In a previous post (PRIMAL – why the Paleo diet works for me), I described how and why I follow the Paleo diet, and gave a basic rundown of the guidelines that I stick to in my Day-to-day life. However, I know that it’s very easy to say “do this”, “don’t do that”, without showing how to follow things like the Paleo diet on a normal basis. This post will take you through everything I ate yesterday (4th July) and how I planned and prepped all of my meals.
I use MyFitnessPal to track the macros and calories in my food and my calories burnt through DELIBERATE EXERCISE. I class “deliberate exercise” as anything over and above what I normally do in the day – if I go on a run, if I lift weights or go climbing. I don’t count walking in my exercise, although I do go out on at least one 2-3 mile walk per day, as I have set my account to “Moderately Active”, which factors in a certain amount of activity above the sedentary level.
I aim to eat around 2000-2500 calories per day, depending on the miles I’ve run or other exercise I’ve done and also my general state of hunger. I’m 5”9, and weigh about 70kg so I have a lot of body to fuel! I listen to my body, and don’t try and restrict – if I want chocolate, I will eat the damned chocolate and not feel guilty. I have had a problem with this in the past but, although I still have problems on bad days, tracking helps me to show how much I can actually eat and how to balance it properly.
Normally, a Paleo diet often ends up being high in protein and fat, and low in carbohydrates. This is because most of our modern carbohydrate sources are from grains or refined carbohydrates, all of which we learned to farm. However, as a long-distance runner, carbs are most definitely my greatest ally! I have tried to sustain myself on long runs through a high fat / low carb diet but I found my performance and motivation just dropped off a cliff. This means that I eat A LOT of bananas, vegetables and sweet potatoes in order to get my carb intake up enough to fuel me to run. I normally aim for 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein. Yesterday, I ended up around 46 : 30 : 24, but that’s still absolutely fine for me!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and I often end up having breakfast-style food for either lunch or dinner as well! It’s normally a smoothie bowl or chia pudding, with whey protein and slow release carbs in the form of bananas. Yesterday… I settled for both!
Prep the night before was simply to put the chia seeds onto soak in a little bowl with unsweetened almond milk and a dribble of honey. The smoothie veg was already in the freezer, portioned into bags ready for me to grab and go whenever I need to. I tend to prep these every couple of weeks, as it means I can bulk buy fresh fruit and greens and make interesting smoothies every day whilst saving time and money!
I used 20g chia seeds, mixed with about 100ml almond milk and 5g honey, left to soak overnight until they became a thick paste.
The smoothie is 1 banana, 1 packet of frozen fruit and veg (berries, mango, peach and spinach), MyProtein chocolate whey (1.5 scoops), 12g cacao powder, and loosened with more unsweetened almond milk.
I layered this in a jar and topped it with flaked almonds and sliced grapes for the added texture!
Breakfast = 55g carbs, 15g fat, 38g protein
As I said before… breakfast is without my favourite meal! So much so that I had to have a sweet potato, apple and chocolate parfait for lunch. There is no photo for this, because it looks absolutely disgusting despite tasting incredible…
I went for a walk before lunch, and left a sweet potato to bake in the oven as I wandered around my village listening to a podcast.
Once I was back, I chopped 1 apple into cubes and cooked it in the microwave with 1tsp of cinnamon. I mixed in the cooked sweet potato flesh, 1.5 scoops of MyProtein chocolate whey (I normally switch up my protein choices, but I’m running low on flavours at the minute…), and loosened with almond milk.
I topped this mixture with 20g of coconut almond butter by Pip&Nut, and some dried coconut and raisins. It was actually slightly too sweet even for me, but still amazingly tasty!
Lunch = 59g carbs, 15g fat, 36g protein
I love cooking for my mum when I’m home, as it means I have the freedom to experiment in the kitchen whilst making sure that she eats well – not that she doesn’t eat when I’m around, but she works late and I like to have dinner on the table for her as soon as she’s finished so she doesn’t have to think about cooking.
I went for a 10k run before dinner, and left 2 sweet potatoes baking in the oven when I was out. (I did warn you that I eat a lot of sweet potato!)
We each had a sweet potato, topped with half a can of tuna, a chopped boiled egg, sweetcorn, olives, and gherkins. I served it with an undressed green salad with pepper and cucumber.
For dessert (my mum ALWAYS has to have dessert), I had found some perfectly ripe flat peaches reduced in the supermarket so we each had two of those.
Dinner = 67g carbs, 9g fat, 29g protein
As snacks, I had about 30g dark chocolate throughout the day (I am addicted!), and a couple of handfuls of my paleo granola (recipe coming onto the blog soon) which I didn’t measure.
I also went to visit my grandmother who lives in a care home in a neighbouring town. We went out for coffee, and she insisted that we shared a piece of cake – which definitely wasn’t Paleo. BUT does it matter? NO. I would have offended my grandma had I refused, and was just enjoying spending time with her, listening to her memories and answering her questions. I know it wasn’t truly following the Paleo lifestyle but, as I’ve explained in my post – IMPERFECT – Why I’ll never be the “perfect” Paleo – family is way more important to me than any self-imposed style of eating. I also just really wanted cake (so sue me).
I didn’t track my snacks, but as my meals had been really sensible and I ran 10k as well as doing about 30 mins strength training in the evening, I needed their calories to make sure I had enough energy for the day!
I hope you enjoyed my rundown of my food, including my commentary and pictures. If you want any more information about how I track my diet, or even how I worked out what I feel my body needs nutrition-wise, just drop me a message below or DM me on Instagram (@primallyimperfect).