What healthy eating looks like to me…

Over the last few months, my diet has change quite a lot and my knowledge of food and the ingredients within the foods I am eating has improved dramatically.

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Flashback to four/five months ago, I had quite a bad diet (although at the time I probably wouldn’t of admitted to that nor believed I did). My weekly food intake consisted of a lot of heavy foods; chips, unhealthy sauces, sausage and mince just to name a few, my routine with eating was slightly off and inconsistent and I sure did have a lot of takeaways and full fat fizzy drinks (I blame McDonalds). To sum it up, everyday was cheat day for me back then. And looking back, I didn’t really take notice of how all these different foods were actually making me feel (AND BLOAT).

When I first started the gym, I decided to make some small changes to my diet. I introduced an eating routine into my day, this meant I would have a decent breakfast, a mid-morning healthy snack, lunch, an afternoon healthy snack and then finally a meal after the gym (usually a nice carby meal with chicken or fish). The most important thing I changed was the amount of water I started to drink on a daily basis – and this small change made a huge difference! The bloating I had experienced for so long and was so used to… stopped.

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The struggle was real when I first started going to the gym, and I have to say I found it really difficult to adapt to not having more than one cheat meal/day a week, to resist my bad cravings and to actually find the willpower to say no to bad foods (which I knew made me feel crap).

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My food is now inline with what I’d like to achieve at the gym. And for me, that’s to keep fairly lean while building muscle. We all know, in order to build muscle, we MUST eat carbs (something I’m actually struggling to eat enough of) and feed our bodies with all the good stuff to help with progress. If anyone is looking for recipe inspiration for this kind of thing, I would highly recommend Lean in 15 as it become my go-to – especially if you are working everyday and don’t have the time to make really complex meals.

Another thing I’ve found really beneficial for me personally is halving my meat intake each week – specifically with red meats. I now alternatively have Quorn because 1. I actually find it super tasty, and 2. it’s a great alternative and one that leavings me feeling much lighter after my meal.

My typical meal plan for the day looks like… 

Breakfast – Overnight oats, raspberries, blueberries and a teaspoon of honey & peanut butter.

AM Snack – 0% Fat Natural Yoghurt with some fruit.

Lunch – Seasoned chicken, green vegetables e.g. kale or broccoli and some rice.

PM Snack – On leg days, I will have tuna and rice as I need more energy for these workouts. For any other day, I will have carrot sticks/cucumber sticks with low fat cottage cheese or maybe some rice cakes with peanut butter and banana.

Dinner – Salmon or sea bass with green vegetables and new potatoes. I usually demolish this meal as it’s post workout and I’m starving by this point. Oh! And not forgetting my protein shake. I also aim for six bottles of water per day. 

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I’ve embraced this change and I now enjoy it completely. I see the benefits it’s bringing to my body and how it makes me feel so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the one naughty meal I have each week (sometimes two), but I definitely don’t enjoy it as much because I see how much it doesn’t benefit my body in comparison (BUT AT THE TIME IT TASTES SOOO GOOD).

I’m also enjoying learning about different foods that I’ve never even heard about before and trying out new recipes – I’ve always loved cooking and especially for myself as It makes me feel calm and acts as therapy time – can anyone else relate?

I think that’s enough waffling for one blog post. If you have any great healthy recipes, I’d love to hear about them and try them out… so please do leave them in the comment box below. And of course, any tips for healthy eating feel free to share!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little food update! Don’t forget to follow my food journey on Instagram here.

Nicole x

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