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Take a Peek at a Healthy Eater's Meal Plan

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You've peeked inside our fridges, and we've spilled our secrets about exercising in public. Now we're going to let you take a peek at our meal plans.

On a recent blog, someone wanted to know what a typical day is like for a SparkPeople expert in terms of eating. I remembered to both track my food and photograph it twice last week so I could share it with you. Do we eat the same foods? Would you eat what I eat?

I tend to eat a big breakfast, a moderate lunch and a slightly larger dinner, with one or two snacks. I love vegetables and always eat those before eating anything else on my plate. I don't eat meat or white bread/pasta/etc. I sometimes track calories, and I generally stay between 1,600 and 1,900 calories, the recommended amount from the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker. (Honestly I'm usually pressing the upper limit of that. I like to eat!) I practice yoga daily and take Spinning, run and/or walk a few times a week, so I'm pretty active. I'm good at eating only when I'm hungry, but I have a bad habit of grazing when I'm bored or stressed.

Take a look at what I ate:

Thursday, April 16

7 servings of fruits and vegetables
9 cups of water

Breakfast: (9 a.m.) I always loved oatmeal, but Kath over at KathEats.com helped me elevate my oatmeal to a new level. Kath tops her oatmeal with all kinds of goodies. My favorite is almond butter and a banana with a bit of vanilla soymilk and cinnamon. Today I changed it up with eight roasted almonds (I buy raw, so I toasted these in the toaster oven while my oatmeal cooked) about 2/3 of an ounce of chocolate chips (a new topping for me--it was so decadent!) and a cup of strawberries.
This was like dessert for breakfast. I will stick with my banana and almond butter most days, but I liked this!

Lunch: (1 p.m.) During last night's Spinning class, I concocted a strange but thankfully tasty recipe: Broccoli and Cauliflower with Whole Wheat Pasta in a Honey-Lemon-Thyme Sauce, topped with Bleu Cheese. I had the leftovers today and added a scrambled egg for extra protein. (There was about 2 cups here, half veg and half pasta.)

Snack: About half an ounce of almonds and pecans. I wasn’t really hungry but wanted to eat something small around 4 p.m.

Dinner: (8 p.m.) I try to cook from scratch, but between yoga classes and teacher training, I've been short on time. I steamed sweet potatoes, added a can of black beans and a carton of Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup and called it dinner. I added some avocado and two slices of multigrain bread from the bakery near my apartment. (I also drank a gulp of pomegranate kefir while dinner was cooking. I had just returned from the gym and was starving!

Snack 2: (10 p.m.) I was still a little hungry an hour after dinner and carving something sweet. I had a half-cup of plain nonfat yogurt with two tablespoons of real maple syrup (I didn't mean to have that much--I overpoured!) and about 1/4 cup of Grape-Nuts. It was sweet and tasty.

Friday, April 17

6 servings fruits and vegetables
9 cups of water

Breakfast: I usually eat breakfast at work, and four days out of five, it's oatmeal. I shop for produce at the farmers market and small shops at our public market on Saturdays, so we tend to be low on fruit and fresh vegetables on Fridays. Today I had a rather boring oatmeal/multigrain hot cereal mix with pecans (broken into pieces to stretch them) a bit of sugar (not necessary, I decided. I couldn't even taste it) and some soy milk. It ate at home because I had a meeting near my apartment. I was really thirsty when I woke at 6 for yoga, so I had 6 ounces of coconut water.

Lunch: I tried a new Healthy Choice meal, Sweet Asian Pot Stickers, with an extra half-cup of Harvest Hodgepodge vegetables from Trader Joes. I forgot to pack my lunch but thankfully the SparkPeople fridge and freezer are stocked with healthy food! This was better than I expected. I really liked it!

Snack: 1 medium banana with 1 T almond butter. I am allergic to peanuts, so almond butter is a staple for me. I usually buy the raw crunchy variety from Trader Joe's.

Dinner: I keep a can of almonds in the car for nights when I'm ravenous on the way home from the gym. The chili lime kind are tasty, and just a few (I think I ate three) tided me over until I got home. (It's only a 10-minute drive!) I ate leftovers from last night: more black bean/sweet potato soup with bread. That bagel you see under "dinner" is actually a bialy that I picked up at the bakery when I bought bread for the week. I ate it between breakfast and lunch. Eating breakfast at 8 instead of 9 made me hungry earlier.

Snack/Dinner 2: On Fridays I leave room for a fourth meal late at night. I go to the gym or have yoga training until at least 8, I eat a snack, then we meet friends for a drink or dinner. I tend to eat a small meal around 11. (I had falafel and a pint of Bell's Oberon!)

So that's what I ate. I don't track my food every day, but I do track fruits and vegetables. I usually eat 6-8 servings a day. My meal plan isn't "perfect" (I need to get more calcium most days), but I think it's pretty healthy!

Did you find this feature interesting? Would you like to see more features like this one? Is my meal plan anything like yours?

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thank you Report
BONNIE1552 6/8/2020
Interesting. Report
This was definitely one of the more interesting blogs I have read in a long time - I like the fact that I learn from others and others learn from me about the many ways I make the meals more interesting, more complete and more healthy. I eat meat but I am definitely not a big meat eater and Indian cuisine offers me many choices to keep me happy. Report
KOALA_BEAR 11/23/2019
I thought a calorie range of 1600 to 1900 was too high for many of us plus so much Greek yogurt was a problem as I can't do any dairy.
My range is 1250 to 1550 & I could relate to hitting the high end a lot.
My oatmeal mix-in is 1/2C unsweetened applesauce w/ cinnamon, sometimes 1 T PB first while hot. I also like crushed pineapple in it's own juice w/ blueberries or half banana.
Most of my breakfasts tho are smoothies or eggs but sometimes PB on toast w/ a C of soy, coconut or almond milk or a protein powder mixed in water w/ a banana, apple or orange is all I have time to grab.

My favorite lunch is veggie soup & half a turkey sandwich but if I splurge on Mexican or Italian dining out then supper could be just carmelized & steamed carrots, kale & brussel sprouts in a mustard sauce.

I like to alternate almonds, cashews or walnuts & my very favorite snack of trail mix is Sunny Cranberry from Target w/ seeds, nuts & dried fruit.

thanks Report
Thank You for a very helpful article. Report
Thank you Report
Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast and I've learned about adding bananas as it's usually with soy milk and raisins. I eat pecans from the bag as well as my salads as I don't use salad dressing. No beef or pork for me. I like your menu plan and thanx for sharing, SparkFriend. Report
I eat I stopped trying to keep count. I eat when hungry 😋 and that seems to be working for me. Report
Thanks so much. I eat and I do measure my portions. I cannot do as much exercise as you can but I do a lot. I have been around Spark a long time and I was so happy to see so many items in common. You just made my day. Thanks Pat in Maine. Report
Oatmeal is my breakfast staple. I cook it with skim milk, ground cinnamon, wheat germ, wheat bran, and chopped walnuts. It's about 400 calories and fills me up until lunch. I'll probably buy almonds instead of walnuts and possibly some frozen berries too. I'm curious to see how a healthy eating day is for someone who includes meat in their eating plan. Report
I added almonds,chocolate chips, and a sliced apple to my Malt-O-Meal after reading this blog. It is absolutely delicious and I get two fruit servings with my breakfast! Most days I don't get fruits with breakfast and instead eat fresh fruit for a snack. I feel however, that it is better to get fruit and/or veggies with every meal and snack.

I like how one blogger had a ratio of 1:1 veggies/pasta in the broccoli pasta dish. I started doing that with my dinners. It is much more filling:)

Thank you so much for this blog. I made slight changes to my eating plan and my calories decreased by about 500 per day! I can't wait to weigh-in on Sunday:) Report
Love it! Thanks for sharing. I also love oatmeal. I usually make it with brown sugar (1tsp), vanilla, nutmeg, raisins, ground flax seed (1-2 tsp), almond milk and water. I stopped drinking dairy milk over a year now. This week I cut out the brown sugar and added a mixture of banana, strawberries and bartlett pear instead. I usally make a batch to last me 3-4 days. It was quite taisty. Tomorrow I need to make my next batch. This time I plan on adding unsweetened applesauce and raisins instead of sugar with chopped almonds for a little crunch and protein. :o) Report
that oatmeal looks yummy. I do eat meat but would like to cut back some. Never knew how to incorporate different foods to take place of meats. I can not eat fish and shrimp type foods allergic to them. I add this to my favs. Report
Great ideas. If food is boring I tend to reach for the wrong things and that's very very bad. FYI - For dinner tonight I cooked a turkey burger and chopped up then put it on a whole wheat tortilla with 2 T of Helmann's, 2 T sweet relish and Chopped tomato. It was pretty darn good! Report
Thank you for the time and effort to encourage and share your meals and tempting to the taste buds, photo's. This is my 3rd day on sparkle and still finding my way around the site. My taste buds are very similar to yours and I really do appreciate the recipies. Report
I really enjoyed reading this and agree with so many here that it's great to get ideas of what other healthy people are actually eating & how well it fills them up. I enjoy trying all kinds of different foods and am in the process of monitoring myself afterward to learn what really satiates me and what is essentially empty calories for me. Report
Ive just started to eat oatmeal regularly again, I will try the add ins to jazz it up.
Great pictures by the way Report
GIRLNEXTDOOR94 (#134), you are not alone. I think the fact that Stepfanie does so much exercise later at night might explain it. For years, I worked out from 7-9 every night, and so usually ate an early light dinner at 5 and a substantial snack afterward. Now that I work out in the early afternoon, I stick to eating a single meal at about 6. If I tried to eat much later, I probably would be hungrier and therefore eat more (so perhaps that's part of it, and perhaps it's partly because your body burns calories more efficiently at other times).

But even though I eat differently than Stepfanie, too, I'm glad she shared this with us. It's cool to get ideas from seeing what another healthy person eats. I'm going to HAVE to try the delicious almond-butter-banana oatmeal. Report
Thanks for sharing; I would love to see more of these. It gives me great ideas. Report
Hi good post, I think I know how to eat healthy. I am not vegetarian but I get a healthy dose of protien every morning, with n/f cottage cheese (15g protien), i like to chop up half a banana and add 1/8 cup banana nut cherrios. Very low in fat and about 150 cal. My biggest struggle is eating after dinner. I stay up till about 11:30 or 12 and get hungry about 11...... Report
Thanks for sharing. I'd love to see more articles like this. It's always good to hear what works for other people. I'd like to hear from people with dietary restrictions too, like gluten and dairy allergies, or moms with crazy schedules trying to feed a whole family... Report
I would also like to see more blogs like this. It helps to see examples of what a healthy person eats during the day and gives ideas to add variety. I also thought it was interesting to see that dinner and snack #2 was at night. My sister and I both have trouble losing weight when we eat after a certain time (6 ish). Is this really abnormal? Do others do well eating later too? Maybe it is in the food choices. Report
Thanks soooooooo much for reminding me how I like to eat healthy, too. Report
Wow! What a way to excite oatmeal. I will definitely try this. I am going to make the soup this weekend. The pasta dish, I will try next weekend!
Thank you:) Report
Great feature and just what I needed to get me back on track and thinking more carefully about what I eat. I feel a spot of menu planning coming on... Report
i never thought to add chocolate chips to oatmeal! i love making different oatmeal concoctions, but that strawberry and chocolate chip one fascinates me. one of my favorite treats is chocolate covered strawberries! i'll probably look for dark chips to add to mine! thanks! (that sweet potato & black bean soup looked stupendous as well...) Report
I like the pics the soup looked yummy. I liked the jazzing up the oatmeal idea. I've never heard of almond butter so I'll look for it at the store next time I'm there. Thanks for the blog with photos. Report
Thank you for sharing, Stepfanie! I try to aim for the 1200 calories/day end of the spectrum. I like to top my Cheerios with a sliced-up banana or a frozen Belgian Waffle with blueberries. I definitely need to eat more fruits, veggies, and water. Thanks again! Report
Wow, you eat a lot of fruit and veggies! I have a hard time getting enough into my diet every day. I'm getting a little better, but I'm not nearly as on top of things as you seem to be! And I too am an oatmeal lover! I've run dry on new things to try with it, so your strawberry chocolate chip idea sounds fantastic! I just might have to try it. Thanks for posting this - it's interesting and helpful to see what other people who live healthy lifestyles are eating. :) Report
I also love to spruce up oatmeal. Can't wait to try your almond butter and banana idea. I bet the kids will love it, too. Thanks for the peek into your diet! Report
yentl Report
I liked this article and wished more people would share what they eat to loose weight and stay healthy. I even like reading the comments. I think one of the reasons my diets have failed in the past is because I've gotten bored with eating the same thing every day. By reading articles like this, you at least get some ideas on changing your menu and this helps prevent you from failing. Report
This was a great blog. Thanks for sharing your day! I would love to see more like this. Very motivating and gave me some meal option ideas! Report
I enjoyed this and learned some new things! Chris Report
I enjoyed this article very much. I eat like you. I am a lacto/ovo vegetarian and am low-end on protein, too. I introduced mixed nuts into my afternoon snacks, and throw in an egg now and then to up the protein. I am now managing my binge-eating but still like to have that date square or chocolate frozen yogurt each day, even if I have had black bean or lentil soup and complied with all the other healthy eating principles. I have recently moved from a binge-free focus to a daily-deficit focus, without deprivation, in order to kick-start weightloss. It has been a long haul. I love being a vegetarian and have been so for 24 years, even at my highest weight, some 150 pounds ago! Report
I loved reading this blog. I like that you keep your options open and know when your weak moments are and are prepared for them. I found this information very interesting and helpful. Report
we all have our own ways of dieting, its good to get ideas from other sparkmembers, I am a really oatmeal lover, I eat a bowl of oatmeal porridge most mornings as I find it keeps me going until lunchtime and sometimes I dont feel like a snack, drinking plenty of water helps!! Report
Thanks, that was refreshing.
I enjoyed the read, and would like everything you ate. Good meals. Yum.
My steel cut oatmeal cook ups always include fruit- apples, cranberries, yada yada- oh, and flax, cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts. I l love my oatmeal concoctions. Report
Please keep up this thread! You gave me some great ideas. Report
I liked reading that, I like tracking food sometimes I think I hardly ate enough then when I track am like woah! Report
I like the idea of adding a scrambled egg to leftovers to boost the protein. Good for you with the vegetables and fruits so well integrated into your diet! Report
I loved the ideas to make oatmeal more "user friendly". I tend to want to put alot of sugar on my oatmeal, which pretty much defeats the purpose of having it in the first place! :)) Report
Looks good. Report
I love the pictures and your descriptions of what you've eaten - Keep doing this - great inspiration!

I love oatmeal as well - I eat it every morning with some frozen berries added - they defrost and help cool down the oatmeal! Report
Great Blog! Would love to see more like this.
I like the food choices i make, and i love seeing what others are eating.
I do know that sometimes I will fall into a pattern... I"ll get creative for awhile with my cooking, then it will be a whole bunch of the same over and over..Good stuff, but nonetheless, makes it more exciting when you change it up with new ideas. Report
I really enjoyed this. Sometimes I get in a rut as far as my food is concerned. I try to change my food up every four weeks just like my working out. This was great though. Report
looks like you are doing a great job, Stepfanie! :)
I LOVE oatmeal for breakfast too!! I make mine with vanilla almond milk. Sooo good. :) Report
More of this! Great information! Report
The pictures were really helpful.
Eating dinner at 8pm, was not. Unless you stay up until midnight.
I try to only have a snack of fruit after 6pm.
I'm a bit like BMORE73, I like my meat, and I don't digest raw veggies well.
If I get OUT I can stay away from snacking. I try to walk everyday but I hate the wind. (and a sailor I was)
I eat Oatmeal with rasions every-scond or third day, eggs with "bubble and squeez", that's precooked veggies and rice, and lean porkchop, is my prime breakfast, or veggie soup. Just gotta stay away from the toast and potatoes.
thanks for sharing. Report
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