Reader Food Diary: Lindsey’s Success Story


This is our 2019 Reader Diary series where we’re sharing success stories + what people ate for a week! We are still accepting entries, and those who are featured will receive $50 in groceries from Thrive Market, 2 of my cookbooks, and a free Prepear meal planning program membership for a year. Get all the details (and share your entry with us!) on this page


My name is Lindsey and I live in Virginia with my husband Matt. We have been together for eleven years and have been married for over seven years. When we met, we were at the end of college and were transitioning to adulthood.

With that, it was time to start eating better. The first wake up call for me was when I checked my blood sugar at the hospital where I worked. I wasn’t feeling well after scarfing down a breakfast of pancakes followed by a sugar-laden flavored coffee. For some reason, I thought my blood glucose would be low, but it was just the opposite. The next day I checked it when I was fasting and it was 108—way too high for someone in their early twenties with a strong family history of diabetes! Additionally, Matt had some weight to lose after four years of college.

Lindsey and husband before and after
Lindsey and her husband’s before and after photo

Success Story

After checking my blood glucose levels that day was when I began cooking nearly every day. Matt very quickly dropped down to a normal weight (he lost between 25-30 lbs), and after a few months, my sugar was back in a normal range. Over the years, as we have gotten older, our diets have become cleaner and leaner. As a result, we both have:

• Normal BMI
• High HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”)
• Normal blood glucose

Our strategy for clean eating:
• A weekly mix of both vegetarian meals and meals with meat
• Mostly organic produce
• Almost no processed food
• Mostly pure water during the day and sparkling water with dinner, except on the weekends when we drink wine
• Lunches are usually leftovers from the night before

Our Food Diary

Day 1

Breakfast – Steel cut oats with cherry “pesto” made from frozen cherries, roasted hazelnuts, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice

Lunch – Leftover frittata with greens and avocado

Snack – Half of a banana and some fresh pineapple

Dinner – Cauliflower pilaf, dhal, and scallion cucumber raita

Treat – A glass of Viognier from a local winery

Steel cut oats with cherry “pesto” made from frozen cherries, roasted hazelnuts, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice

Cauliflower pilaf, dhal, and scallion cucumber raita


Day 2

Breakfast – Each weekday, I start the day with a green smoothie made from ¾ cup of full-fat Greek yogurt, two cups of greens, 1 cup of fruit, and a big spoonful of chia seeds. Today’s smoothie included strawberries and pineapple.

Snack – Every weekday morning snack is a homemade protein pumpkin muffin made from protein powder, egg, pumpkin, and almond flour topped with hemp seeds. I make a big batch of these every Monday night and eat one in the ICU, where I work, about two hours after the smoothie.

Lunch – Leftovers from the day before with a few squares of 85% organic dark chocolate

Dinner – Wild Alaskan salmon topped with yesterday’s cherry pesto. To make the pesto savory, I added garlic and some herbs de Provence. A side of roasted broccoli and bell pepper rounded out the meal.

smoothie with strawberries and pineapple

homemade protein pumpkin muffin

Wild Alaskan salmon topped with yesterday’s cherry pesto


Day 3

Breakfast – Green smoothie with cherries and blackberries

Snack – Pumpkin muffin

Lunch – Butter lettuce with lemony chickpea, raisin, quinoa, and sunflower seed salad, paired with one cup of pineapple and some dark chocolate

Dinner – Slow cooked turkey on corn tortillas topped with homemade guacamole

Green smoothie with cherries and blackberries

Butter lettuce with lemony chickpea, raisin, quinoa, and sunflower seed salad

Slow cooked turkey on corn tortillas topped with homemade guacamole


Day 4

Breakfast – Green smoothie with raspberries and mango

Snack – Pumpkin muffin

Lunch –Emerald bowl with barley, kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, mozzarella, and pea hummus

Snack – A few pistachios

Dinner – Forest bowl with wild rice, mushrooms, and roasted garlic coconut gravy

Green smoothie with raspberries and mango

Emerald Bowl with barley, kale, roasted Brussels sprouts, mozzarella, and pea hummus

Forest bowl with wild rice, mushrooms, and roasted garlic coconut gravy


Day 5

Breakfast – Green smoothie with mango and pineapple

Snack – Pumpkin muffin

Lunch – Leftover forest bowls with an orange

Snack – Ten almonds

Dinner – Grilled chicken tenders (marinated in olive oil, garlic, and herbs) paired with roasted butternut squash and green beans

Green smoothie with mango and pineapple

Grilled chicken tenders paired with roasted butternut squash and green beans


Day 6

Breakfast – Green smoothie with raspberries and mango

Snack – Pumpkin muffins

Lunch – Leftover chicken and veggies

Dinner – Whole wheat pasta with mozzarella, olive oil, sundried tomatoes, basil, and an heirloom tomato, paired with a red wine from Virginia

Green smoothie with raspberries and mango

Leftover chicken and veggies

Whole wheat pasta with mozzarella, olive oil, sundried tomatoes, basil and an heirloom tomato paired with a red wine from Virginia


Day 7

Breakfast – Frittata with butternut squash crust topped with tomatoes and served with greens and a whole wheat Ezekiel English muffin with Organic Valley cream cheese

Snack – Half of a banana, small orange, and pineapple (about two cups)

Second snack – Scoop of almond butter

Dinner – Date night by the fire! Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and broccolini, paired with red Virginia wine

Frittata with butternut squash crust topped with tomatoes

Half of a banana, small orange, and pineapple

Grilled lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and broccolini paired with red Virginia wine

 

Final Thoughts

Working in medicine, I see every day how food choices can affect health. Nothing is more important than what you put in your body. We have committed to a lifetime of healthy eating, but we also know that life is meant to be enjoyed, so we aren’t afraid of treats as well. The most important thing you can do when eating healthy is to make a plan for the week and stick with it— knowing it won’t be perfect, but will always be good enough!

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