When I tell people I’m a nutritionist, they usually assume I’m vegetarian. I have to laugh, because I have strong opinions about vegetarianism and veganism. If you’ve read my story, you’ll see I was vegetarian for a good part of my life, but it didn’t serve me well in the end. Now I focus on eating meat and fish, tons of vegetables, fruit, some nuts and seeds here and there, legumes (LOVE lentils, and they’re so fiber rich), and chocolate (it’s a food group). I believe the body’s needs change all the time, and sticking to one way of eating 100 percent of the time can exclude foods you may need, so while I eat paleo a good amount of the time, I wouldn’t label myself as such. Legumes (not allowed on paleo) don’t work for everyone, but they’re a gut superfood if they work for you!
I work with many people who have chronic digestive issues and hormone imbalance or autoimmune disease, and they may need to stick to a strict eating plan for a period of time, but it’s never a one-size-fits-all approach with anyone.
Interested to get a glimpse of what I’m eating? Let’s walk through a day and see what I’ve got!
I get up at 7am and after walking the dogs, I always start my day with green tea or pu-erh. I don’t drink coffee regularly though I love it. It gives me anxiety, as I’m one of the 50 percent who doesn’t metabolize that level of caffeine well. Breakfast is typically a green or berry-based smoothie, like this beet-raspberry beauty pictured here. I add gelatin and supergreens (like moringa) to my smoothies to pack an extra nutrition punch. For my basic smoothie recipe, click here. I also love this paleo protein powder that’s dairy free.
I try and exercise in the mornings. That could be HIIT interval training or a home yoga practice. Depends on my schedule. I like exercising in the morning because it’s out of the way + enhances energy and focus for the day.
On the weekends, I’ll make my favorite brunch, the eggless hash, and eat it with avocado and raw kraut for probiotics. (I don’t do well with eggs. If you do, eat ’em up!)
Around noon, it’s time for lunch. I don’t believe in snacking much (may need something between lunch and dinner because it’s typically a longer stretch, and I recommend eating every 4 hours for stable blood sugar) unless you are hypoglycemic. Lunch for me is almost always leftovers that I can quickly reheat and eat. I’ll also include a side of raw kraut for enzymes and probiotics. Or my favorite salad, mixed greens with wild lox, shredded beets and carrots, and avocado. In the winter, I love leftover stew, like this beef stew or kale-white bean stew. I always have a square or 4 of dark chocolate after lunch.
Around 4 or 5 I need a small snack, which might be a maca truffle or 2, or an apple with almond butter. I also LOVE the Justin’s hazelnut chocolate nut butters. Or I’ll make my favorite afternoon energizer vegetable juice. I also sip bone broth in between meals.
Then around 6 or 7, it’s dinner. I love roasted salmon with veggies and sweet potato or herbed root vegetables. Or I might have set the crock pot earlier, so I have chicken legs or a lamb roast waiting for me. Click here for my fave easy crock pot recipe. I’ll have those meat dishes with a batch of greens, like kale, or roasted or mashed cauliflower, or maybe my kale-bacon-brussels hash. I also adore celery root and make celery root mash with butter and coconut milk. It’s a little sweet and also creamy delicious. And more chocolate. It’s a superfood!
I wind down around 10pm with a mug of Yogi Bedtime tea, then off to bed to read, then get up and do it all over again tomorrow.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.