Everyone knows that I love food. I love food! Food was something that was important to my family growing up, and it was how we celebrated holidays along with random occasions. Food was nourishment, comfort, and also reward. And those three things still describe what food is to me today. If it’s not nourishment, comfort, or reward, then I don’t know why I’m eating it.
These foundations were some of the reasons I opened the first organic bake shop. I wanted to comfort people with the nostalgia of dessert. I wanted them to feel like they could reward themselves or their family for a job well done or celebrate a milestone. But I also wanted those desserts to nourish them in ways that other desserts couldn’t do. I wanted the best desserts if I was going to eat them!
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If you came into my bake shop frequently, then you know I was always there. And one of the most frequently asked questions I got when I was in the bake shop was, how do you stay fit? How are you skinny? You don’t eat these desserts I bet, do you? All similar questions that pointed to my weight and eating habits from strangers I didn’t even know.
I brushed these off as compliments and would throw out that I’m a runner (because I am) or that I do eat dessert every day (because I do). But there was something else I was holding back, something else I wasn’t saying. I did have a trick to stay fit and still eat my precious dessert every day. But I just didn’t get into it at the front counter of my bake shop with people I didn’t really know. But now it’s time to dive in!
I will start off by saying, this isn’t a diet. Which is why I call it the No Diet Plan; it is really just a lifestyle that you can adapt so that you never have to diet again. This lifestyle gives you the option to eat what you want, while still maintaining a healthy and balanced life. I am not a nutritionist or a trainer, and I am not going to tell you exactly what to eat here, or how to workout.
I am a just a chef, a baker, and a foodie. I just love food as much as you do. But I also love being fit and healthy, and these things go hand in hand for me. So, I am going to share my lifestyle and eating habits that have kept me fit throughout all the years of owning a bake shop. And that still keep me fit now as a recipe developer, cookbook author, and food blogger! This is my system for staying fit and still enjoying all the food I love.
I’m going to share my tips, tricks, and mindset that I adopted when I was surrounded by dessert all day every day. I started this lifestyle when I realized I had to have some sort of structure to follow in my life or I would end up eating toast and cookies for every meal because it was easy, I was busy, and those are my two favorite foods!
So, are you ready? Here’s The No Diet Plan, that is how I eat every day.
The No Diet Plan
Eat One of Everything
This is the main concept of my lifestyle and eating plan. I love everything and I don’t want to deprive myself or feel like I’m ever on a diet. But I do like structure and plans in my life. And I needed to have some kind of structure when I was working in a bake shop. Because if I didn’t, then I would be eating a cookie here, a handful of chocolate chips there, a scoop of ice cream after, and oh yeah I gotta try that brownie too! So, this was when I came up with this concept as I was literally surrounded by food all day long!
So, this concept of “one” is that I eat one of everything each day. That means I eat one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner. I enjoy one drink each day, one snack, and one dessert. And I eat “more than one” of certain things like fruits and veggies. So, here’s my concept a bit more explained.
I think breakfast is a huge part of eating well. So many people think that skipping breakfast is a great way to save calories. But I disagree. I love having breakfast as it starts my day with something delicious and it fuels me for the day. I’m sure nutritionists would have some fancy things to say about making sure to eat breakfast, but I’m not one of those. I eat it because I’m hungry when I wake up and I want to start my day with delicious food so I have energy to do things.
My typical breakfast is eggs (like my Fluffy Scrambled Eggs), toast, and sometimes Pork Breakfast Sausage. Sometimes I just have toast like my Blackberry Honey Butter Toast or Peanut Butter Banana Coconut Toast. And on special mornings I indulge in in my Eggless Banana Waffles or my Coconut French Toast. But, for the most part, I like to have protein with breakfast. I also make sure that I eat blueberries each morning with breakfast, as they are delicious and so good for your gut health!
Drinks are such an easy way to consume extra calories! And I love drinks! Kombucha, coconut water, lemonade, smoothies – you name it, I love it. So, I could honestly drink like four drinks in a day and not even realize it. And when I was at the bake shop all the time I was surrounded by drinks as we had them in our refrigerator case. Plus, baking makes you really thirsty being in a hot kitchen all day!
So, I made the rule to have one non water drink per day. Usually for me that’s Kombucha, Chocolate Coconut Water, Pistachio Milk Hot Chocolate, juice, or a Mango Berry Smoothie. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but sometimes that’s my drink if I want it.
When I was working at the bake shop, lunch was an easy meal to skip. Especially if I had a good breakfast and lots to do, lunch could easily slip my mind. If I went in fueled up and ready to go, it was so easy to start baking and then not realize I was actually super hungry, as I could just grab a cookie and continue on. So, lunch is a must!
Even if I’m not super hungry, making time for lunch and having a light lunch is super important to me as it stops me from mindless snacking into the afternoon. So, I always have lunch! Even if it’s 3PM which is late, I will still have some kind of lunch to hold me over until dinner.
Typical lunches for me include lots of salads like my Easy Quinoa Salad or Chicken Sausage Greek Salad. Or I also have things like Chicken Salad Sandwich, Pizza Toast or my Greek Avocado Toast.
I keep it to one snack per day. Snacks include things that are not fruit or veggies and not dessert. Typical snacks for me include my Garlic Ranch Pretzels, LesserEvil Popcorn, Tomato Basil Hummus, Organic Valley Beef Jerky, Best Homemade Kale Chips, Homemade Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, or my favorite Rhythm Superfood snacks like their Cauliflower Bites or Everything Bagel Broccoli Bites (I’m obsessed with these).
It’s so easy to eat extra calories when snacking as it can be mindless! So, whenever snacking I keep it to one serving if it’s something like pretzels, crackers, or cauliflower bites as I can eat so many! This is where I feel I gain extra weight if I don’t keep track of my snacks as the serving sizes are so small. So, this is always my biggest challenge. And the LesserEvil Popcorn or the Rhythm Cauliflower Bites in the single serve bags are nice as it allows me to eat the whole bag.
Obviously, sticking with my one theme, I eat one dinner each day, haha. Dinner is typically something like Supreme Pizza Pot Pie, Garlic Lime Chicken Tacos, Mushroom Broccoli Pizza, Easy Wonton Soup, Turkey Zucchini Red Pepper Skillet or something like steaks or Healthy Asian Salad with No Sugar.
This was the whole reason I came up with this plan! Because, when you own a bake shop, you’re surrounded by desserts every single day! And it can be so easy to just grab a cookie, a piece of brownie, a biscotti, a scoop of ice cream – and before you know it you’ve eaten the number of calories in a day just in desserts!
I made up this rule because I needed to stop and actually think about what I wanted to indulge in at the bake shop. There were so many options, so I had to think about it! I wanted my dessert to be mindful and to be enjoyed. Not just grabbing things in passing because it was there, it looked good, or I was hungry. So, I still use this trick today and I choose one dessert each day that I take time to eat and enjoy.
What counts as one dessert you may ask? For me, that means one thing. So, if I have cookies I can’t have a brownie, if I have chocolate I can’t have cake, if I have cake then I can’t also have cookies. It’s one thing. It makes it easy to keep track of this way.
What is one dessert though, really? Haha, glad you asked. For me, it means one piece of pound cake, one brownie, one biscotti, one piece of cake, one cupcake, one chocolate bar. If it’s something like cookies, then it’s usually two or three, depending on size, as my cookies are usually on the smaller side.
I don’t eat a lot of candy to be honest, because I am more of a dessert person. But if I do choose candy then I try to keep it to one serving. That could be one chocolate bar or two or three buttercream chocolates (if I make them).
Some of my favorite desserts, and ones I eat very often are Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies (I usually have 2), Chocolate Malt Biscotti (I’ll have 1), Chocolate Sea Salt Mini Cookies (I’ll usually eat 4), Raspberry Thumbprints (I usually eat 3) – can you tell I love cookies?
For cakes or brownies, I really love my Vegan Toasted Coconut Brownies, Chocolate Pound Cake, and Chocolate Zucchini Cake. The servings I note in my recipes are what I consider one serving for desserts like biscotti, cakes, or brownies! Cookies are the only thing I eat more than one of, I mean it’s a cookie, you have to!
More Than One
Now we get into the category of more than one! Yes, I had to stick with my theme, haha!
Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and veggies are what I consider more than one snacks. I don’t limit them, and I try to eat as much of them in a day as I can! Sometimes it’s a lot more if I have a big salad for lunch or dinner, and sometimes it’s less, but I think it balances out in the long run.
I eat fruit a lot throughout the day, I love fruit! I always have blueberries with breakfast and almost always have a banana in between breakfast and lunch (or as part of my smoothie). And then I usually have other kinds of fruit in the afternoon for a sweet snack – apples, grapes, oranges, strawberries, watermelon – really whatever is in season. And sometimes I’ll have fruit after dinner as a sweet treat.
And I will have veggie snacks before dinner a lot. I usually am snacking on raw carrots or peppers as I prep dinner. Or sometimes my snack is hummus with lots of veggies. The goal is to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible every day.
Hot tea is something I consider in the more than one category. Tea is so good for you, and it has so many amazing benefits like caffeine if you want it or it can help you sleep or fight a cold. My goal is always to drink more tea, I don’t do it as often as I want to, but it’s always something I’m striving to do.
Make sure to have many more than one glass of water daily, obviously! When working in the bake shop, I would bring a large water bottle and make sure I drank two of them before I left. This helped me stay hydrated.
And now that I work from home, it can be challenging to drink water as I’m not bringing a water bottle to work anymore that tracks my water! So, I make it a point to have a large glass after my workout with breakfast every day to start my day. And then I make sure to drink one with each meal and snack. If you work out of the house, a water bottle is a great way to track how much water you drink in a day and set goals. Water helps you stay full and not just reach for salty things because you are dehydrated.
I choose organic foods and it’s super important to me. I feel better when I eat organic, I feel like I can indulge, snack, and have dessert every day. Those things are important to me and so is organic food. If you’re unsure about organic food or not sure how to make the switch, download my free guide How to Eat Organic The Ultimate Guide. And try to choose more than one organic food each day!
How to Eat Organic The Ultimate Guide
Learn how to eat organically with my easy step by step guide! I’m sharing my organic journey with you and after each chapter I give you easy action items that you can implement right away to start eating more organically!
Also, get some of my favorite organic foods, tips for shopping on a budget, and more!
It’s totally free to download, what are you waiting for?
Cook Your Meals
Cook more than just one of your meals! For me, this has never been difficult because I love to cook. And we also live in a town where I don’t really want to go out to eat because there’s no good organic spots. So, I cook all my meals at home.
But when we’re out of town and there are good organic spots to eat, we still only eat out once per day. Eating out can lead to weight gain because restaurants can portion entrees really large. If you do go out to eat, then try eating half your meal and saving the other half as leftovers for another meal. This also helps you save money! This is usually what I do when I’m out of town and we do eat out. For more tips about staying fit while out of town, read my post How to Stay Fit on Vacation.
So, if you want to eat healthier, then cooking all your own meals is an easy way to do that. You have control of what ingredients are used and how big your potions are. So, it really helps when you are trying to stay in shape.
Now, this is pretty standard – three meals a day, a drink, a snack, and a dessert. Which may seem like nothing special. But, if you really take the time to note what you eat in a day, you may find that you’re eating way more than you might have thought.
Or you could find that you’re skipping lunch and then you’re snacking so much in the afternoon on things that have way more calories than a meal. If you have trouble keeping track you could start a food journal or even just use the notes on your phone and jot down what you eat, or what you plan to eat that day.
This way, you can actually see what you’re eating and if you’re eating things and not even realizing it. But, with this plan I get to eat all the things I love but I keep it in moderation each day.
Working out is also part of my plan. I like working out and I want to make it priority in my daily life. So, I choose to do it every day. I usually workout for about 30 minutes each day. I don’t like to do more than that and I’d rather do 30 minutes daily than hour workouts a few days a week.
My workouts consist of all kinds of things – running, walking, Pilates, weight training, YouTube workout videos. I like variety and I like to mix it up. Currently right now, my workout is 20 minutes of walking on my treadmill since it’s snowy out and a 10 to 15 minute workout video that is either focused on legs, arms, or Pilates. You can read more about my workouts and find some of my favorite videos in my post A Fit Foodie.
This is just my lifestyle plan that I call The No Diet Plan. I’m not saying this will make you lose weight, but I’m not saying it won’t either. I’m just sharing what I do because you guys have asked a lot! I hope this helps you see that you can eat all the things you love in moderation. You can get on a simple organic eating plan and enjoy all kinds of foods while staying fit and healthy.
If you want to know more about what I eat, then check out my Currently Craving category as these are all my favorite recipes and ones I make again and again that I never say no to eating! And download How to Eat Organic The Ultimate Guide, and get started with eating organic food! It’s a new year, so now is the time to make changes that you want so you can be your best self. Try out The No Diet Plan, and let me know what you think!
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