by Megan Crockart (Clinical Nutritionist)
Over the years since becoming a Clinical Nutritionist, many people have been intrigued to know what I eat. I listen to my body and it may have taken a few years to work out exactly what it has been trying to tell me, I now know what it likes and does not like and I respect that.
For varying reasons: I am dairy free (besides very occasional goat’s cheese), gluten free, cane sugar free, preservative/flavourings and chemical free. I eat roughly a 90% certified organic or spray free diet. I make sure I eat certified organic, free range, grass-fed meat and poultry/eggs. An individual food I avoid, as they really don’t agree with me, is onion (I cook with leeks instead). I am stricter on being dairy free out of this list and I will rarely eat some of the other things eg if I am at someone’s house.
I am not aligned with any one style of eating. I was along the lines of paleo for a while and this particular style does suit me. But more recently I am having more of the grains/legumes that paleo does not include. I am definitely about getting as much variety as possible, so this is also why I don’t stick to one style. Because I am about variety I do get bored of having the same thing – I really try not to have the exact same thing every day at each meal and rotate foods as much as possible.
Although I am a meat eater, I try to have at least 2-3 vegetarian/vegan dinners a week and I also include fish around 1-2 dinners a week.
I cook pretty much everything from scratch and eat a whole foods type approach with minimal processed/packaged foods. I have two small sons and what I eat for lunch and dinner is what they have too. I don’t make different meals. Some breakfasts are different and their snacks are different. We always sit down together at the table as a family for lunch and dinners and weekend breakfast.
I prefer to eat later in the morning (if I can) so that I have a gap from dinner to breakfast of around 14-16 hours (intermittent fasting). This works well for me.
So what do my days look like? – Here’s a snapshot:
Overnight uncontaminated oats soaked in filtered water – topped with shredded coconut, banana (or berries or both), slivered almonds, cinnamon, coconut yoghurt (optional toppings: brown rice puffs, hemp seeds, buckinis, puffed amaranth)
Paleo blueberry bread rolls toasted with almond butter and banana
Gluten free bread with a spray of extra virgin olive oil, Everymite and avocado
Certified organic nitrate free bacon and eggs with avocado and/or fermented vegetables or oven roasted tomatoes
Homemade pancakes – usually topped with banana/berries and maple syrup
Home-made waffles – usually topped with banana/berries and maple syrup
Lunch is my meal that is often the same. I nearly always have a large salad and accompany it with some form of protein such as tofu, certified organic nitrate free ham, chicken, salmon/tuna and occasionally goat’s cheese.
My salad ingredients include and vary:
- Baby spinach/baby kale (not every salad)
- Capsicum (I like to use red and yellow)
- Snow peas
- Sugar snap peas
- Fresh peas
- Green beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hemp seeds
I generally like to have an accompaniment or dressing depending on my mood. I often make 2 very basic simple dressings. One has extra virgin olive oil with coconut balsamic vinegar and the other one has toasted sesame oil with apple cider vinegar. I also like to use cashew cheeses in my salad as a condiment.
If I don’t have a salad then I will have leftovers from dinner.
On weekends, maybe once a month or every couple of weeks we get some form of takeaway lunch which could be slow cooked meat that I have with my salad, sushi, Vietnamese style soup or fish and chips.
As I have said, I really like to have variety at dinner and there are only a few things we have on a regular basis like weekly or fortnightly. This is mostly due to my children wanting certain things and from a time constraint basis. Otherwise I try to make different dishes and we don’t usually have that exact same dish sometimes for a couple of months. At this time of year, I love doing slow cooked meals, so my slow cooker gets quite a workout.
As I have so much variety I will give an example of my past week of dinners:
Saturday – Artichoke, olive and broccoli pasta salad – Vegan
Sunday – Slow cooked Massaman beef curry (spice mix made from scratch) served with Jasmine rice
Monday – Lamb chops with roasted vegetables (purple sweet potato, potato, eggplant, squash, fennel, Brussel’s sprouts) and served with homemade BBQ sauce
Tuesday – Slow cooked Spanish frittata with potatoes and broccoli served with steamed squash, carrot, cauliflower – Vegetarian (if you eat eggs)
Wednesday – Sausages with steamed potato, broccoli, cauliflower and squash
Thursday – Pork Chops with a maple syrup glaze sauce served with slow cooked Mexican style corn cobs
Friday – Slow cooked Beef Stroganoff with carrot and zucchini served with gluten free pasta
I rarely eat anything after dinner. If I do have something it will be a square of dark chocolate. The darker the better. Around once a month I might have a small serve of dairy free ice-cream.
I generally don’t snack throughout the day. I do, however, listen to my body and if I am really hungry to the point of distraction, I will choose a healthy option which could be:
- 1-2 Medjool dates, sometimes I will put a brazil nut or macadamia nut inside
- Carrot sticks and hummus or cashew dip
- Piece of fruit
- Couple of rice crackers or some corn chips
- Handful of mixed nuts
- Handful Tamari flavoured almonds
- Smoothie – usually banana and cinnamon on coconut milk
- Rice cake with almond butter
- Once a week or fortnight I will share in a packet of plain chips with my family
- Once or twice a month I’ll have some home-made popcorn
I do make a sweet treat for my sons once a week/fortnight which can be anything from muffins, biscuits or a slice. I do not use any refined cane sugar in my baking and stick with mostly maple syrup, honey, bananas, dates or coconut sugar as sweeteners. I use minimal sweetener too. I don’t use wheat flour at all in my house and any flour I use is wholemeal. Most of what I make is gluten and dairy free, so on a rare occasion I will have a small amount of what I make them. This is not every time I make something though as I listen to whether I really want it or just think I do.
What do I drink? What people drink often gets forgotten about and not considered when looking at their diet, but this can be very important as to what can be going on with them.
I drink about 2-3L of filtered water and take my water bottle everywhere with me. I start every day with a green tea. My water and green tea are non-negotiable. Then what I drink the rest of the day depends on what I am doing and what I feel like. Some mornings I will have a second cup of tea usually a green chai or another plain green tea. Around lunchtime/mid afternoon I like to make a chai spiced hot chocolate on almond milk. I steep the chai spices in the almond milk in a saucepan on the stove and then add cacao powder. I do not sweeten this with anything. At dinner time around twice a week we will share kombucha/coconut water kefir. At night before bed, I love my routine of having a chamomile tea. Some nights I might miss this and not have tea or have a different herbal tea, but generally chamomile tea is also a non-negotiable part of my bed routine.
Alcohol? Coffee? I hear you say? No to both. I once was a big coffee drinker, but now I am happy with green tea. I don’t really miss the coffee. After years of not listening to my body when it came to alcohol, I now finally have listened. I am better off with minimal alcohol in my life. I would have a glass or two (literally) of white wine around once every one-two months, sometimes not for months on end. I used to love red wines, but they no longer love me, so have been avoiding these completely. I might on an even rarer occasion (perhaps once or twice a year) have a gin and tonic with fresh lime. I certainly don’t miss the aftermath of alcohol and don’t need it in my life.
I don’t eat out that often or get takeaways. If eating out, I try to get whatever the healthier option is and aim to avoid dairy and gluten as much as possible. If we do get takeaway for dinner, about once every 3 months, it would be Thai, Vietnamese, Indian (very rarely) or fish and chips
Why I eat like this is specific to my own personal health needs and tastes and is not representative of what everyone should eat. If you would like a personalised eating plan specific to your needs, then contact me to book in a consult – email@example.com or 0417 679 287.
Megan Crockart is a qualified Holistic Nutritionist & a self-confessed foodie! Megan has a special interest in working with individuals with allergies, food intolerances, SIBO, eczema, pre- & post-natal health & children’s health.
To book a consultation with Megan please click here.