Take a Peek at a Healthy Eater's Meal Plan

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You've peeked inside our fridges, and we've spilled our secrets about exercising in public. Now we're going to let you take a peek at our meal plans.

On a recent blog, someone wanted to know what a typical day is like for a SparkPeople expert in terms of eating. I remembered to both track my food and photograph it twice last week so I could share it with you. Do we eat the same foods? Would you eat what I eat?

I tend to eat a big breakfast, a moderate lunch and a slightly larger dinner, with one or two snacks. I love vegetables and always eat those before eating anything else on my plate. I don't eat meat or white bread/pasta/etc. I sometimes track calories, and I generally stay between 1,600 and 1,900 calories, the recommended amount from the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker. (Honestly I'm usually pressing the upper limit of that. I like to eat!) I practice yoga daily and take Spinning, run and/or walk a few times a week, so I'm pretty active. I'm good at eating only when I'm hungry, but I have a bad habit of grazing when I'm bored or stressed.

Take a look at what I ate:

Thursday, April 16

7 servings of fruits and vegetables
9 cups of water

Breakfast: (9 a.m.) I always loved oatmeal, but Kath over at KathEats.com helped me elevate my oatmeal to a new level. Kath tops her oatmeal with all kinds of goodies. My favorite is almond butter and a banana with a bit of vanilla soymilk and cinnamon. Today I changed it up with eight roasted almonds (I buy raw, so I toasted these in the toaster oven while my oatmeal cooked) about 2/3 of an ounce of chocolate chips (a new topping for me--it was so decadent!) and a cup of strawberries.
This was like dessert for breakfast. I will stick with my banana and almond butter most days, but I liked this!

Lunch: (1 p.m.) During last night's Spinning class, I concocted a strange but thankfully tasty recipe: Broccoli and Cauliflower with Whole Wheat Pasta in a Honey-Lemon-Thyme Sauce, topped with Bleu Cheese. I had the leftovers today and added a scrambled egg for extra protein. (There was about 2 cups here, half veg and half pasta.)

Snack: About half an ounce of almonds and pecans. I wasn’t really hungry but wanted to eat something small around 4 p.m.

Dinner: (8 p.m.) I try to cook from scratch, but between yoga classes and teacher training, I've been short on time. I steamed sweet potatoes, added a can of black beans and a carton of Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup and called it dinner. I added some avocado and two slices of multigrain bread from the bakery near my apartment. (I also drank a gulp of pomegranate kefir while dinner was cooking. I had just returned from the gym and was starving!

Snack 2: (10 p.m.) I was still a little hungry an hour after dinner and carving something sweet. I had a half-cup of plain nonfat yogurt with two tablespoons of real maple syrup (I didn't mean to have that much--I overpoured!) and about 1/4 cup of Grape-Nuts. It was sweet and tasty.

Friday, April 17

6 servings fruits and vegetables
9 cups of water

Breakfast: I usually eat breakfast at work, and four days out of five, it's oatmeal. I shop for produce at the farmers market and small shops at our public market on Saturdays, so we tend to be low on fruit and fresh vegetables on Fridays. Today I had a rather boring oatmeal/multigrain hot cereal mix with pecans (broken into pieces to stretch them) a bit of sugar (not necessary, I decided. I couldn't even taste it) and some soy milk. It ate at home because I had a meeting near my apartment. I was really thirsty when I woke at 6 for yoga, so I had 6 ounces of coconut water.

Lunch: I tried a new Healthy Choice meal, Sweet Asian Pot Stickers, with an extra half-cup of Harvest Hodgepodge vegetables from Trader Joes. I forgot to pack my lunch but thankfully the SparkPeople fridge and freezer are stocked with healthy food! This was better than I expected. I really liked it!

Snack: 1 medium banana with 1 T almond butter. I am allergic to peanuts, so almond butter is a staple for me. I usually buy the raw crunchy variety from Trader Joe's.

Dinner: I keep a can of almonds in the car for nights when I'm ravenous on the way home from the gym. The chili lime kind are tasty, and just a few (I think I ate three) tided me over until I got home. (It's only a 10-minute drive!) I ate leftovers from last night: more black bean/sweet potato soup with bread. That bagel you see under "dinner" is actually a bialy that I picked up at the bakery when I bought bread for the week. I ate it between breakfast and lunch. Eating breakfast at 8 instead of 9 made me hungry earlier.

Snack/Dinner 2: On Fridays I leave room for a fourth meal late at night. I go to the gym or have yoga training until at least 8, I eat a snack, then we meet friends for a drink or dinner. I tend to eat a small meal around 11. (I had falafel and a pint of Bell's Oberon!)

So that's what I ate. I don't track my food every day, but I do track fruits and vegetables. I usually eat 6-8 servings a day. My meal plan isn't "perfect" (I need to get more calcium most days), but I think it's pretty healthy!

Did you find this feature interesting? Would you like to see more features like this one? Is my meal plan anything like yours?