Living in a world addicted to the pursuit of “healthy”, we are always seeking more nutritious ways to eat. What are the right foods, how often we should be exercising, etc. In our search we turn to magazines, websites, documentaries and if we are really serious we turn to registered dietitians – the real experts. To help you with your journey to healthy, we had the opportunity to chat with Nicole Groman, MS, RD NYC Dietitian, founder of Body Over Mind Nutrition™ and I EAT©, and blogger/Instagrammer at The Hungry Clementine.
Read below to find out what Nicole eats in a day, and other things she does to stay healthy is this health obsessed world.
Nicole is an advocate of eating a balanced diet and saying NO to restrictive dieting and meal plans. As a dietitian, Nicole works to help people achieve their health goals. She does so in a sustainable way, letting clients maintain balance, without cutting a single thing out of their diet. Following these steps, both she and her clients never feel deprived in their diets while still accomplishing their health goals.
In the nutrition world, Nicole firmly believes it’s all about “portion control, portion control, portion control”. She also believes it is the best way to control your intake to maintain a healthy body weight. She uses the plate method as a guide for herself and to teach portion control to patients because it works for everything – even traditionally “less healthy” things like Oreos.
The Plate Method:
¼ of the plate is starch
¼ is protein
½ is non-starchy veggies
It’s the easiest way to keep portions in check without having to measure a thing.
So what does Nicole eat in a day? Find out below!
Morning Eats: Breakfast, pre-workout, post workout, morning munchies.
- Breakfast: “Today I had Cheerio’s (regular and multi grain) in soy milk. I love defrosting frozen berries in the fridge overnight so they’re ready to go right into my cereal the next day. It saves so much time and adds flavor, nutrients, and fiber to keep me full. I boiled an egg while I was getting ready and threw it into my lunch bag on my way out the door. I run (literally) to the train every morning, so breakfast has to be quick and easy. If it’s not a boiled egg, I’ll make an over-easy egg to eat at home. I always try to include protein with my breakfast. Research shows that having protein with breakfast helps moderate hunger throughout the day, and personally, I notice a huge difference in how soon I’m hungry again if I don’t eat that egg in the morning! It really helps keep my hunger in check so I can focus.”
- Morning munchies: “I usually have 2 snacks between breakfast and lunch. Today it was whole grain crackers and peanut butter and then a fruit and nut protein bar. It’s always some kind of carbohydrate + protein snack, like fruit or crackers and string cheese or peanut butter, or a fruit and nut or granola bar.”
Afternoon Eats: Lunch, snacks.
- Lunch: “Baked tofu and roasted Brussels sprouts, both prepared in a homemade maple syrup soy sauce, with brown rice and hot sauce. I made this last night for dinner and brought leftovers for lunch today. (To make it even easier if you don’t cook the night before: bring frozen veggies to work and let defrost on your desk until lunch – no prep needed!). While my lunches vary widely from day to day, I always follow the same guidelines: whole grain starches + protein + non-starchy vegetables. I also always use the plate method as a guide, which is how I teach portion control to patients: ¼ of the plate is starch, ¼ is protein, and ½ is non-starchy veggies. It’s the easiest way to keep portions in check without having to measure a thing. Sometimes after lunch I’ll have something sweet – today it was a fun-size Twix bar!”
- Afternoon snacks: “Today I had grapes and string cheese, and then skyr with chocolate chips. I love Greek yogurt and Icelandic skyr because they’re both so high in protein and help tide me over before an early evening workout. Go for the plain flavor as often as you can because it has less added sugar. Add in some fruit or a tablespoon of nuts. While chocolate chips have added sugar, as opposed to natural sugar like fruit, every so often there’s no harm in mixing it up with chocolate.”
Nighttime Eats: Dinner, dessert.
- Dinner: “Tonight I wasn’t feeling so ambitious preparation-wise, so I made eggs with toast, a side salad, some fruit and quinoa chips. I make my eggs with a little butter because just a little butter (or a little of anything, for that matter) doesn’t hurt anyone, and I love how it tastes.Otherwise my dinners are usually similar to my lunches, like whole wheat spaghetti with salmon and veggies, or healthy ‘fried’ rice, which is just brown rice, scrambled egg, and mixed vegetables, always (can you guess?) using the plate method to portion it out.”
- Dessert: “I have a sweet tooth and usually like having a something after my meals – not always at lunch, but almost certainly after dinner each night (more on this below). Tonight I had two Double Stuffed Oreos.”
Beverages throughout day.
“My water bottle is on me at all times, so I sipped water on my commute. When I arrived to work I got a double soy caramel latte, which I sip on throughout the day. Usually it’s either black tea, or regular coffee (today I needed an extra jolt) with some cream and sugar (yes, real sugar!). Sometimes, depending on my mood (or the day I’ve had!) I’ll have a glass of wine in the evening.”
What are the healthy tips you practice?
“You know how in real estate they say ‘location, location, location’? Well in the nutrition world, it’s ‘portion control, portion control, portion control’. It’s the best way to control intake to maintain a healthy body weight. I particularly love using the plate method, mentioned above, because it works for everything – even traditionally “less healthy” things. For example, if I want cheesy, creamy macaroni and cheese instead of brown rice, I’ll got for it but just portion it like I would any other starch. I call it having your mac and cheese (or Seamless, or fish and chips) and eating it, too.
I eat dessert almost every day (real dessert, like Oreos, or a yummy chocolate chip cookie, or frozen yogurt with toppings). It’s taken dessert down from the pedestal I used to put it on. Having dessert each day means that it’s allowed, that it’s not a bad thing to do. It also means that I don’t need to eat a gigantic portion, because I can have some tomorrow.
One of the most important healthy tips I practice is to come from a place of acceptance and not be so hard on myself. For example, one day I planned to go to the gym after work (was in my workout clothes and all!) but was so tired that it felt like more of a punishment instead of something fun. Instead, I picked up some edible cookie dough I had been eyeing, sat in my bed, and watched TV (still in my workout clothes). It’s important to remember to listen to what your body needs instead of always doing (or eating) what you think you “should” be doing. In order to reap the greatest benefits, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle that promotes not only optimal physical health, but also optimal mental health. Your body – and your mind – will thank you for it.”
What activity/workout do you partake in?
“I love to spin because it’s so efficient – in 45 minutes you get in cardio, toning, and a lot of sweat (and really good music!). It’s also the “easiest” workout to get myself into on days that I’m not totally feeling the gym but want to do some kind of exercise. I do classes in studios around the city, too, or exercise in my building’s gym. Convenience is huge for me since I have a pretty busy schedule, so if I can be in and out between 30 to 60 minutes, it works well for me.”
If you need more more food inspiration, Nicole has plenty! You can head over to her Instagram page for a ton of meals ideas. You can also snag an inspirational shirt on her website!