5 tips for a healthy diet + what I eat in a day
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Again and again I get asked how I keep myself fit. I’ve already uploaded a blog post about my workout routine, but you don’t know that much about my diet yet. Whoever follows me at Instagram always sees excerpts of it in my stories, because I post my lunch almost every day. But of course, this is always only a small part of what I eat every day. So at your request, I’ll give you some nutritional advice today. Besides, I’ll tell you what I eat all day.
One thing I want to say first of all: eating vegan does not automatically mean that someone lives healthy. There are quite a lot of products and dishes that do not require animal food and are nevertheless not good for us (e. g. chips or various sweets). Of course, it also depends on the measure. After all, a healthy diet also means being allowed to treat oneself to something every now and then. Nothing should be forbidden. Living healthy does not mean following a strict diet every day. It’s about finding a way to do something good for yourself and your body and finding your own routine and balance.
Nutrition is a vast area. And somehow everyone has an opinion on that. There are many theories circulating on the Internet about what should be healthy in which quantities. In most cases, the aim is to lose weight and fat as quickly as possible. That is what this blog post is all about. I’m much more interested in showing you what it takes for a healthy vegan diet and how I’m tackling the whole thing. So here are my five tips for a healthy diet that works not only for a short time but also for longer periods of time. Not least because you can always eat your fill and (almost) nothing has to do without.
“Eating well is a form of self-respect.”
1. The right shopping behaviour
This may sound banal, but it’s effective: What I don’t have in the cupboard at home, I can’t eat either. Plan your shopping and make a list of things you really need in advance. In this way you can avoid that I still have seven unnecessary and possibly just reduced articles that you don’t really need. Most of your shopping should consist of fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits. There are also legumes such as lentils and beans and some good carbohydrates. My favorites are buckwheat, wholemeal rice and millet (because I can’t eat food containing gluten). Of course, there are also a few products you can reward yourself with. But that doesn’t always have to be chocolate. How about dried dates or an unsweetened vegan yoghurt, for example? And of course you don’t have to remove the chocolate from the list. It’s okay to eat a piece of it now and then. Of course you have the choice between unhealthy and healthier varieties. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better. In the meantime, there is also chocolate that does not require refined sugar.
2. Avoid ravenous appetite: Make yourself healthy snacks!
To start at the first point: There are lots of great vegan snacks that you can prepare yourself. So whenever you feel hungry, you can fall back on it. For example, I myself always have healthy Bliss Balls close at hand. You can find the recipe here. They do not contain refined sugar and consist mainly of dates and nuts. Fruit is also an excellent snack for in between meals or as a dessert after dinner. Have you ever made your own applesauce? A homemade caramel cream also tastes great as a dip. I particularly like to dip pears or apple pieces into it. Half a banana with some nut butter tastes great, too. A particularly low-calorie idea for the hearty taste is rice waffles or popcorn. The former taste wonderful with hummus. Let me know if you would like to have an extra blog post with recipes for healthy snack ideas? I have a few more ideas; -)
3. Start the day with a green smoothie
You probably thought that this point was coming. But I wouldn’t recommend the green smoothie to you again and again if I weren’t completely convinced of it. I still think this is the best way to start the day. Why green smoothies are so healthy at all, you can read about it here in my blogpost. You can also find different recipes here. Green smoothies have helped me to have less craving for something sweet all day long. Somehow this desire for sweets is already satisfied in the morning. Did you also know that such a smoothie would only take 30 minutes to get out of your mouth? The small nutrient bombs help to get rid of toxins in the body and flush them out.
4. Learn to listen to your own body (and hunger)
I am constantly being asked what I think of Intermittet Fasting. For all those who don’t know what that means, it is about taking a certain number of hours off between meals. The option of allowing at least 16 hours to pass between dinner and the next meal on the following day is particularly popular. This is to help the body detoxify and lose weight. My opinion is that this is different for each person. For me, this method sometimes works very well and then there are days or weeks when I have to force myself to do it. I am a great advocate of listening to one’s own – and here literally – gut feeling. If you get up in the morning and are hungry, have a breakfast. But if you can’t get it down by noon, let it go. Of course, you could certainly get used to it for a longer period of time, but I think that every person is different. Personally, for example, I’m a total dinner freak. If I could only eat one more meal, it would be in the evening. I also love to cook extensively and eat large portions. I know that there are still many people in their minds who still think that this starts very quickly and you increase as a result. Believe me: That’s not true. Or rather, not everyone. You don’t have to be right about what’s right for me. What I want to tell you: Find out for YOU when you prefer to eat and adjust the size of your portions accordingly.
5. Wholefood plantbased diet instead of counting calories
For me, the key to a long-term and satisfying healthy diet is definitely a wholesome vegetarian diet. And what does that mean? Lots of vegetables, fruits, a selection of legumes and complex carbohydrates. Changing one’s diet does not mean excluding a food or possibly a whole group of it. No, it is just eating more of the healthy and good and reducing the other. Clearly, if you want to lose weight in a targeted way, you also have to maintain such a calorie deficit. But if you just want to live healthier and feel better, you may even be able to eat more quantity and calories than before. That’s what happened to me. When I became a vegan, I had to get used to the huge portions. Many people are unaware of how much fat is in a single piece of cheese, for example. The same with the meat. So if we replace this with soya and pulses, for example, we are constantly amazed at how much more we can eat without increasing in weight.
What do I eat in a day?
Of course, every day looks a little different for me. But we now assume that I am working from home. Away from the front: I am usually not hungry at all in the morning, as my main meal is dinner. That’s why I always start the day with a cup of coffee and rice milk. I like to drink plenty of water.
- 08.00: Coffee with rice milk + 2 glasses of water
Because I like to be active in the mornings, I like to eat a small snack at about 10 am. Either I have already had a workout at this time (then the snack will be bigger) or I go running right after that. Then a small portion is enough for me, so that the eaten food doesn’t come up again!; -)
- 10.00: Snack (currently mostly apple, half banana or 2-3 medjool dates)
At about 12 o’ clock I usually hear a little rumbling of my stomach. Time for my smoothie bowl. And if you think: This is not a real meal, you are wrong. A bowl like this has 600 calories, plus all the toppings. I love smoothies at lunchtime, especially because they are light and don’t make me feel like I’m falling into a food coma right after that.
- 12.30: Green smoothie bowl with silk tofu and toppings
In my smoothie there is always a fruit or a vegetable with carbohydrates (for example frozen banana or baked sweet potato). This basis is supplemented with vegetables (spinach, courgettes, cucumber, cauliflower, etc.), silk tofu and hemp seeds for the protein source as well as some wheatgrass and chia flour for extra nutrients. As toppings I like to use raw buckwheat, raw/unsweetened cocoa and some psyllium husks. The latter are especially great for the development of a good intestinal flora. They’re totally helping me avoid a flatulence. The sun vitamin (Vit D 3) comes into my bowl in winter, because it is supposed to be absorbed together with some fat. Mine is already dissolved in olive oil, which is ideal.
- 15.00: Snack (raw vegetables with hummus)
When I get hungry during the afternoon, I like to cut different vegetables and dip them in homemade hummus. Of course you can also make other spreads here. Dips with peas or a Muhammara are also delicious.
- 18.30: Lentil pasta with lemon-mustard sauce, vegetables and yeast flakes
Lentil pasta is my current favorite for dinner. I prefer to make myself a vegetable frying pan and a light lemon-mustard sauce. I use yeast flakes as a substitute for parmesan. But I also like Thaicurry, preferably with black rice.
- 20.00: Matcha latte with coconut milk and/or fruit as dessert
Hardly a day goes by when I fall into bed without a little treat. Quite often I currently drink a Matcha Latte with a hood of coconut milk foam. That’s usually good enough for dessert. Apart from that, I also like to grab a fruit. Rarely, but it seems like I’m making popcorn. But then salty. By the way, I don’t use any fat at all. This works wonderfully in a well-coated pan.
What else I want to say:
I would like to conclude by saying that I do not eat every day exactly as described above. That always varies. From time to time I also treat myself to something sweet and/or go out for dinner. Sure. But I think that this will give you a good insight. By the way: Who asks himself now, how many calories I take there on the day so to me: I’m not tracking it. For this blog post, I have briefly overlooked it again for you. In total, we are over 2200 calories. Sometimes I even eat more than this, sometimes less. What I’m saying is, don’t be afraid of numbers like that. Especially if you are active in sports, your body needs a lot of energy (nutrients, fibre, vitamins, etc.).
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Let me know what helps you to eat healthy food and what your favourite dishes are. Besides, I’d be interested to know how you’re feeding. Are you vegan/vegetarian or neither? I’m looking forward to your comments and, as always, I’m open to new suggestions for further blog posts.
All the best from Zurich,