Have you always wondered what a nutritionist puts in their tummy? Wonder no more. Registered nutritionist Lauren Windas reveals everything she ate for an entire week
They are the people we go to for dietary advice, for help achieving our health goals, for support in relieving stomach discomfort caused by digestive issues and, ultimately, for the chance to lead a healthier lifestyle — the person in question is, of course, a nutritionist.
Considered an expert in nutrition — a vital process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth — the health professionals provide nutritional evidenced-based information and guidance to individuals. If they share all this dietary knowledge with others, what do they eat themselves?
With an increasing focus on what we are putting into our bodies and to mark National Nutrition Month in the US, registered nutritional therapist and co-founder of healthy lifestyle company ARDERE, Lauren Windas granted The Gut Choice inside access as she shared what she ate every day for one week.
You may be visualising a strict cardboard diet topped with kale, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Prepare to be amazed.
- Breakfast: Porridge with macadamia milk and raspberries, drizzled with honey.
- Lunch: Sweet potato, beetroot and chipotle black bean salad with spinach, sprinkling of almonds.
- Dinner: Kale, spinach, sun-dried tomato, green pepper and onion omelette.
- Snack: Handful of Brave roasted sea salt peas.
- Drinks: Peppermint tea. Eight glasses of water.
I’m often busy on Mondays, so I try to prepare my food on Sunday evenings to keep me going up until lunchtime. For dinner, I wanted a quick and easy meal on the table, so I prepared a kale and spinach omelette to cram in some leafy greens (nutrient-dense and rich in folic acid), plus the eggs are a good source of protein.
- Breakfast: Chia seed pudding with blended mango and coconut milk.
- Lunch: Finola grain salad with rocket, beetroot, halloumi, sun-dried tomato and pumpkin seeds.
- Snack: Banana.
- Dinner: Pan-fried halibut with samphire and roasted fennel, on a bed of cauliflower and thyme puree.
- Drinks: Eight glasses of water.
A quick breakfast for me is soaking chia seeds in milk or a plant-based alternative. As well as providing a full spectrum of essential amino acids through being a plant-based protein, chia seeds are hydrophilic which means that they can soak up twelve times their weight when mixed with water! They are great for keeping our bodies functioning optimally on a day-to-day basis. I mix my chia pudding with some pureed mango for a touch of natural sweetness and vitamin C — a potent antioxidant to protect the body’s cells from damage.
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on rye bread with avocado, cherry tomatoes and sauerkraut.
- Lunch: Homemade tomato and roasted red pepper soup.
- Snack: Half an orange.
- Dinner: Buckwheat noodle stir fry with tamari, tofu, cashew nuts, bok choi, red peppers, coriander and spring onion.
- Drinks: Matcha latte with coconut milk. Six glasses of water.
In the colder months, I like to have warm dishes as much as possible as I tend to feel the cold. A nourishing and hearty soup is always a winner in my household and is just what I need to pep me up. This homemade tomato and roasted red pepper soup is a great source of lycopene — an antioxidant that has been proven to have cardioprotective properties.
- Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with blueberries, honey and sunflower seeds.
- Lunch: Hummus bowl with radish, toasted chickpeas, kale, spring onions, coriander and cauliflower.
- Dinner: Tacos filled with mixed beans, tomato sauce, kale, courgette, green pepper, onion and guacamole.
- Snack: Two cashew nut butter date balls.
- Drinks: Eight glasses of water.
While out for meetings, I treated myself to a delicious hummus bowl which offered a plethora of goodness for my microbiome. I’m so big on getting in as much plant-based nutrition as possible because vegetables can feed the friendly microbes in our digestive tract. This lunch was packed full of flavour and deliciousness in every bite!
- Breakfast: Granola with kefir yoghurt.
- Lunch: Leftover tomato and roasted red pepper soup.
- Dinner: Feta and risotto stuffed red peppers with asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Snacks: Four squares of dark chocolate.
- Drinks: Coffee. Seven glasses of water. Two cups of peppermint tea.
I had leftover red peppers in the house, so I thought using my ingredients up to create my stuffed risotto red pepper recipe would be a great way to be sustainable. Full of fibre which is great for digestive regularity and, of course, super tasty!
- Breakfast: Vegan vanilla protein shake with fortified almond milk.
- Lunch: Fonio, sweet potato, mackerel, rocket and green pepper salad with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.
- Dinner: Coconut carbonara with brown rice spaghetti and salmon.
- Snacks: Apple slices and almond butter.
- Drinks: Eight glasses of water. Two glasses of red wine.
Today’s lunch and dinner allowed me to get in some omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel have been studied for their positive effects on brain health such as cognitive function. Omegas also provide an anti-inflammatory effect, so can be supportive for a variety of bodily functions. I paired the salmon with brown rice pasta, cavolo nero, peas, olives and a ‘coconutty’ creamy sauce — very yummy!
- Breakfast: Biotiful Dairy kefir.
- Dinner: Roast chicken with kale, broccoli, carrots, roast potatoes and homemade gravy.
- Snacks: Cashew butter date ball. Handful of grapes.
- Drinks: One glass of kombucha. One peppermint tea. One cup of bone broth. Four glasses of water.
I had a late breakfast today so skipped straight onto my Sunday roast! I used an organic chicken and re-cycled the bones by making a bone broth using leftover vegetables, then I stewed this for three hours. Bone broth contains an amino acid called l-glutamine, which is protective for the gut lining and can help to reduce inflammatory processes within the digestive system.
Lauren’s Top Three Go-To Foods
- Oats: The soluble fibre in oats has a positive effect on satiety — they always fill me up! It also has low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering benefits (known as the bad form of cholesterol). When consumed, soluble fibre dissolves into a sticky gel-like mass in the small intestine which prevents our gut from absorbing LDL cholesterol. [Plus, they’re] so versatile and can be made into a quick morning porridge or a delicious low-sugar flapjack.
- Blueberries: [These are a] well-known source of anthocyanins, which is a powerful antioxidant and is behind the blue pigment of these delicious berries. Colour is so important to consider when you are buying your fruits and veggies! Blueberries are my go-to for popping into breakfast bowls or snacking on.
- Olives: Olives are a great source of polyphenols which feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. They are also super delicious and a great bar snack!
Lauren, 26, is a registered nutritional therapist (mBANT, CNHC), naturopath and co-founder of healthy lifestyle Company ARDERE based in London. Her passion is to enlighten and educate others on the role that diet and lifestyle can play in people’s health as well as inspiring others on how to eat well and take care of themselves. Find out more about Lauren.
What is National Nutrition Month?
National Nutrition Month occurs each year during March. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages the public to focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
If you suffer with digestive issues, we suggest seeking advice from a nutritionist before changing your diet. It is important to make sure they are appropriately qualified and registered by a reputable professional body. To find a nutritionist, visit the Association of Nutrition.
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