
What % of macros do you aim for Natalie? 🙂 thanks for all you do to help others 🙂
Shake looks AWESOME!! Will have to try Cocoa
Nibs since I now bought some coffee flavored
Powder too that can be mixed w/ water Or yogurt
Etc.. Thanks for sharing;-)
I feel like I post all the time and then find my answer later on somewhere on ur site lol but….. What do u do if you crave comfort food? I am 12 weeks pregnant and constantly crave chicken pot pie and biscuit and gravy and I am not sure how to reconcile that it a healthy manner!!! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!
First of all, I’m so excited to have found your site! I started the LiveFit trainer last week, and your information and experience is a huge motivation for me.
Quick question for you, about BCAA’s. I am also breastfeeding, though my daughter is 18 months so it’s not exclusively, and I’m wondering about the safety of taking BCAA’s while nursing. I’ve found conflicting opinions/evidence about negative effects to the child, so to be uber-safe, I haven’t been taking the BCAA’s. It seems like you have done your research and are very educated about what you put into your body, so was wondering if you can shed some light on this? Thx!!
Natalie! This is awesome that you shared a sample meal plan! I’ve been eating clean and focusing on eating to build lean muscle for almost 5 years but I’m constantly second guessing myself and changing things around to see if something else works better for me. Right now, I’ve been focusing more on getting all my carbs in before 3:00 in the afternoon but I am only able to train in the evenings around 6 pm. So post workout, I’ve just been having a protein shake and an hour or so later eating some egg whites and veggies. I love this meal plan though and I’d like to incorporate some of the things you are doing into mine. If you worked out at night, how would you change this day around? I’d love to hear back from you on this when you have time! Thank you and you look great! Keep up the good work and inspiration! 🙂