When I thought about writing a food diary, the idea was that I could show you all the little ways which a ‘normal’ person like you or I could make healthier lifestyle choices without denying too many treats…because who wants that? I completely understand the way lots of you feel; it’s too expensive, it’s too time consuming, it’s too complicated or it’s just too weird and, ultimately, you can’t be arsed. I wanted to prove otherwise because as a lazy vegetarian with no cooking skills, I generally do manage to eat pretty well with minimal effort.
I probably picked the worst week ever to do a food diary, a few people told me to just skip this and that out, or just switch it out with another day but that would be dishonest. So fuck it. I’m going to show you how my diet looks when life is going a bit mental – for me, this means working away, starting my own clubnight, special occasions, having friends visit and generally being a bit all over the place including a couple nights away from home.
Here we go, deep breath, starting with Monday 17th of April:
- Breakfast: Protein porridge made with oat milk, a handful of blueberries and a cup of tea @ 10am.
- Snack: Small bag of sweet and salt ‘propercorn’ popcorn with a natural juice @ 1pm.
- Lunch: Eggs and beans on toast followed by two squares of Lindt 90% dark chocolate @ 3pm.
- Snack: Trek protein bar and a tea @ 5pm.
- Dinner: Massaman curry with tofu @ 8pm.
- Snack: 2 squares of dark chocolate and a decaf green tea @ 9pm.
I’m snacking more than usual today, but I did go to the gym for a weight session before lunch and ran my personal best 5K before dinner which is why I need that fuel – and a celebratory Thai curry! (I almost always go out for dinner with my dad on Mondays post-run!) For breakfast I add a scoop of ‘vanilla’ protein from MyProtein to my porridge, this is my most ‘go-to’ breakfast. I was feeling peckish before working out and chose small healthier snacks – better than grabbing a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar anyway. I make sure to pay attention to my protein during the day as I’m going to be working out again, so I have eggs for lunch which I fry in coconut oil, a protein rich trek bar before my run and choose tofu at dinner. I always have to have something after a main meal and I’ve gotten used to two squares of 90% chocolate being enough for me, I also try not to have too much caffeine throughout the day which is why I often opt for decaf green tea.
- Breakfast: Porridge with cup of tea @ 10am.
- Lunch: Eggs and beans on toast followed by dark chocolate and decaf green tea @ 2pm
- Dinner: Halloumi and cous cous, followed again by chocolate and decaf green tea @ 6:30pm
- Snack: Cathedral City Bakes Cheese Bites @ 11pm
- Snack: Banana @ 1am
This is a more ‘average’ day at home for me. I try not to snack a lot during the day, I go for a run and try to consider my protein intake; protein porridge, eggs, halloumi. My snacks in the evening let me down a little bit but I DJ until 1am on Tuesdays, the cheese bites were a treat for myself as I wasn’t drinking and I always like to have a banana on my way home. It used to be that I felt it would stop me getting a hangover but I often do it even if I’m not drinking. Alcohol is something I’m really trying to cut back down on – for a few years I barely drink at all but now that I’m DJing and working in a club environment (often with free drinks!) I find it very hard to say no. Saying no to free food or drink is the main thing that ruins my diet, I don’t really buy junk food but I’m terrible if someone offers it to me – thank God this diary ended on Sunday because yesterday I ate three doughnuts pretty much just because they were there. Doh!
- Breakfast: Porridge and a cup of tea @ 9:30am.
- Lunch: Avocado wrap @ 1pm.
- Cup of tea @ 3pm
- Dinner: Halloumi burger and fries at Meat Liquor @ 6:30pm
- Snack: Cherry bakewell Nakd bar and cup of tea @ 9pm.
This is a shoot day, I travel to London for work and the biggest change I’ve made this year is taking lunch with me. Otherwise, I used to pretty much not eat between breakfast and dinner (which could often be as late as 8pm) which is not healthy at all. For lunch I have an avocado and houmous wrap before my first shoot. My second doesn’t show up (dat freelance life) so I actually have dinner a little earlier than usual…I’ve been looking forward to it all day. Meat Liquor do the most amazing burgers and fries! No regrets.
When I get in I have a healthy snack and a cup of tea before bed, all in all, not so bad. Although I do have to miss my boxing class to stay over in London, as well as missing yoga the following morning. So I won’t be working any of this off!
- Breakfast: Granola with milk and banana plus a cup of tea @ 9:30am
- Snack: Trek bar @ 12:30
- Snack: Chocolate coated corn thins @ 2pm
- Lunch: Avocado wrap and chocolate @ 3:30pm
- Dinner: Falafel wraps with tortilla chips and salad @ 7pm
- Snack: A million pieces of cake and a few glasses of bucks fizz @ 8pm
My meals today are spaced really badly – I didn’t have time to get lunch before my train from London, so I ended up snacking before having a really late lunch when I got home and could only fit in a very quick 15minute HiiT work out before heading back out to my friends house for the night where we were crafting with a few other ladies getting stuff ready for her wedding. We had a pretty healthy, mostly vegan dinner of falafels and salad with some tortilla chips and sides which I demolished – I’m a sucker for anything relatively crisp-like. I knew we were going to be drinking tonight which is why I chose not to drink Tuesday so I have a few glasses of prosecco but the main event was tasting the wedding cake options and, oh my god, the cakes were amazing. The vegan cake was gorgeous as well but we manage to restrain ourself to a fairly small piece of each cake…there were four cakes though.
Unfortunately, this day caught up with me and was an absolute bloat monster. I’ve never had anything like it! I looked 9 months pregnant – Jack and Rachel (the to-be-weds!) couldn’t even believe how giant my tum was. I didn’t eat anything I don’t usually eat, but this is definitely something I’m going to keep in mind because it was pretty awful.
- Breakfast: Porridge a la Jack and a cup of tea @ 9am
- Lunch: Scrambled eggs on toast with a decaf green tea and chocolate @ 1pm
- Dinner: Pesto risotto, garlic bread and a bowl of ice cream and chocolate @ 7pm
I stayed the night at Rachel’s place, which meant in the morning I got to have a fancy porridge breakfast courtesy of her fiancé Jack and it was delicious.
I have eggs for lunch before a workout session and then I cook dinner in the evening – homemade pesto risotto with some garlic bread which I tweaked from this Gousto recipe. We have guests so follow dinner with my favourite ice cream, Jude’s Salted Caramel. We end up eating a bunch of leftover easter egg my sister was offering up as well – the issue of free treats strikes again! I chomp up as much as I can get my hands on and go to bed very, very full that evening. Definitely over-did it a bit.
- Breakfast: 1.5 slices of toast and a cup of tea @ 10am
- Lunch: More cakes, more houmous, more bread @ 2pm
- Dinner: Franco Manca pizza (half) @ 6:30pm
- A bottle of prosecco throughout the night starting from @ 8pm
Today is probably the day I started feeling crappy about my food diary, treats now and again are 100% okay but I’ve essentially had three days already this week full of naughty stuff, I’ve worked out less than usual and I know I’m going to be drinking again as well. I have a boring toast breakfast because I haven’t been home for days and have no food in the house, I’m meant to run today but I don’t. Instead, I go out with Jack and Rachel again as our friends Del and Nic are down from London to visit, we have a picnic and a lot of walking down Moors Valley Country Park but in this time we scoff multiple cakes along with some sourdough bread and houmous…all very tasty but, obviously, lots of carbs and sugar.
I’m not hungry for dinner so I only have half a pizza at Franco Manca – I assume I’ll eat when I get in from work later but I don’t need to. However, I do drink a bottle of prosecco. I’m launching my own clubnight that night so nerves and wanting to have a nice time combined with free booze leads me to wash a bunch of it down throughout the night. When I’m drinking, I always ensure I drink a *lot* of water. Mostly I just really hate hangovers but as someone that drinks 2L + a day, I increase that when drinking.
- Breakfast: A croissant with a cup of tea @ 10am
- Scrambled eggs with smashed avocado and houmous on sourdough toast @ 1:30pm
- Snack: Tea and chocolate @ 2pm
- Snack: Half a trek bar and decaf green tea @ 5pm
- Goats cheese salad, followed by Judes icecream @ 7pm
I’ve still been too busy to do a food shop so Simon (Tinder bae ‘catbum’ if you’ve read my previous dating blogs) gets sent out to grab a croissant for a quick breakfast before I head out for an hour of yoga. When I get back we make use of the lovely sourdough loaf from Hoxton and have a decent lunch.
A few healthy snacks during the day and for dinner a make a salad by roasting beetroot, garlic, sweet potatoes and red onion before adding a load of salad leaves, nuts, seeds, sultanas and topping with goats cheese.
Really filling and nice and healthy, we have a couple scoops of ice cream each simply because I know it’s in the freezer. We go to bed super full again.
So there we have it, a week in the busy life of me. Generally my week doesn’t include quite this many cakes but I think there are definitely some positives you can take from this and inject into any lifestyle:
- Drink water. Like, lots of it. Pay attention and make and effort to ensure you’re drinking at least 2litres, it’s good for SO many reasons.
- Keep an eye on your protein intake. You should have some kind of protein on your plate at every meal.
- Fill your cupboards with healthy snacks. It’s much easier to snack healthy if the only options you have are healthy – still let yourself have a variety of snacks though. In my cupboards I have Nakd bars, Trek protein bars, chocolate coated corn-thins from Sainsburys, 90% chocolate and then usually bananas, nuts and seeds about too. If I had Pringles or biscuits in the house, they’d be gone instantly.
- Say no. If you want to – don’t eat things just because they’re there or because other people are. Note to self; don’t eat three doughnuts for no reason when you’re full. Eat one doughnut.
- Drink less alcohol. Alcohol massively affects your ability to exercise and the progress you will make. You are really shooting yourself in the foot if you’re getting smashed the night before a big work out session, your body just does not work at full capacity.
- Don’t berate or guilt yourself for ‘bad’ choices. I do this all the time and all it does is make me think, ‘well, I’ve had two doughnuts now like a pig so why not have three. WHY NOT HAVE THEM ALL!’ and there’s really no need. Treats are cool, you’re allowed treats.
- Vary your diet. This is something I’ve always found quite difficult as I’ve always been a fussy eater with plain tastes but it’s good to mix up your diet as much as possible, particularly with vegetables etc as they all have their own benefits.
- Routine. Get into a good meal routine, try not to have huge gaps where you’re not eating anything and then panic scoffing a load later on.