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It’s a question I have gotten so many times: what do I, Dr. C, eat throughout the course of a normal day? Well, I’m going to tell you! For today’s discussion, I’ll run you through what I eat, the why behind eating it, and what we can learn from what we eat.
The Context: My Eating Habits
So, for all the times I have received this question I haven’t really given a detailed answer.
But, I thought that someone might find this interesting or useful – so I’m providing my thorough answer today, for you to enjoy.
As I’m writing, I’m in the training phase and exercising for about 12 to 14 hours per week. That’s because I am training and preparing for the 2020 Boston Marathon.
So, this might skew my results a little bit – in that it may not be the most “typical” day if you averaged it out over the years. That said, I always keep track.
That’s because, for me, it all begins with logging my food. I’ve done it for years, and I have gotten so used to it that it’s no longer an inconvenience.
In fact, it helps me stay on top of my:
Yesterday: Morning (Pre- and Post-Workout)
To be honest, yesterday was a bit unusual.
That’s because I was well below my calorie target for the day. Most days, I am able to reach it without too much trouble at all.
When I look at my seven-day average, I usually am about on track. Although, some days are often above or below. It truly varies. The days prior to yesterday were well over the target because my training was harder than typical. After that, I just wasn’t as hungry.
My pre-workout meal is pretty typical. I have a traditional Danish rye bread that I absolutely love. Based on my hunger, I might have two or three slices of it (and maybe include some fruit).
I also had a glass of flax milk to wash it all down.
The days in which I have my longest workouts I will often have:
- Sushi Rice
- Flax Milk
- Pea Protein
All of this together turns into something of a pudding. I didn’t enjoy that yesterday, but it has become something of a staple in my diet.
It’s a meal that allows me to get a fair amount of nutrition, without making me prone to have to go to the bathroom. Especially during long runs, this is super important!
The post-workout meal is fairly formulaic. Sunflower seeds, a cup of blueberries, some whole oat groats, some Greek yogurt and a sprouted English muffin.
Taking the first four into account, I’ve made something almost just like it for a couple of decades now. They are serious, deeply ingrained habits of mine.
Key Insight: There’s a lot of linoleic acid, which is a great, anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. Definitely something worth checking out!
I also just love the texture of whole oats. I will usually have a serving of it with all of the above (which encompasses my one main serving of dairy for that day).
For my mid-morning meal, it’s pretty typical to most days.
We have another instance of Danish rye bread, liquid egg whites, cannellini beans, spinach, and more. This is a more savory mid-morning meal.
I usually will have a diced, boiled potato with it, too. That said, we were all out yesterday because I used the potatoes we did have in a homemade stew the night before.
I also added some mushrooms to this dish and seasoned it with sriracha! Sometimes I’ll use sriracha, or ume plum vinegar, or fermented vegetables. It helps add flavor.
Lunch was quick and easy.
I enjoyed a large bowl of fresh, homemade stew, as well as an apple. The stew had lean meat (beef), garlic, baby carrots, onions, celery, and better than bouillon.
I didn’t have an exact nutrient count, but used a beef stew in the database. That said, I’m sure mine was at least a bit leaner.
Whenever the mid-afternoon comes around, I am usually pretty hungry.
In fact, I can pretty much set my clock to being famished at 2:30 in the afternoon. It’s just what happens, and I need to eat!
So, I made myself a quick shake using RS Complete (Read More: How Resistant Starch Can Boost Your Energy), pea protein, and bananas. A pretty typically thing for me to enjoy
We settled on a pretty light dinner last night.
What we had was leftover brown rice and lots of bok choy to eat up. Then, there was a chicken. So, I threw it all together and we had a delicious meal.
In terms of the caloric load, that’s a little bit less than typical, but that is really where I came short on the day’s target of 3000 calories.
Bottom Line: That’s how a typical day plays out in food. As you likely noticed, I have some things I enjoy every day and others I switch up from time to time. That’s what it’s all about: having that balance.
What About Exercise Calories?
The truth is that I don’t credit myself with exercise calories.
My basal metabolic rate is about 2400 calories per day, at rest. If I eat 3000-3300, I can maintain my weight. Any less and I begin to lose. Any more and I gain fat.
When my training is lower, this number is more like 2600-2900 calories. On paper, I burned well over 1000 calories from exercise. But, if I added these on top of my metabolic rate, I would gain.
Trust me, I have tried it in the past and it does not work for me.
This is yesterday’s macronutrient breakdown.
If I had entered my stew in more specifically, it would have brought me closer to my target for fat and carbohydrates. Overall, I was already about right for protein.
At my training intensity, though, I end up about 1 gram over, of protein per bound, of body weight.
On the nutrient side, the image above showcases negative numbers for ones where I exceeded my targets.
Looks like I was a little low on:
Bottom Line: Well, you asked me what I ate yesterday, and there it was! That’s a handy breakdown, and really speaks to how illuminating logging your food can be for your knowledge (and for your health).
Yesterday: Wrapped Up
Looking back on it, I was hungrier than normal today. This all shows that things do end up balancing out fairly well.
I typically do one half to three quarters as much exercise as this, and do end up eating less. But, these are some of my stable foods and I don’t deviate from them much.
In fact, I do not say no to any food or any food groups. That said, I really do not like anything fried, creamy, or greasy. That’s just a personal preference, though.
Now that you know a bit more about my day, I’d love to help you take the next step toward your health goals. For me, it all starts with understanding your thyroid.
Give the Thyroid Quiz a shot today (Click Here: Take The Thyroid Quiz Today). It’s just a great way to get started, and a fantastic way to prioritize your health right now.
P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:
1. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
2. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here
3. Come see one of my Doctors that specialize in Thyroid Care Here
Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet and The Metabolism Reset Diet.
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.