this is what a nutritionist eats to stay healthy
Seeing as they’re super savvy on all things food, diet and nutrition, it makes sense that a nutritionist’s daily food intake would be guilt-free and perfectly portioned whilst also being expertly balanced between lean protein, healthy fats and wholesome carbs.
Well, to an extent yes, however, Eat Natural’s Nutritionist Ashly Volkert says that she still loves occasional treats and eating out, and yes, this is all part of maintaining good balance. In fact, Ashly’s day-to-day diet is far from the dull image we might conjure up in our head when we think of a nutritionist’s diet.
Right? “There is often a view that nutritionists follow a strict, boring diet that just consists of raw veg, salad and grains,” says Ashly who says that although she loves incorporating healthy foods into her daily schedule, she is also a really big foodie.
“I don’t like to demonise particular food groups. I believe we all need a treat once in a while and that moderation and balance in the diet is key. My preference is to eat clean; I like to focus on the quality of foods and ingredients.
“I limit the amount of processed foods in my diet and focus on building a plate of real foods that are full of nutrients and colours. This includes veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds and good quality proteins.”
Here, Ashly shares her healthy day to day diet, revealing exactly what she eats for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between…
“My goal at breakfast is to have a meal consisting of protein, healthy fats and fibre that fills me up until lunch,” says Ashly.
“As a quick, easy go-to breakfast, a granola that is low in sugar and high in fibre is a good option, especially the Eat Natural Low Sugar Granola. I usually pair this with unsweetened plant-based milk or with plain Greek yoghurt, which also adds protein and calcium.”
For an additional nutrient boost, Ashly adds berries (fresh or frozen).
“I also enjoy a cup of tea with a splash of organic whole milk in the morning and I like to mix it up sometimes with a slice of lemon and warm water instead to gently kickstart the day.”
At the weekend Ashly opts for eggs.
“As well as being a source of protein, they also contain vitamins and minerals. I often combine them with smashed avocado for healthy fats, a sprinkle of seeds, crumbled feta and tomatoes, and then serve everything on wholemeal toast or a muffin. This combination keeps me going for hours.”
“Lunch doesn’t have to be boring. With a little thought and imagination, lunches can be fun, healthy and tasty too,” reveals Ashly.
“On a typical day I may go for fibre-rich veggies, lean protein and whole grains for a wholesome, satisfying, nutrient-rich lunch.”
Ashly suggests sliced chicken breast, homemade salsa, mixed beans, grated cheese, brown rice and avocado, layered on top of a bed of lettuce. Some hot sauce and a spoon of sour cream is also a good addition.
“Meals don’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or perfect all of the time,” says Ashly, who opts for quick, easy, nutrient dense meals, with some days being veggie or fish-based.
“On a typical day I may opt for a one-pot meal as it can be very versatile and nutritious.
“Harissa sweet potato and lentil tagine with wholewheat couscous. Adding in mint, peas and pomegranate for additional veggies, along with a drizzle of olive oil.”
Ashly throws in herbs and spices too such as ginger, cumin and coriander as they boost diversity and flavour to healthy meals.
“They are a good way to add taste and cut down on salt.”
As for dessert?
“I do like a sweet treat after dinner on occasion, especially on the weekend. I am a real chocolate lover so homemade chocolate brownies with a dollop of ice cream or crème fraiche goes down a treat! It’s not a crime to treat yourself sometimes – it’s important to give yourself a break to accept and enjoy moments of being relaxed,” says Ashly.
Ashly says that although she does like a snack to stop herself getting overly hungry, she often has a glass of water beforehand as we can often mistake hunger for being thirsty.
“I generally go for unsalted nuts, veggie sticks and hummus and fruit. I particularly like bananas with a spoonful of nut butter – the slightly sweet paired with the healthy fats and protein is a good choice. However, when I am out and about and stop for an oat milk cappuccino, I enjoy a square or two of dark chocolate.”
Ashly’s tips for nutritional success
Eat everything in moderation. Too much of anything is bad and too little of anything can also be just as bad.
Eat the rainbow to make sure you are getting a variety of nutrients. Try challenging yourself to incorporate different coloured fruits and vegetables into your diet each week. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Protein should be balanced across meals. Enjoy more pulses and legumes (such as lentils, beans and chickpeas) as they are protein dense. Try to replace meat with pulses once or twice a week.
Think about adding healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and seeds with omega 3 into every meal.
Focus on fibre; add wholegrains, pulses and legumes to meals.
It’s important to stay hydrated during the day and keep a bottle of plain – still or sparkling- water by your side.