After posting a few times about what my kids eat, I thought it was time to share what I eat in a day. There is overlap with how my kids eat, but there are some differences too, so I thought it might be valuable to share a slice of my diet with everyone.
Eating similarly to the Keto diet for maximum energy
In general, I eat in a style that I refer to as “keto-ish.” I aim to eat lower carb and higher fat than my kids, but I am not a strict keto eater. The main reason I eat this way is that it makes me feel really good without having to constantly follow rules or think about if I should eat something. I find I have a lot of energy through the day and it’s steady so I can do what I need to do without needing a nap or a sugar fix halfway through the day in order to keep going. Keto-ish is also flexible, I can eat what I like, but I am careful about when I eat certain things so I don’t tank my energy in the middle of the day.
Keeping your diet “rules” flexible for maximum success
In doing what I do for a living, I have tried pretty much every diet and way of eating there is. At some point I got tired of always having to pay attention to what I’m eating and navigate complex rules every time I decide what to put in my mouth. My feeling is that restrictive or elimination diets are useful for gathering information about how foods affect you, but that in the long run, flexibility is key. If a food is forbidden to me, I find I just want it more, even if it makes me feel crummy when I eat it. I don’t have a “never” policy with any foods, but I also don’t routinely eat foods that don’t make me feel good.
Getting comfortable with carbs, protein & fat proportions means less tracking
In the beginning, as I figured out this way of eating, I was strict and I did track what I ate. I calculated the grams of carbs, protein, and fat I was eating and then I played around with the amounts until I found a proportion that I felt good with. Once I was really comfortable with those proportions and how my plate should look at eat meal, I stopped tracking. Now I have a routine that is easy and I don’t have to think about too much. If I want to have pizza, I do. If I want a donut, I have it (my weakness!). But I’m mindful about when I have it (see below for more details on that) and I always pause to ask myself how I will feel if I have this food and if it’s worth having.
Avoiding “food hangovers”
Some foods give me what I call a “food hangover” the next day. I’ve noticed that too many carbs, and especially too much junk food makes it hard to get out of bed the next day. I’m grouchy, easily overwhelmed, and not very energetic or motivated. It can be an effort just get through the day when I feel like that – and all because of what I ate the day before! Making a conscious decision about whether or not it’s worth feeling that way just so I can eat a certain food helps me feel empowered when it comes to my food choices. Sometimes the answer is YES and then I go for it and enjoy. But to my surprise, often I find I don’t really want the food and I just skip it without a second thought.
These guidelines emerged from my diet experiment. I try to follow these most days:
- Keto style breakfast (usually a bulletproof drink)
- Protein and fat with every meal
- Lots of veggies at lunch and dinner (usually a salad or a stir-fry)
- Save grains, starches/sugar, and fruit for later in the day
- Dinner – anything goes! If I feel like indulging in something, I usually do it here.
- Macro Goals:
- Carbs: 10-15% (under 75 grams per day NET – which means minus fibre)
- Protein: 15-30% (between 60-80 grams per day)
- Fat: 55-75% (140 – 180 grams per day)
- Fibre: 25g per day
- Sugar: 15g per day or less (either naturally occurring or added)
- If I’m hungry or craving sweets or bread in the afternoon, that’s a sign I need more fat. Typical options for me:
- Macadamia nuts (I love the Kirkland ones from Costco)
- ½ avocado with salt on it
- Love Good Fats bar (I keep these in my desk for emergencies)
- Fat Bomb (if I have them already made up)
- 2nd bulletproof drink (if I’m at home)
So, with all that in mind, here’s what I ate today:
Bulletproof Dandy “Mocha” recipe
1 cup boiling water
tbsp Dandy Blend (coffee substitute – I buy this at Dad’s Nutrition)
4 tsp pure Cocoa Powder (I use Bulletproof brand)
1.5 tbsp Krisda Monk Fruit Sweetener (or any keto-friendly sweetener)
2 scoops (1/4 cup) Collagen Powder (I use Bulletproof brand)
1 tbsp MCT oil (I use Bulletproof Brain Octane)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (I use PC organic brand OR sometimes I use cocoa butter instead)]
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and creamy
Black Bean Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
– click here for recipe
Thoughts on Today:
- Calories – slightly over, but I never worry too much about this. As long as I’m in the ballpark most days, it’s fine. I rarely calorie count because I find it is least relevant to my overall health.
- Protein – I was pretty bang on today at 74 grams (goal is 60-80g).
- Carbs – if you subtract the fibre (81 – 24) I was at 57 grams, which is well under the 75 I aim for, although slightly more than the 49 I consider optimal.
- Fibre – pretty darn close to my goal at 24 grams (goal is 25g)
- Sugar – slightly over today, but all were from naturally occurring sources (goal is 15g). 20g of naturally occurring sugar is still pretty good, so I’m happy with that.
- Fat – again, pretty bang on today at 165 grams (goal is 140-180g).
Overall, this was a good day. I hit my macro targets without too much effort or worry, I felt really clear-headed and energetic, I was satiated after meals, and I didn’t feel hungry during the day or in the evening. Once I am over 49 grams of carbs, I am usually not in ketosis anymore, but as long as I still feel good, that is fine with me. That’s why I call this way of eating “keto-ish.”
I hope this provides some inspiration for your own style of eating. Stay tuned for more of these posts in the future, and please get in touch if you’d like some support implementing or a new diet and nutrition plan, or refining one you’re already on.
Written by Dr. Michelle Marcoux, ND