changing my plate.jpg

Changing my plate – staying away from sweets + follow up

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 – Niki’s 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 Niki 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?
Saying no to sweets at work, eating mainly whole foods, lots of veggies.

At work, 10am, homemade almond meal and orange muffin, homemade almond meal carrot cake, apple, slice of chocolate brownie (made by

Three pieces of cake and an apple as late as 10am makes me wonder if you were up partying the night before?! Ha! Is it standard for you to eat breakfast at work rather than home? And is it standard for you to eat so much baked goods for breakfast? If so I would suggest eating a piece of fruit before you leave the house and swapping cake for a home made muesli bar or muesli slice if you have to have that sweetness.

At work, 12.30pm, half a cup of white rice with homemade veggie balti (pumpkin and potato) – about 1 cup.

Add greens: fresh green leafys, snow peas, snow pea sprouts, sugar snap peas, cucumber.

1 and 1/2 cups Chicken and brown rice soup (homemade), 7.30pm, after 16km run. Carrots and peas 1 cup.


Snack 1
Large piece of chocolate mud cake made by a colleague

More cake! You put me to shame. Ok we need to address the cake.

Snack 2

Snack 3

Half a cup of plain yoghurt with 100g of frozen berries. Have this a few times a week. Often with a piece of dark chocolate

Add nuts and seeds: a mixture of pumpkin (pepitas), sunflower, linseed, chia and raw almonds, Brazil nuts or walnuts.

Nutritional supplements

You may benefit from a blood sugar formula such as Ethical Nutrients Chromium Sugar Balance, this will a: assist the uptake of glucose into cells for use as energy and b: curb cravings for sugar. Also, as you are very active and likely sustaining microtrauma to your muscle tissue I’d recommend an essential fatty acid for anti-inflammation as well as all its other benefits (anti-oxidant, immunity, nervous system, female reproductive system).

Daily fluid intake
2 coffees – flat white, no sugar
2 cups of tea – milk, no sugar
About 1 litre water

Reduce one coffee if you can. Increase water in 250mL increments until you are drinking 2L per day. You are training for a long distance endurance event so you will NEED to rehydrate.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
Coeliac, training for a half marathon.

Katie’s summary
I see a lot of baked goods and yes, they are likely good as they are both home made and gluten free BUT they are still cakes and slices where you could otherwise be eating from a variety of snack options including: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, nuts, seeds, rice cakes, nut spreads, hummus, cottage cheese, ricotta, dried fruits and so on.

You may or may not read my blog and know that I too LOVE cake so I totally “get” why you tuck in and as a past long distance runner I also “get” how easy it can be to justify eating it when you are clocking up the Ks and keeping at a pretty lean weight (at the peak of my running I weighed just 48kg OMG). Especially as you are churning through energy I would like to see high quality sources of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

And I would like to see breakfast earlier in the day, closer to rising and keep it small if you can’t handle a big breakfast early, perhaps just a piece of rice loaf toasted with vanilla bean ricotta with sliced banana. Like I have already mentioned if you like your cake-y breakfasts then bake up some more wholesome options such as my baked porridge.

Further reading

Follow up – Nicki (increasing protein)

You can find the original feedback given by Katie to Nicki here. Below is an update from Nicki herself and some additional comments from Katie.

The first change I made was to follow Katie’s advice on adding a 1/4 cup of added seeds to my breakfast. I have a blend of chia, sesame, lindseed, pumpkin and sunflower. Switching to full fat milk was easier than expected, I’m not really a huge milk fan, but the added creaminess was a welcome addition to my breakfast!

Big changes here regarding exercise, as I no longer have time to dedicate to doing a 1hr workout everyday. I have really cut down to basics (planks/roll ups/squats and plenty of walking) so little chance of me losing too much weight now! I still get hungry about 11:30am so either I have an early lunch or some fruit with a big glass of water. I have cut down to one cup of tea a day, most days.

For lunches my new motto is “stick some avocado and greens on it”. If there are no leftovers I generally have Nicole’s sweet potato hash with poached egg, avocado and spinach or something like your cheese and onion pasta with avocado and kale. I am eating more eggs now, so quick and easy, don’t know why I got out of the habit.

I like brown rice, but husband and kids find it “too worthy” so have been compromising with half and half. We liked the addition of cottage cheese instead of sour cream so I have been using it more and more. I am using coconut oil in my daily cooking more and more. Previously I only really used it in baking or as a skin moisturiser.

Often I don’t feel the need to have a snack in the afternoon now. I don’t know if this is because I am exercising less, filling up on water or due to the warm weather. However, if I do it is either some fruit, nuts or ‘healthier’ baked goods. We have been enjoying Nicole’s ‘Larabar’ recipes. Though, I might occasionally have an ice cream or two. Well, it is summer 😉

I found a stash of the flax oil caps in the cupboard so am having one of these as well as the cod liver oil, to use them up. I have also started taking zinc as I was having a real problem with flaky nails. Don’t know if it is a coincidence but they have improved.

I tried with the wine, I really did, but it has slowly crept back to every night. It’s my treat after a long day and I look forward to it too much to give up. The tea was easier to cut out and I’m not really missing it at all.

Thanks for your advice Katie. The next step for me is to get more organised, like Nicole, and do some weekly prep for my lunches. My kid’s appetites are growing and we rarely seem to have leftovers anymore. If I have a busy day and there is nothing for me to grab quickly from the fridge I will just skip lunch, which I know is not a good habit to get into!

Follow up notes from Katie:
Round of applause I am impressed ~ I wish I’d had such compliance in clinical practice! Never mind the daily wine, I hear you on that I really do. I may even be having a glass of wine myself as I type this :).

All I’ll add today is to increase those flaxseed caps to 2 per day and carry on with the zinc.

Honestly if you were in front of me in a consult room I’d just tell you that you’re doing really well, keep it up and charge you for a quick visit only.

Now on to that meal planning!


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.