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Changing my plate – eating healthier, less sugar

This post is part of a regular series focusing on making small changes to improve our health. I shared my journey with changing my diet and moving to a clean eating approach which you can read here. I also had the lovely Katie Rainbird from Katie 180 undertake an analysis of my food intake for one day in that post, which was another step in the right direction.

Together we also offered the same opportunity to readers of Planning With Kids. We were blown away with the response and while I can’t guarantee will get to all of them this year, Katie has been busy working on many of the submissions already and we will publish as many as we can.

It is not possible for Katie to cover off everything in these posts. The aim is for her to find some small things you can change to what you are putting on your plate to help you achieve your current goal for your eating habits. You can read previous Changing my plate posts by clicking here.

Changing my plate – my day

image_katieKatie Rainbird (AKA Katie180) is a Sydney-based Nutritionist who is just as likely to be found jogging as she is baking. She is a mother to two, a keen home cook, prefers to get around in her workout gear and has a major passion for the written word. You can learn more at

Katie reviewed what a reader Lisa submitted that she ate in a 24 hour period. This is what Katie had to say about her day:

What is your current goal with your eating habits?
Healthier, less sugar, weight maintenance/possibly a little loss?

I rotate for variety – one morning fruit, 6 almonds, sprinkle of “muesli” (bran, oats, store bought sultana bran – I know, loaded with sugar but tried to get the one with the lowest sugar, the next morning – poached egg on wholegrain, water – anywhere between 8-9, at home.

Build on the fruit and muesli breakfast with some more protein: a tablespoon or two of sunflower or pumpkin seeds, a 1/4 cup of yoghurt, perhaps some chia gel. If you’ve got the appetite for it, increase the egg to two or add a sautéed field mushroom.

Homemade: spinach leaves, poached egg, little tin of tuna (water based), sweet chill sauce (just a little for flavour) – water, I make a mountain of this. around 1pm – try to stretch it out into the arvo so less chance of snacking – work from home so eaten at my desk.

When tuna is canned and stored in water it is stripped of most of its content of essential fatty acids so I advise mixing tinned tuna with some fish oil or flaxseed oil. There’s room for carbohydrates here: try a 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, pearled barley, brown rice etc. maybe some other fresh produce: cucumber, capsicum, onion, snow peas, snow pea sprouts and so on.

Homemade: Slow cooked pork, homemade coleslaw (olive oil, raspberry balsamic, dijon dressing), wholemeal wraps (dry cooked in frypan), 7pm (kids music lessons so later than normal).


Snack 1
Almonds (dry roasted at home – probably half a handful). Low fat cruskits with marmite or avo water (mid morning).

Yay for almonds, boo to cruskits. Try organic rice cakes instead: Pure Harvest has two varieties, plain rice or rice an corn.

Snack 2
Low fat cruskits with marmite or ago water (late morning)

Same here: switch from cruskits

Snack 3
Banana (mid pm)

Paddlepop (don’t shoot me) or chocolate biscuit if around.

No worries.

Nutritional supplements

Daily fluid intake
Water. Occasional wine (fri/Sat pm only). One glass of Diet Sprite – my 5.30pm treat while making dinner – reward for being good!
I really, really dislike soft drinks, particularly diet ones! There is so much crap in them. Try instead mineral water with a dash of lime or lemon cordial or some muddled mint and fresh lime or lemon.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
Train regularly at the gym and road ride. Used to be a marathon runner but injury means no more running – worried about weight gain as a result of no more running!

Katie’e summary

I totally understand the fear of weight gain when running ceases, I too used to run long distances before having kids (half marathons only!) but I’ve had to come to accept that with young kids my time is just not what it used to be and I’ve made changes to how I move for fitness. What CAN you do? If it’s swimming then do that, if it’s Pilates then enrol into a class and so on. And surrender to it. Fear is a terrible waste of energy! It’s not as though you’re going to wake up tomorrow 5kg heavier because you ate a Paddlepop! You must also love your body the way it is right now and accept it and nurture it, not keep it under a tight regime governed by fear. I want to see: more protein, more whole grain carbohydrates and no soft drink!

Further reading


Katie is a qualified nutritionist (Adv. Dip. Nutr. Med.).

Any diet or lifestyle changes that you implement as a result of reading this blog are your own responsibility.

This blog does not provide medical advice, any particular health conditions must be managed by your own health professional.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.