Ciao a tutti, welcome back to my blog!
Today's post will be about my diet, as many of you asked for it!
I am going to show what I usually eat each day in every season to keep me healthy and fit in my 30s without sacrifices.
Keeping fit and healthy can be a real challenge after hitting the thirties mark:
"This is because as we get into our thirties, certain hormonal changes begin taking place in the body causing loss of muscle, reduction in bone density, maximal oxygen uptake and loss of functional capacity, which affects how and how often you move throughout the day. But you can still take control over your health and body by beginning an exercise and healthy diet programme because it's never too late." from The ultimate guide to staying fit in your 30s
I don't believe in diets and fast ways of losing weight and I have always been more or less slim in my life thanks to what my mum taught me when I was a kid.
She was a model back in the 80s and she knows a lot of tips and tricks on how to stay fit. Her only concern about our diet was and still is being healthy and as we all know, being overweight can potentially lead to physical and mental health issues.
Healthy eating tips:
Always start your day having breakfast
Drink a lot during the day, either water or tea or coffee but don't add sugar.
Drink a full glass of water 30 minutes before having a meal
Don't drink your calories (no juices or fizzy drinks). It is ok to enjoy a little bit of wine once in a while but only while eating and definitely not every day.
Have a big portion of veggies at every meal
The fruit is best eaten alone, not after your main meals as it will make your digestion very difficult.
Bread, pasta and rice won't make you fat in the right portions
Fast food is a big no, no!
Cook at home to control what you put on your plate and eat out a maximum of twice a month
Bring a big salad for your work lunch instead of buying food.
Have a vegetarian or even better, a vegan day a week
Sweets (such as cakes, biscuits and so on) are a treat to enjoy once in a while and they are by no means a meal.
Avoid salt and use spices and herbs instead to give flavour.
Disclaimer: this is not a diet. Seek the help of a nutritionist to get tailored nutritional advice. It is my lifestyle and it works for me, however, I am not a dietitian so this might not work for you. I am just sharing what I believe to be good eating habits and nutrition tips but no judgment for those who don't follow them as everybody's free to do whatever they like and to disagree with me.
This is by far my favourite meal. I can't start my day without having something to eat and for sure not without coffee, otherwise, I would be very grumpy and unproductive for hours. That's why intermittent fasting would be an impossible diet for me. I don't honestly know how my boyfriend can jump every morning out of bed like a slice of bread out of the toaster and go right to work without eating anything until lunchtime.
90% of the time I'll have something healthy and sweet, which is an Italian tradition. In Italy, our breakfast consists of cappuccino or coffee with pastries or cakes and I couldn't abandon this habit once in London.
I would usually opt for a bagel topped with nut butter and banana or a slice of toast with fruit and honey.
When I feel I need more energy (sometimes I literally wake up with my stomach growling!) I'd opt for a scone with butter and jam. Yum!
Weekends are the only exception to the rule: sometimes we treat ourselves with a savoury brunch, such as eggs and avocado but I will end up eating something sweet too normally.
At work, I would have a homemade salad or leftovers from the day before.
My colleagues don't even ask anymore what I am having for lunch when they see my big bowl coming out of the fridge. They are always curious to see how I built my salad though, as I never have the same.
At home, on my days off and whilst the lockdown, I would have carbs such as pasta, rice or couscous.
I prefer to have a light dinner in the evening and I don't like eating too late when I am not working so we usually have our meal around 19:00 - 19:30.
I would normally prepare a meal that contains lean proteins and vegetables.
I am trying to reduce my animal protein amount so lately I have been eating more pulses instead ( I am not really into tofu I am afraid, but I would have it from time to time).
As a general rule, I try not to have carbs more than twice a day, and I prefer to have them at breakfast and lunch so I have time to "burn" them during the day.
On working days I won't have a big meal during my lunch break to avoid feeling sleepy and lazy during the afternoon.
My food is mostly homemade and I very rarely buy pre-made food (unless I forget my lunch at home!) I also like clean recipes that don't have a massive list of ingredients as I find them hard to digest.
I usually work out three times a week (whatever I feel like doing) for 20-30 minutes. I keep fit at home and I don't have a gym membership.
If I had a workout and my meals have been light, I would indulge in some extra treats such as chips, popcorn or chocolate in the evening while watching a movie.
On the other hand, if I had abundant meals during the day, I would snack only with fruits or raw carrots.
I am not always so strict, so at weekends I usually eat a bit more and I spend time experimenting with richer and more complicated recipes.
My main current goal is to drink 1.5l of water per day and to have vegetables as often as possible. In terms of drinks, I always have coffee in the morning, green tea after lunch and herbal tea 2 hours before going to bed.
I don't drink much alcohol, only a glass of wine while I am eating and usually only a couple of times a week but I tend to drink more when I am on holiday, as I believe everybody else.
I am not a fan of excluding whole categories of foods and drinks from my diet, that's why I am not vegetarian or vegan, but am reducing my meat and fish intake to be more sustainable for the environment.
To know more check 15 new healthy habits if 2020
I prefer to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables therefore my winter menu would be drastically different from my summer menu.
The rule about carbs I mentioned above will stay, so the ingredients I might use will change but the way I am eating won't.
Soups and stews
Pasta and risotto
Roasted meat and vegetables
Puff pastry tarts
I definitely cook more as I obviously prefer warm foods in the colder months and also we tend to eat less fish and to consume more meat and cheese.
I really enjoy stews and soups, which my boyfriend (who is actually a good chef) prepare weekly in a big pot to have them for several days.
In the winter I also like to have porridge and sometimes bake a healthy cake or casserole such as this French toast casserole.
Salads of all kind including sometimes also pasta and rice
Grilled meat, fish and vegetables
Hummus and spreads with raw vegetables
In spring-summer, I eat much more raw fruits and vegetables.
Salads of all kinds are welcome and due to the nice weather, we love to grill basically everything to feel the holiday vibe in the air. We tend to eat fewer carbs and sweets (except from ice-cream of course) when it's hot but on the other hand, we consume more fish and fruits. My breakfast will always include coffee but when it's very hot I'd rather have something fresh such as a bowl of yoghurt and fruits or overnight oatmeal instead of scones or toast.
I am not able to stay a long time without eating something.
I have tried intermittent fasting more than once but it just doesn't work for me as I will binge eat after that.
Snacking in the right way is not a bad habit in my opinion, as it helps me to curb my appetite and to eat less overall if it makes sense.
The secret is to keep the quantity small, as a quick snack can easily become a full meal if not careful.
I just listen to my body: if I am hungry in between meals I would eat something healthy such as a small bowl of greek yoghurt, some almonds with an apple or a banana with a teaspoon of nut butter but I always try to plan my snacks and I prefer them plant-based.
When we have our movie night, I like to prepare homemade popcorns and a fruit salad but if I am in the mood for ice cream or sweets or maybe chips, I would just eat what I fancy without feeling guilty. Obviously, moderation is key: am not going to have a 3000 calories post-dinner snack.
I need to set rules for that. For instance, I love crips, they are my downfall, but knowing my poor self-control with them, I just allow myself to share with my boyfriend a full pack of my favourite ones on a Friday night.
Thank you so much for reading my healthy living tips today, I hope you found it interesting and inspiring. If you liked it, please share it on your social media accounts and don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter!
What are your rules for your everyday meals? Do you count your calories or just listen to what your body craves?
I would love to know what your eating habits are!