If you follow me on my Instagram, then you may have seen my overwhelming story today. I decided to show a full day of eating to give my followers a preview into my daily life when it comes to food.
I’m not yet at the point in my recovery where I can listen to my hunger cues. Instead, I rely on a relatively specific time schedule to tell me when to eat. In terms of what I eat daily, there is some flexibility in the specifics as long as I follow my meal plan. Let me explain.
I am on what is called the exchange system. With this system there are six main categories: starch, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and added fat. Starches include breads, cereals, rices, potatoes, and many similar foods. The protein and dairy categories are pretty self explanatory. Fruits and vegetables can get complex because the many preparation techniques require different amounts for an exchange. Lastly, added fats are typically from the condiment category. This includes, but is not limited to, butter, salad dressing, nuts/nut butters, and avocado.
The exchange amount for items in categories vary. I was lucky enough that my treatment center provided me with a very helpful packet containing these serving amounts, but you can find many copies online as well. Together my dietician and I (mostly my dietician) decided on an appropriate number of exchanges from each category for every meal and snack. This was done to fit my specific needs and changes from person to person. Below is my meal plan with each exchanges. I promise it will make more sense when you see all my meals.
When it comes to my meals every day, the exchange program allows me the flexibility to choose based on taste for that day. I can essentially eat what I want, as long as I hit all of the proper exchanges for that meal or snack.
Here it is folks. This is what I ate today.
I forgot to take a picture of my breakfast so here is a quick video of it. I hit all my exchanges with oatmeal topped with cashew butter and cinnamon, salted caramel yogurt, and an apple. The oatmeal counted for my starch serving, yogurt for my dairy, apple as the fruit, and cashew butter as my added fat.
Morning snack was a small cup of yogurt covered craisins & raisins. This was two exchanges worth, and trust me your taste buds don’t need more than that.
Today I picked up lunch. This is a rare occasion for me, as eating food from other than my kitchen is challenging and scary. I had a tuna poke bowl topped with vegetables, tempura flakes, and TWO sauces. I got all of my exchanges packed into this delicious bowl.
Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of my afternoon snack because I slept right through it. I try to avoid situations like this but in the event that it does happen, I will throw in an extra exchange at dinner and/or night snack depending on what I’m having.
My dinner was questionable looking… and a bit of a random combination of food. Pictured here is a black bean burger (protein), rice (starch), and spinach (vegetable). Halfway through my meal I forgot about my added fat so I added a cheese slice onto the burger for all of my exchanges.
To finish off the day, for HS snack I had a Clif bar. (In case you were wondering, HS stands for hour before sleep). The Clif bars actually count for three exchanges, which is perfect because it makes up for my missed PM snack!
I hope this gave you a little more insight into what I eat on a day-to-day basis. If you have any questions about my meal plan or foods in general, head on over to the contact page!