changing my plate.jpg

Changing my plate – eat more fresh fruit and vegetables

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 – Rose’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 Rose (not real name as she wished to stay anonymous) 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?
Try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables / non-meat options, but start eating a variety of longer-lasting energy snacks. Feeling very hungry all the time (currently breastfeeding with 8 month old) and sick of the hunger pains despite eating what I think is a lot! So trying to work out how I can eat the same volume but healthier foods and ditch the hunger!

Breakfast 7.15am – 3 weet bix and full cream milk. 1 slice wholemeal toast with butter and strawberry jam.

Add a 1/4 cup rolled oats and a 1/4 cup mixed seeds (buy a bag each of organic sunflower, pumpkin, flaxseed and pour into a storage tub then just scoop out) to your Weetbix. Try peanut butter or avocado instead of jam.

Store-bought lunch at 12noon Pre-made indian butter chicken curry (from Safeway pre-cooked and packaged and reheated), banana, Chobani yoghurt tub.

If you enjoy Indian takeaway, see if you can make a big meal using a ready made sauce (check ingredients and choose the least adulterated as possible) for example: Korma with added veggies: onion, pumpkin, capsicum, a tin of white beans and use lovely full cream coconut milk then freeze into portions for work days. Also cook rice and freeze this into a snap lock bag for example, then you can pull it all out the night before and heat through at work. You can add fresh cut cherry tomatoes and handfuls of baby spinach to oomph up the nutrient quality.

At around 6pm Beef risotto with parmesan, peas, pumpkin and mushrooms.


Snack 1
10am – apple. 11.30am – hot cross bun / chocolate bar. {Editor’s note: this form was submitted around Easter time!}

Stock up a snack container to keep at work that includes a raw oat muesli mix, a packet of rice cakes, seeds, nuts, 70% Lindt chocolate, peanut butter, creamed honey, dried figs, apricots, prunes, dates. You can take a fresh banana in with you and slice it to put atop rice cakes or add it to the muesli mix with some yoghurt.

Also try to do some baking on off days or on the weekends: muffins using wholemeal flour packed with berries or diced apple; muesli cookies; banana bread; muesli bars; “energy balls”. Even making a batch of popcorn cooked in coconut oil and stored in an airtight container or individual snap lock bags is a great option for longer storing pantry snack items.

Snack 2
2pm: apple.

Fine. Try to add some fresh vegetables into your snacks also: a carrot cut into sticks, a packet of sugar snap peas, a Lebanese cucumber).

Snack 3
3pm: Banana (afternoon tea)

Fine. Again you can add to this to keep you fuller longer by eating it with some nut butter atop a rice cake or if you are home you can blend it into a smoothie: use almond milk, some chia seeds, a dash of maple syrup, maybe some cocoa if you like the banana/chocolate flavour combination.

Snack 4

Small tub of Vaalia yoghurt at around 7pm

I prefer Jalna yoghurt as it is pot set, sweetened with fruit juice and made using local ingredients right here in our own backyard. I have written on this if you’d like to read more – Top 5 – Yogurt.

With the extra metabolic demands of breastfeeding you can afford to enjoy a scoop of good quality ice cream (treat yourself to a premium brand such as Maggie Beer, Kohu Road, Serendipity) and perhaps add some nuts, sliced fresh seasonal fruits.

Nutritional supplements
Pregnancy And Breastfeeding supplement (Blackmores)
Fenugreek (6 capsules a day)

Daily fluid intake
2 regular sized coffees, 2 herbal teas (chamomile), 2 glasses of water.

More water please! Try to increase it by double to begin wtih then work up from there until you are drinking 8 glasses per day.

Any further information you’d like to share or special dietary requirements to factor in?
I am breastfeeding 4 times a day (inc expressing twice at work). I sit at a desk all day and get very hungry mid morning and then again at night from around 9pm. I am sick of turning to frozen meals at night (when hubby can’t cook). Sweet things tide me over, but by 8pm I am hungry again. I can’t work out why (suspect breastfeeding) but am looking for foods that will make me feel fuller for longer and give me good nutrients.

I see no problem with some nut butter as a late night snack but try to change what you spread it onto. You might even like to make some whole egg custard to keep in the fridge, a perfect protein rich, lovely fat treat for someone with such an active lifestyle: serve it over a sliced banana. Mmm!

Katie’s summary
In summary: make meals as nutrient packed as possible by avoiding takeaway, choosing full cream organic or minimally processed yoghurt and other dairy items. Prioritise meal prep for work days, go and buy a big Deeko or Sistema Klip It storage tub and fill it with nuts, seeds, crackers, trail mix and other non perishable snack options to keep at your desk.

Cook meals that make a lot and freeze well: curries, stews, bolognese, Chili con carne etc. and put aside portions for yourself to serve with good bread, left over rice, quinoa, pearled barley, tinned legumes etc. and always keep a bag of baby spinach on the go to add some fresh green leafys to a meal. Eggs make for the perfect protein hit so focus on them too: add to a smoothie, switch up from Weet bix to a quick meal of eggs fried in coconut oil with sourdough bread; and on days when you’re home they’re lovely poached with a side of greens.

Further reading and recipes


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.