Sure, it's great to get advice from experts, but finding out what these pros do for themselves is the ultimate secret we want in on. We want to know what doctors do to stay healthy, what trainers do to stay fit, and what nutritionists actually eat on a day to day basis to fuel their lives.
In that spirit, we reached out to three top nutritionists, one of whom has Gwyneth Paltrow's stamp of approval, for the rundown on what a "day in the life" is like. If you're as curious as we are to know what a celebrity nutritionist eats, and want some creative culinary inspiration to break out of a food rut, keep reading!
The Nutritionist: Elissa Goodman
The Bio: Certified holistic nutritionist who created the cleanse program at Los Angeles' famed holy grail of healthy restaurants, vegan Cafe Gratitude and macrobiotic M Cafe.
The Skinny: I start my day with a strong probiotic washed down with detoxifying lemon water on an empty stomach (I prefer Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Strength or Renew Life 100 Billion).
In addition to the lemon water, my first drink of the day is my Detox Tonic (blend of Tonix Coconut Water Kefir, George’s Always Active Aloe Vera, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, juice of one lemon, and a dash of cayenne). I use this to boost my immune system and as a way to focus on gut health first thing in the morning.
While my daughter is getting ready for school, I’m making us matcha green tea lattes (I blend all of the following in my Vitamix: 4 ozs. almond milk, 4 ozs. coconut milk, ½ tsp. organic matcha tea powder, 1 tbsp. of coconut oil, vanilla stevia, pure vanilla powder and cinnamon). We both love this grassy blend. It’s not only full of antioxidants, but it helps keep my energy and focus strong. The addition of the healthy fat (coconut oil) helps to keep me satiated until lunch.
To assure that I’m getting my daily allotment of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants, I always have a green juice at some point in the day. My go-to blend is a basic recipe with romaine (great protein for a green!), celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger, and turmeric root.
If I don’t have a lunch meeting, I usually make a salad—I start with a large scoop of probiotic sauerkraut and place it over mixed greens, then I add any and all veggies in my fridge, drizzle with pumpkin, avocado or walnut oil, and Herbamare seasoning. I finish with a scoop of my favorite homemade vegan Faux Almond “Tuna” Salad.
In the mid-afternoons, I typically see clients out of my home office and I love to share a cup of adaptagen Tulsi Tea (holy basil) with them. I add a few drops of Omica Organics Stevia.
Family dinner is a must in my household and everyone knows my favorite is Millet Falafel with Avocado Relish & Roasted Asparagus Salad. This is my idea of a perfect plant based meal—and one that my whole family loves! It feels great to get them on board with healthy eating and this is one dinner we all agree on!
Before bed I have a large glass of lemon water with 400-600mg of magnesium. This combination ensures relaxing and restorative sleep while the lemon water helps my body detox while I sleep and ensures I wake up feeling refreshed!
The Nutritionist: Dr. Frank Lipman
The Bio: Integrative and functional medicine physician, author of The New Health Rules, and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kyra Sedgwick and Donna Karan
The Skinny: For breakfast, I have a smoothie with chocolate whey protein powder, avocado, blueberries, greens powder, and MCT oil. That's my favorite breakfast—it tastes like dessert.
For lunch, I have organic chicken over kale salad with roasted brussels sprouts.
Dinner is the same—protein and vegetables. When I used to eat more grains, fruits, and sweets, I ran into trouble. I gained weight and my blood sugar levels were too high. Now I'm very careful to stay away from sugar. This way of eating works much better for me.
For snacks, I might have a bit of dark chocolate or some chocolate chia seed pudding. We have a great recipe at the wellness center: 1 can coconut milk, 3 tbsp. chia seeds, Stevia to taste, 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder, 1/2 ripe avocado, and 1 tbsp. almond butter. Spin all ingredients through the Vitamix, then let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. When people worry that cutting out sugar will feel like deprivation, I just share this recipe with them—it's delicious.
In addition to keeping my diet low in sugar, I make sure to eat lots of good fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, MCT oil, nuts and nut butters. Also, when I'm having animal protein, I'm careful to choose good sources: organic meat, wild fish, grass-fed beef and pastured eggs.
The Nutritionist: Lisa DeFazio, MS, RD
The Bio: Leading nutritionist and healthy lifestyle expert, and on-air television host who has consulted for Freshology (the meal delivery service loved by J.Lo), Perez Hilton, and Shape.
The Skinny: When I wake up, I start my day with coffee and almond milk creamer (love the Vanilla Almond milk creamer by Califa Farms). It tastes like a vanilla latte! I need my coffee and I like to wake up slowly while enjoying it, watching the news, and returning emails. I am not a breakfast person. I don't like to eat at 8 a.m.! I do not force myself to eat just because it is 8 a.m. and everyone is eating breakfast! I eat when I'm hungry. I have a 9-year-old son, so I have to get him ready and drop him off at school.
After, I come home and have juice or a smoothie. I get ready-made juices, like Evolution Defense, or make a smoothie with banana, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a tbsp. of almond butter. It give me energy. If I eat a lot of carbs in the morning, I will get sleepy.
Lunch is a salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced chicken breast, slivered almonds, raisins, cucumber and a diced apple. I love balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and I may toss in a few plain croutons for crunch. I buy the plain crostini from the bakery and break them up as croutons! Or I will have a turkey wrap.These choices keep me energized without weighing me down.
I have a snack only if I'm hungry. I buy ready-to-eat washed and cut veggie platters at the market. I love jicama sticks, so I snack on that with hummus, or an orange, or Snapea Crisps.
When I was single, dinner was at 8, but now that I have a son and a husband, dinner is at 6 p.m.! I cook four times per week. I love to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the maker (Gelsons is my favorite). Then, I make a steamed broccoli, drizzle with olive oil and a little garlic salt, and make rice. Another dinner is pan-fried flank steak, oven roasted potatoes and a salad. I always have protein, starch and a vegetable. When I don't feel like cooking, I pick up soft tacos from Poquito Mas, or Teriyaki Salmon Veggie Bowls from a local restaurant called Yogi's Grill. After dinner, I try not to eat a lot as that leads to weight gain! If I need something sweet, I might eat Red Vines licorice, fruit-juice bars, sorbet or coconut gluten-free macaroons!
Overall I follow a dairy-free, mostly gluten-free Mediterranean diet—I'm Armenian and Italian so it's what I ate growing up! I love cheese and ice cream, but when I eat it I breakout in pimples all over my chin and neck, and I get bloated. So I avoid all dairy and my skin is clear! I feel better overall, not as tired when I avoid gluten, but sometimes I crave pasta or french bread, so I just eat it! I aim for 1400 to 1600 calories per day, but I don't record my food. I can keep track in my head and estimate.
I don't really drink alcohol. Wine gives me headache and I feel like a zombie the next day. Sometimes I will have a margarita or glass of wine if I'm in the mood, but usually I'm the designated driver! I often order cranberry juice with a lime. Truthfully, when it comes to beverages, I try to have a bottle of water in the car so I stay hydrated. I will have an occasional Sprite or Snapple Peach Tea. I avoid diet drinks—I just have the regular with sugar. The artificial sweeteners (Splenda, sucralose, aspartame, etc.) make me bloated and crave sugar. I feel it's OK to have some sugar, if you work it into your daily calories.
As you can see I eat healthy, but I allow myself some flexibility. Some days I eat vegetarian, but if I'm PMS'ing I will give my body what it craves like pasta or steak! There is no one perfect diet for everyone. You have to eat what works for you, your lifestyle, and what you can do for a long time—not just for two weeks.
What are your favorite healthy meals and snacks? Tell us in the comments below, and for more healthy eating inspiration, read our beginner's guide to a plant-based diet.