When I meet new people and they ask what I do, the conversation usually goes something like this…
“You’re a nutritionist? Oh, you would hate how I eat.”
“What do you think of my [low-carb/paleo/vegan/low-fat/low calorie] diet?”
“So, what do you eat?”
Now, I totally do not judge the food on other people's plates. There is no such thing as a “perfect” diet. In fact, there are 7 billion different ideal diets for 7 billion biochemically unique individuals.
I also don’t adhere to any diet dogmas. Yes, I eat carbs. I don’t do low-cal diets and I think low fat diets are so retro.
However, being a nutritionist has a lot of perks. The main one being that I know how to nourish my body properly, even when I’m just not feeling it.
Since your body remembers what you do 80% of the time, I think it’s important to have healthy staple meals that you can make without a lot of fuss. So today I’m sharing the 5 basic meals I eat most often as a nutritionist, and why they are my go-to choices.
1. For When I Have No Time: One Pan Meals
Just like you, I often feel like I “have no time.” That is why my typical weeknight dinner is some kind of one-pan dinner plate.
If you’re new to the concept, it’s exactly what you might expect: a medley of foods baked together on one pan. Usually, a protein, a green veggie, and a starchy veggie. Everything goes in the oven at the same time and comes out at the same time. Plus, the cleanup is effortless.
My go-to is a One Pan Paleo Plate, which includes chicken, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts baked together for about 30 minutes.
Members of That Clean Life: You can add this One Pan Paleo Plate to your meal plan here.
2. For When I'm On-the-Go: Overnight Oats
I’m on-the-run a lot, but you won’t find me at a drive-thru! Instead, I'll have a jar of overnight oats in my purse. These are perfect for the days I’m darting from Point A to Point B and know I’ll need a bite to eat along the way.
These Blueberry Overnight Oats are my go-to. I love this meal because it provides complex carbs for fuel and plenty of fibre for satiety. Exactly what you need when you're running around!
3. For When I Have a Sweet Tooth: High-Protein Treats
I like to incorporate plenty of blood-sugar balancing protein in my sweet treats.
Experiment with substituting ¼ of the flour in your favourite treat recipe with protein powder. If your protein powder is sweetened, you can reduce the sugar in the original recipe too.
My favourite are these Fudgey Protein Brownies, because they are high in protein and low in sugar (sweetened only with bananas).
Members of That Clean Life: You can add these Fudgey Protein Brownies to your meal plan here.
4. For When I Have Time to Meal Prep: Bowls
When I have it together, I do a big meal prep on Sunday, which will feed me for days. On my prep day, I like to cook a bunch of different staple foods and then use them to create bowls throughout the week.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a "bowl," it’s simple.
Start with a grain: quinoa, brown rice, or gluten-free pasta.
Load it with veggies: roasted zucchini, grilled peppers, massaged kale, steamed broccoli, etc.
Add a protein: sliced chicken, wild salmon, roasted chickpeas, fried eggs or lentils.
Add sauce: tahini dressing, salsa, hummus, or balsamic vinaigrette.
I try to keep one or two items from each category in my fridge so I can throw bowls together on a whim. It's really hard to go wrong when you eat a wide variety of whole foods, so get creative and experiment with different combos!
5. For When All Else Fails: Smoothies
I know that I’m not going to win any awards for originality here, but the complaints I hear most often about healthy eating are:
A) I don't want to cook.
B) I don't have time.
C) I don't like eating veggies.
Smoothies are the answer to our modern-day nutrition woes! They require zero kitchen commitment, come together quickly and are highly portable. Plus, smoothies are not just for breakfast! Check out my guide on How to Turn a Smoothie Into a Perfectly Acceptable Meal Replacement.
What are your go-to meals? Share with us in the comments below!