As a certified holistic Health Coach (and barre teacher), I practice what I preach; I live a healthy lifestyle and get my daily fill of greens.
Making smarter, healthier food choices is tough at first, but it gets easier with practice and consistency, and I strongly believe that everyone can change the way they eat to feel better, inside and out.
That being said, I definitely empathize with those who struggle to find a balance between work, social life/relationships, and finding the time to cook and stay healthy. So sometimes it means just heating up leftovers for dinner, or having a smoothie on-the-go (as much as I try to avoid any eating on-the-go).
I also "suffer" from a sweet tooth, and despite improving my sugar addiction drastically (I ditched all soda and almost all processed sugar), I still crave a little sweetness after meals. But by making my meals very healthy and nutrient-dense, I can allow myself a piece of dark chocolate every day and still feel my best.
I strongly believe in finding a good BALANCE that works for you, while always prioritizing your health - EVERY DAY - and making sure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients on your plate possible.
I’ll take you through my typical day of meals.
7:00: A large glass of room temperature water with my probiotic, followed by 1 mug of warm lemon water, which serves as a natural detox to start my healthy day.
8:00: Pre-workout snack: 1 cup sliced fruit (usually papaya or pitaya or other local/seasonal fruit) and 1-2 tablespoons of soaked flaxseeds (helps ensure healthy digestion later in the day!)
10:00: Breakfast (post teaching barre class):
2-3 slices of baked sweet potato “toasts” with ½ cup sautéed kale (or spinach or collard greens), 2 organic eggs (all the above cooked with tiny bit of coconut oil or ghee and pinch of pink himalayan sea salt) and a few slices of avocado. Sometimes I finish off with 1 additional slice of sweet potato covered with 1 tablespoon of almond butter!
Alternatively, I'll have a Green Smoothie Bowl made with: 1-2 cups of greens (lightly steamed), ¼ cup coconut meat, 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, a few sprinkles of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons chia pudding, 1 scoop vegan protein powder (vanilla or chocolate), 1 tablespoon unflavored collagen, 1 tablespoon powdered green superfoods, plus additional adaptogens (ex. about ½ teaspoon maca, ½ teaspoon ashwagandha, ¼ teaspoon tulsi/holy basil) and then water and/or nut milk as needed to create a thick smoothie. I pour into a bowl and add 1 or more of the following: extra chia pudding, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, goji berries and/or cacao nibs.
10:30: I gave up coffee a few years ago, but I always enjoy either a warm green tea (I love Mighty Leaf) or a completely caffeine-free coffee-like chicory herbal tea called Teeccino, with a splash of almond milk, which I take with me to my "home office" to start with my daily emails and get through a few hours of work.
For lunch I usually have some sort of protein (fish, meat or often its vegetarian protein, ex. chickpeas or lentils) made into some delicious recipe if/when possible, with a side salad (which I enjoy as an appetizer) and cooked veggies (usually including some starchy vegetable for some healthy carbs).
Today my lunch was: Green Salad with homemade Tahini dressing and avocado chunks, followed by Zucchini & Carrot Noodles with homemade Walnut-Basil Pesto + 2 Salmon “Burgers” (homemade salmon patties, using canned wild salmon, tons of chopped green herbs, spices and a flax egg to hold it together - see recipe below).
Dessert: 3 squares of 88% organic dark chocolate
4:30-5pm: Herbal tea with splash of almond milk (usually a chamomile or rooibos blend) and sometimes a snack (if I’m hungry or a bit bored, I admit it). Today I had a small cup of a combo/mix of my homemade coconut yogurt with my cinnamon chia pudding, topped with some shredded coconut and extra nuts/seeds. Other days, I'll just have 2 tablespoons of almond or cashew butter, often with a bit of chia pudding. YES I love my healthy fats!
Veggie macro bowl, made of: roughly 2 cups of leftover roasted/sautéed veggies with ½ cup cooked quinoa (or other gluten-free grain), about ½ cup lentils or chickpeas or hummus, and some sliced avocado and/or a drizzle of some homemade tahini dressing or pesto.
OR I'll have a blended veggie soup, with a slice of avocado toast and a sprinkle of seeds.
Dessert: a few homemade date-nut butter balls and/or dark organic chocolate.
8pm: Here is where my biggest weakness settles in, as I often munch on 1-2 tablespoons of nut butters after dinner, in addition to my chocolate/dessert, which I KNOW is totally unnecessary, but I’m not perfect with my diet, and I’m ok with that, especially on days where I teach 2 barre classes!
If I eat out, dinner will be later around 8pm and will almost ALWAYS include a glass or two of red wine, and usually consists of grilled fish or seafood with veggies, and here in Nicaragua, possibly some fried plantain chips!
Lastly, I'll share with you my homemade salmon burger recipe that I enjoyed for lunch:
Salmon & Broccoli Burgers
Ingredients (serves 4)
¼ cup finely chopped onion or green onion
1 tsp garlic (minced)
¼ cup finely chopped broccoli florets
12oz canned wild salmon (2 6-oz cans), drained (or cooked wild salmon filets, finely chopped)
3 tablespoons almond meal (leftover from making almond milk) or store-bough almond or coconut flour
1 egg + 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed in 3 tbsp water)
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt +¼ tsp turmeric + 2 turns black pepper (I add this everything!)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley, basil and/or dill
Coconut oil (or avocado oil or ghee) to cook
First, lightly sauté the onion, garlic and broccoli pieces with 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or ghee or olive oil) until a bit soft. Season to taste with sea salt and set aside. (Note: this step is optional but I prefer to cook beforehand).
Place drained salmon in a large bowl (if it comes with skin and bones, option to remove).
Add eggs (I use 1 eggs and 1 “flax egg” combining 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water & stirring well), almond meal/flour, lemon juice, salt, turmeric and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Add in chopped veggies (broccoli with onion + garlic, and herbs). Be sure they are chopped into tiny pieces because the burgers will fall apart if there are large chunks. Mix well.
Form into 8 tightly-packed patties. Place on a plate lined with foil or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 15-30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet with a bit of coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add burgers. Cook for about 5-8 minutes per side, or until browned.