To tell you what I eat in a day - specifically while following this shelter-in-place order here in Chicago, I’ll follow the same request I ask of all my clients. It usually sounds something like this.
“Before we start, I’d like to know how you’re eating right now. Please send me two to three days of what you ate, including one weekend day. Don’t forget to include everything you put in your mouth, from the water you drink to the small handful of M&Ms you snacked on just before dinner. All of it counts.
“Start with what you ate yesterday.”
Since I’m pretty routine these days, I’ll save you from all the details of multiple days and just tell you what I ate yesterday from start to finish. I’ll give you my full-body workout, too, if you feel like trying something different.
Here we go.
I’d be lying if I said my diet or my activity hasn’t changed while sheltering in place, but I’m making a conscious effort not the let things get out of hand. My workouts, on the other hand - the non-prescription feel-good routine I would so keenly follow in the gym - has been dramatically altered. I’ll tell you about that, too.
What I Eat In A Day
Wake Up - 6:00am
As soon as I get up, I boil the kettle fill my French press with this really good Buzz-Free Decaffeinated Coffee. I’ve tried to relax on buying everything organic right now because not everything is available.
That said, my decaf coffee is always organic. Conventionally-decaffeinated coffee is chemically processed with solvents like methylene chloride. You know, the same solvent that’s used in paint thinners. No thanks! I think I’ll spend the extra couple bucks on a bag of organic.
While I wait for the coffee to do its thing, I drink 14 ounces of warm water with lemon juice. I can’t remember a day in the past 10 years when I haven’t started my day with either room temp or warm water.
Breakfast - 8:00am
In between waking up and breakfast, I usually work. My kids are eating a little later in the morning during this shelter-in-place, so I try to eat before them so I can help them focus on getting their day started. My five-year-old naturally needs a lot of hand-holding.
Yesterday, breakfast was ½ cup of uncooked old-fashioned oats + ½ chopped apple + cinnamon + a little stevia + one huge tablespoon of peanut butter. I put it all in a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil with water. If you’ve never had chopped apple in oatmeal, I highly recommend it!
Snack - 11:00am
I’m not tied to a snacktime or anything like that, but I usually find myself a little hungry a few hours after breakfast. Yesterday I knew I wanted to try to get in a workout at 12:30pm, so I didn’t want to eat anything really big. I just had a small glass of water, an apple + a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter along with a cup of green tea.
(Note: when you eat too much before a workout, your body is still digesting foods, which means the oxygen-rich blood that could be helping your muscles move and your heart pump is sitting in your stomach breaking down what you ate. In a nutshell, it makes your workout feel a lot harder.)
Workout - 12:30pm
After my gym closed, I resorted to running outside or riding our spin bike. Living near Lake Michigan, I’d run in that direction. Despite the shelter-in-place, there were a lot of people walking around. I don’t want to wear a mask when I run, and I don’t want to make anyone else feel uncomfortable with me huffing and puffing past them, so I decided to keep my workouts indoors.
I have a go-to bodyweight workout that is about 30 minutes long. For the workout, the only equipment I used was a 10-pound dumbbell. The workout is listed below.
Oh, and I drank about 20-ounces of water.
Lunch - 3:00pm
I know, not really a lunchtime, but it works for me. While my workout was strong and fun, it wasn’t too long. I wasn’t hungry after the workout, so I had lunch a little later.
I made a smoothie. I swear by this smoothie. It is so good and loaded with everything I need, including fiber, healthy fats, plenty of protein...you get the point.
The smoothie consisted of 2 scoops of Orgain protein powder + ⅓ of an avocado + frozen raspberries + 10 ounces of water. That’s it. So good!
Snack - 5:00pm
This is the time of day when I start getting “snackie” and start rummaging through the kitchen trolling for food.
My youngest daughter made chocolate chip cookies earlier in the day, so I grabbed one of those. And if memory serves me correctly, I also grabbed a few rice crackers. Have you ever had those? I love them with hummus or guac or this great dairy-free cream cheese from Miyoko’s. I also had a sparkling water.
Not the healthiest of snacks, but we’re being honest, right?
Dinner - 6:00pm
To be clear, this is the time I started making dinner. I made individual homemade flatbread pizzas. The type I make doesn’t have cheese and is loaded with pesto sauce, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and sliced olives.
I made the pizza with roasted broccoli. The broccoli I make is a family favorite. All I do is preheat the oven to 425, the toss about 4 cups of broccoli florets on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes and voila!
The recipe for the flatbread is posted on my Instagram account.
Dinner is usually the meal I enjoy most, so I make a conscious effort to sit down and really enjoy it - even if it’s a hodge-podge of leftovers from the fridge (very often the case!) - I try to really take my time.
After Dinner - 8:00pm
I had a glass of red wine. It’s not the norm every night, but I do have a glass of wine a few nights a week.
Bedtime - 10:00pm
I drink a lot of water before I go to bed. Sounds weird, right? But it works for me. I take my supplements before it’s lights out. I’m out of a couple of things right now, so I ended up just taking magnesium glycinate, probiotics, and a multivitamin. At the very least, I make sure to never run out of these. Check out all my supplement recommendations.
I take all of these with a 14-ounce glass of water, then I re-load that glass and bring it to bed with me.
That’s it. And with the exception of having different dinners, it’s fairly consistent. I did, however, conveniently leave out all the sibling arguments, technology issues, kitchen messes, and all the other stuff that comes along with having five people in one home with no escape for a long, long time.
So how about the workout? You got it!
My Bodyweight Workout
This is my go-to quarantine workout. It’s a quick one but gets the job done and only requires a dumbbell.
30 Bodyweight Squats
30 Plank & Rows*
30 Mountain Climbers
30 Double Leg Lifts (with dumbbell)*
30 Russian Twists
Repeat 3 times through, then stretch.
What’s a Plank & Row? Hold your body in a straight-arm plank position with the dumbbell just below your chest. Grab the dumbbell with one hand and row up, then switch hands. Maintain the plank position the entire time. If your lower back hurts doing this exercise, drop to your knees until you get stronger.
What’s a Double Left Lift? Start by lying flat on your back, holding the dumbbell with both hands. Lift your legs up so that you’re at a 90-degree angle. Flex your toes toward your face. Holding the dumbbell with both hands, raise your arms so straight up in front of your chest. You should look like a U, but keep your head down on the ground the entire time.
Slowly drop your legs down and your arms back until they nearly touch the ground then return to the start position again.