What My Daughter Eats in a Day (A Case for Eating More Food)

I've developed a bit of a reputation for being an anti-diet voice piece.

I’ve gone as far to call out specific diets. This obviously rubs proponents of said diets the wrong way.  (I know, I know…I’m standing up for women’s health. I am such a bitch.)

Let me be clear: I am not here to convince you of anything. If dieting is your jam, then do the damn thang. If calling it a “lifestyle change” makes you feel better…then get on with your bad self. I’m not trying to change your mind.

I’m here for the folks who have been through the ringer with the diet hamster wheel and are ready to get off. Because for every person that I piss off, there are 50 more behind them feeling validated by what I say. That’s who I’m here for. What up, fam!

But…

What I’m saying (call it anti-diet if you will) shouldn’t be so outlandish that it causes people to defensively react. Telling people they should honor their hunger, stop restricting food, stop micromanaging every morsel that goes into their mouth, eat real food…isn’t revolutionary. What I’m saying is common sense. The fact that people have a problem with it showcases how messed up our food culture is.

I work with women who are struggling with exhaustion, burnout, adrenal fatigue/HPA axis dysregulation, hypothyroidism…from years of dieting. They come to me because they want to get better, but some of them are *still* eating 1200-1400 calories a day. I already wrote about what happens to your body when you eat 1200 calories. Despite this information, women still cling onto the restricted calorie model. Because we - as women - are indoctrinated with the diet mentality. And there is so. much. fear. around letting that go. Even if it’s what we know we must do in order to heal.

Sometimes that fear is too big, too omnipresent, too all-encompassing that I can’t penetrate it. (Again, I’m not here to change your mind. I’m here to catch you when you’re reading to jump.)

If that’s been our identity for as long as we remember, then who are we without it? And HOLY HELL, what happens if we loosen the restrictions and gain weight? WHO ARE WE THEN?

That’s all perhaps too much to tackle in one blog post, but do read Why I Gained 10 Pounds to see how I grappled with this very issue.

Today, I’m gonna share with you what my almost-four year old eats in a day. Now I’m no mommy-blogger, but I’ll throw in some kiddo food notes for any of the mamas out there reading and wondering. The real point of this is to showcase how CRAZY it is to think we can thrive on 1200-1400 calories a day.

 

Here's what an (almost) 4 year old eats in a day

 

7:00am

2 kiwis

4 ounces kombucha

 All fruits and veggies shown here are organic. I try to reduce our exposure to glyphosate (Roundup - the main herbicide used in our country), as it’s extremely detrimental to our gut health, our detoxification pathways, and it’s a toxin in and of itself. These health risks are even greater for little bodies. About 90% of our food is organic. If budget is an issue for you,  consider listening to this episode of the Funk'tional Nutrition Podcast  all about food budgets. Shop according to the EWG Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 lists.

All fruits and veggies shown here are organic. I try to reduce our exposure to glyphosate (Roundup - the main herbicide used in our country), as it’s extremely detrimental to our gut health, our detoxification pathways, and it’s a toxin in and of itself. These health risks are even greater for little bodies. About 90% of our food is organic. If budget is an issue for you, consider listening to this episode of the Funk'tional Nutrition Podcast all about food budgets. Shop according to the EWG Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 lists.

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8:30am

scrambled pasture-raised egg cooked in grass fed ghee with steamed baby spinach

4 ounces kombucha

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9:00am

About 4-6 ounces of a smoothie: spinach, Amazing Grass greens powder, frozen blackberries, almond milk, hemp seeds, collagen peptides

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11:45am

1 piece gluten free bread with wild caught smoked salmon and grass fed cheddar cheese

 She requested all three items and put together an open-faced sandwich herself.

She requested all three items and put together an open-faced sandwich herself.

 

3:30pm

Siggi’s 4% milk fat blueberry yogurt with frozen blueberries

 I typically buy other types of full fat grass fed yogurt, or goat yogurt...but my husband grabbed this at the market, so ce la vie.

I typically buy other types of full fat grass fed yogurt, or goat yogurt...but my husband grabbed this at the market, so ce la vie.

 

5:30pm

ground grass fed beef, Persian cucumber slices

apple + peanut butter + raisins

 She didn't eat that other veggie matter despite the fact that it was MAGNIFICENT and I'm basically a kitchen GODDESS, but whatever.

She didn't eat that other veggie matter despite the fact that it was MAGNIFICENT and I'm basically a kitchen GODDESS, but whatever.

 Peanut butter: I don't buy it every week; we don't eat it every day. I rotate it out with other nut/seed butters like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, cashew butter, etc. Due to the way they are grown, peanuts contain fungus which produce something called alfatoxin. Excessive exposure to aflatoxins can be problematic to health, including being harmful to the liver. This is the primary reason I'm cautious about our consumption. When I do purchase it, I always get natural (no added ingredients) and organic. If you absolutely LOVE peanut butter and eat it frequently, consider looking for PB made from valencia peanuts, which produce less fungus/mold when grown.

Peanut butter: I don't buy it every week; we don't eat it every day. I rotate it out with other nut/seed butters like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, coconut butter, cashew butter, etc. Due to the way they are grown, peanuts contain fungus which produce something called alfatoxin. Excessive exposure to aflatoxins can be problematic to health, including being harmful to the liver. This is the primary reason I'm cautious about our consumption. When I do purchase it, I always get natural (no added ingredients) and organic. If you absolutely LOVE peanut butter and eat it frequently, consider looking for PB made from valencia peanuts, which produce less fungus/mold when grown.

 

I logged all this food into MyFitnessPal - a task that makes my mind melt, but I'm trying to prove a point here. Her caloric intake for the day was 1500. Remember that the kid's not even four yet. And she weighs like 40 pounds. And yet we - as grown women - try to do the same. HOW do we think we can thrive on the amount of calories a SMALL CHILD needs (or less)? And then to throw exercise on top of that?! Come on, people.

The next time you consider a diet or plan that restricts calories below 1600, remember this blog post.

Remind yourself that your body requires more than a 4 year old.