What a nutritionist eats in a day...

Beth Furness - Assistant Nutritionist | 01 Mar, 2024

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Hi everyone! If you missed my latest "What I Eat in a Day" video, don't worry – I've packed all of the tasty details into this blog post.

Discover my breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices, along with some insights into why I choose them. From satisfying cereals to hearty soups and flavourful dinners, join me as I take you through a day of balanced eating that's both delicious and nutritious.

If you're curious to see the meals in action, you can check out the video below.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Breakfast, my ultimate favourite! Whether you’re a sweet or savoury lover, breakfast has such a broad range of options to choose between to make sure you start your day off right.

From a nutritional standpoint, breakfast is hailed as a great way to boost your nutrient intake, providing the energy you need to begin the day. A well-balanced breakfast can also set the tone for healthier eating habits throughout the day, helping to prevent overeating later on.

  • 2 x Weetabix
  • 20g oats
  • 20g raisins
  • 8g flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp almonds
  • 125ml skimmed milk
  • 1 x banana

Nutritional breakdown:

Kcals: 494

Fat: 12.1g

S/fat: 1.5g

Carbs: 79.6g

Sugar: 38.8g

Protein: 16.7g

Fibre: 10.3g

Salt: 0.26g

Like many children, I used to top my Weetabix with a generous layer of granulated sugar as a weekend ‘treat’. Nowadays, I aim for breakfast choices that not only boost my daily fibre intake and provide sustained energy but also offer a touch of sweetness to indulge my morning sweet-tooth cravings in a more balanced and nutritious way.

Fibre plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy digestive system and promoting feelings of fullness, which can be advantageous for those seeking weight loss. While dietary guidelines recommend around 30g of fibre daily, the average Brit consumes only about 18g. By opting for a higher fibre cereal, a sprinkle of oats, along with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, I contributed an additional 10.3g towards my daily target.

On top of this, including healthy unsaturated fats from almonds and flaxseed supports heart health. While dried fruits contain more sugar gram for gram than their fresh counterparts, they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, adding the desired sweetness to the cereal while maintaining nutritional balance. However, it is always important to be aware of the sugar content and ensure you’re not eating them too frequently.

Lunch

Lunch

I really enjoy being creative with my lunches, and today was no exception. Using spices from my favourite world cuisines and taking a healthier spin on the classics can help to ‘jazz things up’, so today’s soup was bursting with my favourite Mexican flavours. Over winter, I indulge in soups regularly – there's just something so comforting about a steaming bowl of goodness, especially when paired with some hearty, fibre-rich bread for dunking. It's become a bit of a ritual for me during this time of year, so choosing soup for lunch was a no-brainer.

  • 1 x serving Mexican red pepper and kidney bean soup
  • 1 x 75g slice dark rye bread
  • ¼ ripe avocado

Nutritional breakdown:

Kcals: 347

Fat: 8.7g

S/fat: 1.9g

Carbs: 55.3g

Sugar: 11.3g

Protein: 9g

Fibre: 12.1g

Salt: 1.18g

Kidney beans, a staple in many cuisines, are not only rich in protein and fibre but also contain multiple vitamins as well as essential minerals such as iron and potassium – making them a great addition to soups.

Vibrant red pepper adds colour and flavour to the soup, and provides a significant dose of lycopene; a powerful antioxidant known for its association with increased protection against cardiovascular disease and several forms of cancer. Fun fact – this antioxidant is what gives foods such as tomatoes and peppers their distinctive red colour!

Cooking these vegetables allows for a better absorption of lycopene by the body, so popping them into a soup is a great way to up your intake.

For the finishing touches, I added avocado which provides healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to the meal including vitamin E and potassium. Together with the soup and rye bread, this makes the perfect hearty lunch that is nourishing and delicious.

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner is the perfect opportunity to wind down and enjoy something comforting and warming. What I also love about an evening meal is that it is often shared with family. The health benefits of gathering around the dinner table and being present in the moment are sometimes overlooked. Aside from the psychological improvements, there is some research to suggest that eating around a dinner table can aid weight loss as you are less likely to over-consume food. Our family meals have always been balanced and home-cooked, with a diverse range of nutrients.

  • 1 x serving Thai pork
  • 75g brown rice
  • 1 x medium serving of broccoli

Nutritional breakdown:

Kcals: 581

Fat: 26.9g

S/fat: 13.2g

Carbs: 51.8g

Sugar: 9.1g

Protein: 34.6g

Fibre: 5.2g

Salt: 1.87g

Bursting with flavour, this Thai pork dish is the perfect way to finish the day. Although pork isn’t a meat I eat all the time due to its higher saturated fat content, I find it’s a great cost-effective, high-protein option to have every-so-often.

The pork was paired with brown rice which, unlike its refined white counterpart, retains its outer bran layer and germ, which are packed with nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. This means it's not only more filling and satisfying but also provides a slower, more sustained release of energy, keeping me fueled for longer periods. I also love the nutty flavour as I feel it adds another layer of flavour to the dish and while it may take longer to cook than white rice, the positive effects on our gut health can’t be ignored!

Hello fresh

Snacks

Snacks are the little pick-me-ups that keep me going between meals. While I often opt for healthier choices, I like to follow a healthy diet 80% of the time, and allow myself some flexibility in my choices the other 20%, meaning on occasion I enjoy snacks that aren't as nutritionally beneficial but help me to maintain a healthy relationship with food. To me, that is what balance is all about!

  • 1 x apple
  • Skinny Whip bar (mint chocolate flavour: aka the best one!)

Nutritional breakdown:

Kcals: 124

Fat: 2.7g

S/fat: 1.5g

Carbs: 23.4g

Sugar: 19.4g

Protein: 1g

Fibre: 5.1g

Salt: 0.01g

Apples are one of my favourite fruit snacks, specifically Pink Ladies! Apples stand out not only for their crisp sweetness but also their impressive nutritional profile. Packed with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and many other nutrients, they are the perfect snack to keep you energised and satisfied throughout the day. The Skinny Whip made the ideal after-lunch chocolate hit. With only 79 kcals per bar and 3.9g of fibre, I see this as an enjoyable sweet option when incorporated into a balanced day.

Total nutritional breakdown

Kcals: 1546

Fat: 50.4g

S/fat: 18.1g

Carbs: 210g

Sugar: 78.6g

Protein: 61.3g

Fibre: 32.7g

Salt: 3.33g

Summary

I hope this blog has given you a little insight into my diet and why I make the choices I do. Remember that you are only seeing a snapshot here, each day looks different as my energy needs and specific food desires can vary day-to-day just like everyone else’s. When it comes to daily calories I tend to eat around 1500-1600 kcals Monday to Friday, leaving me with more calories to enjoy at the weekend. As I find this is the best way for me to maintain my weight, whilst allowing me to have a little more calorie freedom over the weekends. Remember this is just my personal calorie needs and yours may be different depending on your goals and lifestyle preferences.

By incorporating fibre-rich foods, lean proteins, and antioxidant-packed ingredients, I aim to fuel my body each day while enjoying the pleasures of delicious, wholesome meals. Remember, achieving a balanced diet is about listening to your body, and honouring cravings whilst finding joy in nourishing foods. Here's to embracing a lifestyle of nutritious eating and savouring every bite along the way!

Nutritionist Beth Furness (ANutr), holding a BSc in Nutrition and Health, is deeply dedicated to applying evidence-based knowledge to all aspects of nutrition. Her passion lies in fostering healthy relationships with food, ensuring that everyone maintains a balanced and sustainable approach to nutrition.

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