This Is What Health's Food Director Eats in a Day (Dark Chocolate Made the Cut!)
Peek into the kitchen (and onto the plate) of our most food-obsessed staff member.
Because of my work as Health's Food Director, people will sometimes ask if I either cook elaborate, multi-course meals every night, or if I never cook at home since it’s part of my job. The reality is actually neither of these—I’m a busy working mom, and I cook often for my family (my husband is an excellent cook and does a lot of it as well), but the meals we make are usually pretty quick and simple. Here's what I eat in a typical day.
Every morning, the first thing I do is down a big glass of water and take my vitamins. Water just helps get me going. I drink a lot of water all day (I don’t count glasses or ounces, but I’m always sipping), and that glass first thing is a good jump-start. After that, I make a cup of Bulletproof coffee: in my Vitamix, I blend about 12 oz. coffee with 1 oz. grass-fed butter, 2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil ($23; amazon.com), and a few scoops of collagen peptides, such as Vital Proteins ($40; amazon.com). It sounds a little weird, I know, but I absolutely love it—Bulletproof coffee tastes delicious, and I find I get a steady stream of caffeine instead of the jolt-and-crash I used to get from having just coffee with milk. Plus, it's satisfying, and I don’t get hungry until about 11 a.m.
If I’m not meeting anyone for lunch or attending an event, I usually eat pretty early, between 11 a.m. and noon. I'll usually have a big salad with some raw vegetables and whatever cooked ones are lurking in the fridge, plus a moderate (around 4 oz.) portion of protein and lots of healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, and maybe a sprinkling of nuts or seeds. The salad below is a pretty typical lunch for me: mixed greens, beets, fennel, leftover grilled artichokes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, olives, avocado, and roasted rock shrimp. Often there’s something fermented in there, too, usually some kind of sauerkraut. Of course, if I’m developing recipes, they might sneak into my meals.
If lunch is going to be later, I’ll have a snack, usually a few macadamia nuts or a spoonful of coconut butter. Or I’ll grab a handful of olives.
I try to eat a little lighter at night, though not always with success. My dinner tends to follow the same theme as lunch: lots of vegetables, moderate protein, plenty of fat, and sometimes a carb like sweet potatoes or rice. Sometimes dinner is a piece of fish cooked in lots of grass-fed ghee with a salad or cooked vegetable on the side, or one of my favorites: spaghetti and meatballs made with 100% grass-fed beef and zoodles (below).
I like really dark chocolate—70% is the absolute lowest—and I look for organic, fair-trade chocolate that has very little or no refined sugar with tasty add-ins like nuts, coconut, sea salt, or cacao nibs. Some of my favorite brands are Hu Kitchen ($8; thrivemarket.com), Taza ($5; thrivemarket.com), Raaka ($70 for 12; raakachocolate.com), and AlterEco ($4; thrivemarket.com). I also love Eating Evolved’s Coconut Butter Cups ($35 for 9; amazon.com).
I have a piece of dark chocolate every night. Every. Night. It's a ritual for me. Seriously, do not attempt to get between me and my chocolate.