Ever looked in the fridge and just stood there, not sure what you want or what you ‘should’ have? Ya, been there. Decision fatigue is for real especially when we’re in our heads about what we ‘should’ eat and what could fuel our bodies best.
My tip is to keep it simple. I eat a lot of the same things every day.
It eliminates that decision fatigue. I know what foods will fuel me best and what foods I like to eat so I incorporate those routinely and rotate through a few favs. I make sure there’s protein at each meal w a balance of fat and carbs depending on the timing and what my workout was that day (how intense, lifting vs running ,etc), and of course ample fruits and veggies each day.
I thought I’d walk you through a day of eating (yes, this was an actual day of eating this week) and why I chose each meal. Some are for health, some are for recovery, and some I just wanted….
Breakfast: Post run oatmeal.
I love oatmeal and since I usually workout first thing in the morning, I know I want carbs afterwards to refuel so oatmeal is a great option. I recently found this recipe from Whitney E, RD. for her superseed oatmeal and I am loving it! Keeps me full until lunch, it’s quick to make, and it involves peanut butter (hello, a necessity for me every day). The oats and seeds provide good protein to help my muscles recover and the fruit has carbs and micronutrients to restore my glycogen that I used during my workout. And like I said, I love peanut butter and it really is a necessity each day, so a big ol’ dollop of that for satisfaction on top.
Lunch: Chicken salad over greens.
I usually have a salad with leftover protein from dinner the night before for lunch. This salad was easy to whip up with leftover grilled chicken, and I just used a few easy ingredients I had on hand–greek yogurt, lemon juice, grapes, celery, and a salad topper (containing dried cranberries & some seeds). Some days I like chicken salad over greens, other days I like it in a big ol’ sandy–usually with Ezekiel Bread. This day, my workout was an easy run, so I didn’t feel the need for as many carbs as usual. Chicken salad over freshly harvested greens from my Tower Garden sounded good, so I went with that.
Snack: Greek Yogurt w chocolate protein powder & peanut butter
I almost always need a snack between lunch and dinner to hold me over. Otherwise I end up snacking on half of dinner while making it, and end up not hungry when it’s time to sit down with the fam. Snacks are where I mix it up. Some days I want a bar, other days I want veggies or fruit w peanut butter. This day, because I had greek yogurt, I decided to mix it with a little chocolate protein powder and peanut butter (seriously, I have a problem w pb). It was filling, balanced (protein, a few carbs, and fat) and delicious.
Dinner: Orange Chicken
Dinner is usually the main meal that’s different each day. I like trying new recipes and taking the time to make them. Some days easier said than done with tiny humans running around, but I try my best. I always make sure there’s a protein, veggies, and carb of some kind. Carbs in the evening can actually increase our seratonin levels and help us sleep better at night. We all want that right?! This night was a new crockpot orange chicken recipe, with stir fry veggies over rice.
Some nights I’ll feel hungry later and have a small dessert, but to be honest, I like to end the night with dinner. I don’t love going to bed super full, and I like to let my dinner digest for a couple of hours before heading to bed.
Remember, your body and appetite are your own. This is just an example of one day’s worth of eating for me. Some days I eat more, some days less, but it usually balances out to 3 meals plus a snack, with the occasional dessert. Do what feels best for you and what lines up with your goals.
If you need help knowing how to plan your meals, or how to tune back into your body so you can eat in a way that not only feels good and relaxed, but that also fuels your daily activity, I have 3 spots left for my 1-on-1 nutrition coaching! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to touch base and see if we’d be a good fit!