A few months back, I took the opportunity to put together a three day meal journal – outlining 72 hours of my typical summer diet – the whats and whens I was actually munching on. Though every body and everybody is different, meaning that my genetic makeup, height, weight, level of activity, pregnancy and now breastfeeding, are key factors in determining the makings of my nutrient needs, all of which could be one-thousand percent different from yours, I thought I’d take this opportunity to document this seasons meals and eating style for your reference. As I mentioned way back in July: I tend to be the ultimate creatures of habit, finding a favorite ingredient or recipe, then clinging onto it for days or even weeks until I couldn’t possibly take one more bite – and then I move on to the next one. A tendency that’s always worked for me – for my taste buds, busy workweek, and also my wallet, allowing me the opportunity to stock up on favorite ingredients like sweet potatoes, walnuts, and quinoa in bulk – I know most prefer a lot more variety. This meal journal is indicative of my winter eating – with Washington, DC currently in the mid 30’s to upper 40’s, I tend to reach for warmer, more carbohydrate dense, and spiced options. As always – please feel free to reach out with any and all questions on how this meal journal could be applied to you! x
To give you a bit more background on me: I’m 5 foot, 3 inches, I’m currently 119 pounds, practice vinyasa yoga 3-4 times a week and am constantly walking, and breastfeed on demand. Though I don’t count calories (I try to eat as intuitively as possible, reaching for bites and sips when hunger strikes), based on my calculations, my typical days average out to about 2400-2600 calories, about 54% of which are from carbohydrates, 13% from plant based proteins, and 33% from fats.
Breakfast (7:30am): With Andrew home and a bit more time to futz around in my kitchen, this morning I whizzed up a super thick Banana Avocado smoothie bowl, topped with raw walnuts, goji berries, mulberries, and coconut flakes before heading off to a yoga practice. I love keeping my smoothies on the thicker side, so they have more of a ‘soft serve’ consistency than liquid – even if the two options are calorically identical. Thicker smoothies, eaten with spoon, just feel more substantial and belly filling and leave me feeling more satisfied than their sippable counterparts.
Snack (11:15am): Setting Andrew and myself up for snack time successes, I always try to keep our refrigerator and pantry well stocked with simple and nourishing bites – from seasonal produce, like apples, pears, and sliced root vegetables (like carrots and beets), to favorite and minimally processed granola bars. Post-yoga, I munched on three large carrots, sliced into matchsticks for that perfect crunch. We purchased a 5 pound bag, to have them available throughout the week!
Lunch (12:35pm): Out and about, Andrew and I stopped by DC’s Sweetgreen for salads. A fast casual make-your-own-salad joint, ever the creature of habit, I ordered my winter go-to. Make the same salad at home by tossing together the following ingredients in your favorite large bowl + a slice of crusty bread:
3 cups kale, roughly chopped
½ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
¼ cup raw beets, diced
¼ large cucumber with peel, diced
¼ cup bean sprouts
¼ purple cabbage, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons raw almonds, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Snack (4:10pm): Knowing we’d be out for most of the afternoon, I was sure to pack a more substantial granola bar in my bag for simple grabbing and munching. Today, I had an Almond Coconut Perfect Bar ready and waiting!
Dinner (6:45pm): Strategically making our way to our local farmers market for seasonal produce and the grocery store for staples (like grains, nuts, and non-local produce) on weekends, Andrew and I do the majority of our cooking on Sunday afternoons and evenings. Preparing workweeks worth of stews and roasted vegetables to have handy for simple reheating over our busier week, recently we’ve been keeping sweet potatoes (very!) well stocked and roasting a bunch at a time for breakfast and dinner boats, salads, and casual munching. Tonight I had a roasted sweet potato diced up and added to an arugula salad, with roasted cauliflower florets, half an avocado, and 2 tablespoons of raw cashews. I’ve been loving fresh squeezed lemon juice and olive oil as a simple dressing.
Dessert (7:45pm): Fun fact: dessert is my absolute favorite meal of the day – Andrew and I always joke we really only eat dinner to get to dessert faster. For dessert, I had two ready-made Cashew Cream Carrot Cake Balls + a piping mug of caffeine free Earl Grey tea.
Breakfast (7:15am): Reaching for one of my pre-roasted sweet potatoes, this morning I had a chilled potato piled high with half a cup of probiotic coconut yogurt, 2 tablespoons raw almonds, and a heaping tablespoon of nut butter. This roasted sweet potato breakfast boat requires almost no effort, feels insanely indulgent, and is packed full of wildly nutritive and belly filling plant based carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat. The best of every world.
Snack (11:25am): Again, because we had them ready and handy, I had three large carrots, sliced into matchsticks for optimal crunch.
Lunch (1:05pm): Ever the creature of habit and because we had all of these components lingering and ready to be assembled, today’s lunch looked much like Sunday’s dinner: a roasted sweet potato diced up and added to an arugula salad, with roasted cauliflower florets, half an avocado, and 2 tablespoons of raw almonds.
Snack (5:05pm): Requiring less than 2 minutes in my kitchen, this afternoon I whizzed up a simple smoothie – 1 large frozen banana with 2 BIG handfuls of spinach, a ¼ cup raw cashews, and a few good shakes of cinnamon. Perfect for keeping handy at my desk or nearby while playing with my Poe, I serve this in a favorite thermos for simpler sipping.
Dinner (6:55pm): On Sunday evening, Andrew and made a double batch of our favorite Clean Cannellini and Kale Soup – a one pot recipe that epitomizes winter cozy and also keeps and reheats really well. Coming together in under 30-minutes flat, from cardinal onion cut to summing swallow, all we had to do tonight was reheat + pick up a loaf fresh and crusty bread for dunking! (Note: doubling this recipe makes 8 servings of soup – we keep these leftovers in the fridge, stored in airtight tupperware to reheat on our stovetop as we need).
Dessert (8:50pm): Tonight for dessert I had a big handful of golden raisins and raw walnuts – that perfect balance of naturally unctuous and sweet.
Breakfast (6:55am): Much like Monday (sensing a theme?), today I kicked off my morning with another pre-roasted sweet potato, again piled high with half a cup of probiotic coconut yogurt, 2 tablespoons raw almonds, a heaping tablespoon of tahini, and 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes. A winter staple, this simple meal hits every spot – especially accompanied by a piping mug of coffee.
Snack (10:40am): During winter months, I tend to keep frozen berries well stocked in my freezer. They’re not only frozen at their peak ripeness and sweetness for optimal taste and nutrition, but tend to be a more cost effective buy than fresh. For todays snack, I whizzed up a sippable smoothie, made with 1 large frozen banana, half a cup of frozen strawberries, ¼ cup frozen blackberries, ¼ cup raw cashews, 2 heaping handfuls of baby spinach, and filtered water.
Lunch (1:25pm): On Tuesdays, Poe and I go to a baby friendly yoga class. Post-practice we grabbed lunch with a friend at Whole Foods – taking full advantage of the salad bar. More often than not, I find salad bars to be incredibly overwhelming, with so many options to chose from and unknown ingredients lingering in the majority. I tend to stick with raw or minimally prepared ingredients, those components I can readily identify! Today, I made a kale and baby arugula salad with about a ¼ cup raw walnuts, half a ripe avocado, half a cup of roasted butternut squash, a few olives, and olive oil and lemon juice.
Snack (5:00pm): Today for snack, I had a large apple (with the skin on), sliced and a few handfuls of popcorn.
Dinner (6:20pm): Utilizing this weekend’s farmers market finds, tonight I made a heaping arugula salad, with sliced up raw kalettes, pre-roasted purple sweet potato, half of a ripe avocado, sliced, almonds, a handful of green olives, and olive oil. A little bit of this, a little bit of that! Again, this primarily raw salad required only minutes in my kitchen, but was both filling and nourishing in all the right ways! I served this with a toasted whole wheat pita.
Dessert (8:05pm): Still a bit hungry, I decided to get slightly decadent with tonight’s dessert: I had a frozen banana, sliced into rings, then topped with coconut flakes, chopped raw walnuts, and a tablespoon of tahini. Sweet, salty, and wonderfully delicious.