Q: What and how do you eat these days?
A: I follow a meal plan given to me by my eating disorder sports dietitian. However, there is flexibility with it now (which my dietitian encourages).
When I was first in recovery, I used the meal plan to give me structure and a routine. Now I understand my hunger and cravings enough (thanks to my dietitian!!) to change the portion sizes of each macronutrient in my meals daily, as needed.
I follow a schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner with two snacks, but some days I may eat less if I’m just not as hungry (following my body signals which I’ve learned with time–not the eating disorder signals). Other days I’ll add in an extra meal (often on long run days when I’m ravenous). Each meal usually includes a fat, protein, carb, fruit, and vegetable.
Keep in mind that there were changes along the way as I recovered, and I improved little by little. I’m still improving and learning. I make sure to eat until I am full and satisfied. So far these meals (below) have worked well for me as a runner and as someone recovering from an eating disorder:
Breakfast: Carb (like potato or oatmeal when potatoes don’t sound good) with eggs, an apple (with liquid iron because I lose so much iron through running), and raw vegetables. Yes, this means that when I eat oatmeal I mix it in with the raw vegetables, eggs, etc.
Explanation: Potatoes are a great carb that keep me satisfied. Eggs are one of my favorite foods, and have been shown to keep hunger at bay for a long time (with the egg yolk–yes, yolk is healthy. Fat does not make you fat). As for the raw vegetables, at this point in time, I am MAJORLY craving their crunch (and learned of their benefits through the raw food diet of course).
The apple is the sweet ending I enjoy. I prefer organic apples because they are part of the “dirty dozen.” Plus the vitamin C helps me to absorb my iron. Why not other fruit? Apples never sounded that tasty on the 30bananasaday diet, but once I got off of a 90% fruit diet, apples suddenly tasted amazing again.
And I’m sick of bananas; really, really sick of bananas.
Lunch: an avocado with raw vegetables, any form of meat protein (ground beef, chicken, turkey–free range, grass-fed from the farmer’s market!), potatoes, and an apple.
Explanation: Again, I always like to have something crunchy (and nutritious!) in my meal, hence the vegetables. Avocado is a healthy fat, plus it’s delicious with the raw veggies. And you can absorb more of the vegetable nutrients if you include fat with it (I read this somewhere. . . either way, fat is just healthy and tasty). As for including meat, I feel satisfied with dense protein sources.
Dinner: Very similar to lunch.
Snacks: potato or fruit before I run (I can easily digest these carbs with no stomach problems).
I also indulge in dark chocolate, Ecotrek bars, all natural peanut butter, and Nutri-grain bars (childhood favorite). No food is completely off limits for me. I will eat processed desserts on occasion and other “fear foods” as I continue with recovery. I just want to eat healthy on a consistent basis, and I happen to love healthy food after eating it so often, even back in childhood.
Overall eating this way has kept my weight stable and my cravings and hunger satisfied. If you have more questions or need clarifications, feel free to comment below!