A question I get asked very often is ‘what does a Nutrition Coach eat in real life?’. I thought I’d write a short post about how I choose my meals, focusing this time on lunch.
Here’s a basic example of how I build my lunches. Lunch bowls are the most typical lunches I eat, some days it’s a on-the-go lunch eaten on the train but most days it’s a proper sit down lunch. The lunch bowls are always built from the ingredients we happen to have in the kitchen at the moment.
If you think of the basis for building a balanced meal, you need your veggies, good quality, slow releasing, fibre rich carbohydrates, your lean protein and some unsaturated fats. For most days, I start building up my lunch bowls in this order, depending on what’s available at the time:
Choose the veggies (2-3 different colours), my go to options are baby spinach (green), raw grated carrot or gently simmered sweet potato (orange) and tomato (red).
Pick your grain (wholegrain if possible), I usually go for quinoa or bulgur wheat. Quinoa is my all time favourite due to the incredible nutrient profile and versatility. To save time, I make them in big batches and keep in the fridge.
Choose the protein (opt for plant based if you can), beans are a go to option here. They work for every kind of food out there. Some days I dice some smoked tofu on top.
Pick the fat (make sure it’s vegetable source), ensuring sufficient intake of omega 3’s and other healthy unsaturated fats, drizzle on nut oil or sprinkle a handful of nuts or seeds on your bowl. My favourites are pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
How these bowls turn out each day is a clear indication of my mood for the day, how much time is available and what the weather is like. Yes, if it’s a sunny day, my bowls look very sunny and if it’s a rainy day, well, they’re made to clear up the skies (mentally at least).
If you’re short on time, prep at least 2 bowls’ ingredients ahead of time and then take them with you. Buy yourself a reliable jar or lunch box so that your lunches can easily travel with you wherever you go. When taking your lunch with you, ensure you’re using only ingredients that can stand a little bit of temperature change (your commute), which often means no ingredients from animal sources.
For more pictures and inspiration, go check out ArcticNut’s Facebook and Instagram accounts if you already haven’t done so.