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My day on a plate: Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman

Spoiler alert: I don’t eat activated charcoal or drink detox smoothies.

Why not? Activated charcoal is used to treat drug overdoses and poisoning; and my liver does all the detoxing my body needs.

I do, however, have a handful of healthy things that I do everyday, on purpose, because the scientific evidence for their effect on my health is convincing enough for me to make the effort.

To help explain these healthy daily habits, I’m going to tell you, openly and honestly, about what I ate yesterday.

When you visit me or my team at The Healthy Eating Hub, asking you about what you ate yesterday is part of the first consultation. It’s one way of getting a picture of your daily eating habits and how your intentions to eat well compares to your reality. We then use this info, along with your answers to a heap of other questions, to offer you tailored healthy eating advice.

I thought that it was only fair, after a certain celebrity nutritionist shared their day on a plate, to share mine. My motivation is partly to offer an alternative perspective but, if I’m honest, it’s mostly call that day out as bulls**t and offer a more real life example.

My Day on a Plate

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It was Tuesday, the day that I see clients one-on-one. I was back-to-back yesterday with a lunch break. It went down like this:

Breakfast 

6.55am: Double shot cappuccino on full cream milk + 1 sugar. Hubby makes it and puts in on my bed side table. I wake to coffee aroma. I know. I’m a princess. I then wander downstairs for breakfast which was sourdough toast with peanut butter.

I start work at 8am and barely get time to wee as I’m back-to-back with clients for five hours straight.

Lunch

1.00pm: I nibble on sugar snap peas as I boil some pasta for lunch. Which was: 1 cup of cooked pasta with 120g tuna slices in oil (drained), 1/4 red capsicum, 1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas, a handful of fresh coriander and a dollop of aioli. All tossed together in a bowl.

This particular day I tried to fit in too much and had scheduled a performance meeting with one of my dietitians in the middle of lunch time. Before I knew it, lunch was over and my 2pm client had arrived. I had only managed to eat 5-6 mouthfuls of my lunch. Dang it. It was so yummy too!

Snack

I’m late home from work (consultations ran over time) and the kids are waiting at home after walking from the bus stop with looks of utter disappointment and annoyance on their faces. Argh! Sorry guys!

4.00pm: Smoothie: 3/4 cup skim milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 serve chocolate flavoured protein powder – blend. At the moment I’m focusing on increasing my protein intake, hence the protein powder. I recommend its use for my clients on a case by case basis. It’s not necessary for everyone.

The smoothie is drunk in the car. Daughter is dropped at ballet rehearsals and son gets taken to swimming lessons. I empty my email inbox by the side of the pool.

Dinner

As I haven’t eaten much today – due to skipping most of my lunch – by the time we’re home from swimming I’m starving. I whip up a favourite of mine that was on the meal plan for the week:

6.45pm: Vietnamese Chicken Salad. This is one of my favourite meals and a great way to get my vegetables in. I also love it because I spend about 10 minutes chopping up all the vegetables and then I have heaps left over for a bowl full for lunch tomorrow! Winning! Last night I had it with peanuts instead of cashews. They were not activated and they were delicious.

recipe, HEH, vietnamese chicken salad, cashews, asian, fresh, herbs, vegetables

I then picked up my daughter up from ballet and on my way home all I could think about was food. I was still hungry.

Snack

8.30pm: 120g yoghurt. I buy this delicious brand called Lush by Country Valley Milk from the Fyshwick markets. It’s amazing.

9.30pm: Cup of tea. I could totally have demolished a row of dark chocolate, but I didn’t have any in my house.

What healthy eating looks like

Celebrities, chefs and even nutritionists have turned healthy eating into an unrealistic, complicated mess and many of them have lost touch with what’s achievable for the majority of the population.

What they fail to communicate is that the biggest predictors of long term health are much simpler than we think. It’s not about special smoothies or superfoods, it’s the accumulation of daily habits that help you achieve good overall diet quality. Focus on these things first:

  • Managing a healthy weight long term – get help from a qualified person if you need it
  • Regular movement and physical activity
  • Consuming adequate vegetables and plant-based foods
  • Meeting your nutrient needs
  • Enjoying your life

If you’re not meeting your daily vegetable serves, I don’t care how activated your charcoal or nuts are. Save your money. On a side note, activated charcoal is a manufactured product and does not occur naturally, which is funny considering it was recently recommended by a certain nutritionist who only eats ‘clean’, ‘natural’ foods. Hmmm…

If you’re not meeting your daily fibre needs with healthy carbohydrate foods, don’t even bother with a ‘detox’ juice or smoothie. Seriously, eat enough fibre and poop regularly and you’ll be doing much better than the detoxers.

If you’re not consistently choosing minimally processed protein-rich foods at your meals, I don’t care how natural your protein powder is. It’s not going to be the key to your success.

I’m so passionate about communicating nutrition advice in a simple, practical and achievable way and bucking the trend of complicated ‘perfect’ diets that I wrote my own recipe book: Everyday Eats. It’s a compilation of foods that I eat to help meet my protein, fibre and vegetable needs each day in a delicious, simple and easy way. If you’re over perfectly styled food and unrealistic recipes with kooky ingredients, then this recipe book was written for you. Grab it here.

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Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman is a Registered Nutritionist and the founder and managing director of The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate’s healthy eating philosophy is all about whole, fresh foods, being realistic about life and creating long term healthy eating habits. She doesn’t believe in detoxes, fad diets or quick fixes. Once you’ve finished working with Kate, you’ll be empowered to feed yourself well for the rest of you life! More about the Author