changing my plate.jpg

Changing my plate – reducing carbs (to maintain weight)

changing my plate.jpgThis 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 who would like to remain anonymous but we will call Shirley 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?
Reducing carbs (to maintain weight).

Homemade muesli with rice milk and 1/4 banana

If you’re trying to reduce carbs I’d recommend switching from rice milk to a nut milk. Boost your muesli with pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds. Vary the fruit, try adding some home stewed apples or pears.

Half bread roll with 1 boiled egg, lettuce, 1 tomato, 1/2 carrot, 3 mushrooms, made at home, eaten in the park near work

Does this satisfy you? If not add something such as 2 – 3 dates with a handful of almonds.

Stir fry beef with white rice. Veggies included: broccoli, carrot, capsicum, garlic, basil, ginger

Try switching to brown rice or cook half/half brown and white. Stir fries are a great meal to add sprouts into. Sprouts are so nutrient dense, full of protein!

Snack 1
6 dark choc almonds – mid-morning. Small tub homemade low fat yoghurt with 1/4 banana and 2 chopped walnuts


Snack 2
2 pieces mint dark choc and half bread roll – afternoon tea.

Swap bread roll for rice cakes with nut butter or cottage cheese and honey for example.

Snack 3
homemade toasted hot cross bun – after netball in the evening.

Ok, you could replace the half bread roll at afternoon tea with this hot cross bun and rather have the rice cakes here. I imagine you’re hungry after playing netball so I understand why you’d tuck into a hot cross bun! But better to have it before you exercise rather than after.

None tonight, probably have dessert 1-2 times a week – usually fruit based (e.g. fruit crumble or yoghurt with fruit salad)

Ok we need to do something about your GF snack options! Rice crackers can be loaded with vegetable oil and flavorings etc. and there’s lots of cake for one day! How about a nice hot cup of chocolate made using sugar free cocoa and honey over say, almond or hazelnut milk and a couple of dates chewed very slowly. Still a sweet chocolate hit but in a less cake-y way!

Nutritional supplements
1 multi vitamin. (1 claratyne for allergies/sinusitis)

I’ve suggested high dose (1000 – 3000mg) vitamin C and also a magnesium/B complex powder for you. Ethical Nutrients does both.

Daily fluid intake
1 lt water
1 espresso coffee
3 cups herbal tea (green / peppermint)
2 cups black tea

Try reducing one each of those black and green teas. Green tea contains caffeine so you’re having 5 caffeinated drinks per day!

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
Trying a few changes to my diet to see if it helps with sinus issues and lack of energy – any advice would be appreciated!

Exercise includes bike riding (includes commuting to work 3 times per week – 8kms each way), netball (once per week), brisk walk (2-3 times per week, 45-60 mins)

Your diet just needs a bit of tweaking. I personally don’t believe that reducing carbs is the key to weight loss, although it is wise to choose good, whole food sources of carbs. I think if you’re baking your own hot cross buns this is excellent but rather than eat one later in the day, eat it for your morning tea then make your evening/post workout snack something fresh and protein based: such as a handful of carrot sticks and a rice cake dipped into hummus. Or 10 nuts with 4 prunes etc.

If you’re prone to sinusitis then you could be someone who’d benefit from no dairy and reduced wheat. The inflammation in the sinuses causes them to be swollen and leaky so that pollens and other allergens can get in easier and then you get the runny nose, sneezing and post nasal drip etc. You could try a month of no dairy and wheat whilst also boosting your antioxidants such as vitamin C: buy a good quality vitamin C powder and take it twice daily. Also try a salt water irrigation, whereby you sniff salt water up your nose and blow it back out: this is antimicrobial so will help to eliminate bugs. Or just buy a saline spray and use it throughout the day.

As for lack of energy, I don’t know if you’re a busy mum or have a stressful job, but you do fit a pretty decent amount of exercise into your week! For energy we consider the B-group vitamins, so nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains. But also key to the energy production cycle are minerals such as magnesium, it can’t hurt to try a magnesium powder too: Ethical Nutrients does one.

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.