Sunday, October 07, 2012


NAME: Colleen Campbell
OCCUPATION: Registered Nutritionist and amateur blogger

In this photo I’m on my way to meet my friend for lunch. I refuse to put my sandals in the ‘Summer Box’ yet, and good job I didn’t since I was able to wear them again today because of the gorgeous Autumnal sunshine.  I’m wearing:
Jacket Topshop       Leggings Topshop     Sandals  All Saints   
Satchel  Zatchels    Hat Ted Baker
Breakfast: a bowl of porridge oats and a glass of orange juice
Lunch:  Cheese Salad Sandwich and bottle of water
Dinner: Rice and Chicken with gravy and vegetables and a glass of Shloer
Snacks: fruit
Drinks: water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning and  water in between my main meals

(The diet MOT uses the reported day's diet to assess 10 key principles of a healthy eating regime)

I started my day as usual with a glass of water and the juice of one whole squeezed lemon - so refreshing! It’s the weekend, so I had a good lie-in (bit of a late night!) and a late breakfast. I didn't eat breakfast until about 11am. Some people would skip breakfast just because it’s so close to lunchtime, but not me! Breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day, so all I did was eat lunch a bit later. During the week I tend to have a cereal, because it’s quicker to make, but at the weekend I have more time, so I make myself some porridge oats. Porridge is great for weight loss/maintenance because it really does keep you feeling fuller for longer, so it keeps that temptation to graze at bay. It is also a very good source of soluble fibre, which can help lower cholesterol. My fruit juice counts as one of my 5 A Day.

I've said this before and I’m going to say it again. Carbohydrates are not fattening. Gram for gram they contain the same amount of calories as protein. What makes carbohydrates fattening is the quantity we eat and the amount of cheese, sauces and butter/oils we put on them. Here in the UK we don’t eat enough wholegrains, perhaps in part because of the fallacy about carbohydrates being fattening, but also because people prefer to eat what they think is tastier rather than what is healthier. Wholegrains confer so many health benefits from heart health to bowel health. Today my wholegrain intake came from my porridge oats, brown rice and wholemeal bread.

I tend to eat more fruit at weekends. When I have time on my hands I tend to think about food more and have a few more cravings for some of the ‘naughty’ things. Fortunately I love fruit so I tend to snack on this more at weekends than during the week. Today I've snacked on pineapple, apples, plums, banana and avocado so I have exceeded my 5-A-Day but this is fine. There is actually some evidence to show that for every portion of fruit and vegetables eaten there is a greater protection against stroke and some cancers! 

The vegetables with my dinner and the salad in my sandwich make up the vegetable portions of my 5 A Day of fruit and vegetables. I don’t much like vegetables, but I eat them because I should.

My main protein source today was the chicken I ate for my Sunday dinner. Poultry is a good source of protein that is low in fat, providing you don’t fry it like KFC! Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurts also contain some protein.

I’m conscious, as a 32 year old, that from your mid 30's, you start to lose calcium causing a thinning of the bone. Thinning of the bone can lead to osteoporosis (means ‘porous bone’) later in life. Dairy products are a great source of calcium and today my main source has come from the milk in my porridge and the cheese in my sandwich

Healthy fats include oils/fats such as olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils/spreads, nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish. I’m not sure what spread was used in my sandwich as it was shop bought. The avocado I ate is rich in healthy monounsaturated fat and the Sunday dinner was cooked using sunflower oil, which is rich in healthy polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are both beneficial for heart health, but remember despite being healthy, they are still very high in calories  - one tablespoon of oil gives us 135 calories - so just be mindful about the amount you are using.

My main source of sugar today was from the Shloer. The cheddar cheese in my sandwich is quite high in unhealthy saturated fats and no doubt they used butter in my sandwich, which is also high in saturates. Saturated fats can increase cholesterol levels if eaten in large amounts so I made sure not to eat anything else today that was too high in saturated fats - no cakes, no chocolate, no biscuits as tempting as they were after lunch.

I added salt to the water when I cooked the rice, but as usual I am mindful of the amount I use because I know too much salt can increase my risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. I try not to add too much salt during the cooking process because I know salt is already hidden in many foods.

Apart from the Shloer and fruit juice at breakfast my fluid intake was made up of water. A question that I've been asked a few times is how do I know I am drinking enough. A good way of knowing is to check the colour of your urine. If it’s pale and straw coloured you’re okay, but if it is any darker you could probably do with drinking more.

Again no alcohol for me today, although I did last night!

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