As a functional medicine doctor and the author of a book all about gut health, I believe in the incredible power food has to heal the body. The elements of my integrated philosophy are threefold: Eat organic, eat the rainbow, and eat mindfully. My life work is dedicated to helping patients get in touch with all aspects of what and how they eat and how that, in turn, affects their health. So, for me, being an example of that is key! From spring to the fall, I love visiting my local, outdoor farmers market for fresh, nutritious organic produce.
I usually wake up early, but the weekend gives me license to sleep in a bit later. On this day, I woke up a bit earlier than usual because I was treating myself to my favorite morning yoga class.
7:30 a.m.: Warm Lemon Water
After my brief five-minute morning meditation, I start the day with a cup of warm water with a squeezed slice of lemon. It's a great way to "wake up" your digestive system as your body wakes up. You can have it with room temperature or hot water. For me, waiting for the water to heat up and the sound of the kettle on the stove is part of the morning ritual.
7:45 a.m.: Blue Ginger Smoothie
Then, I prepare a nutrient-packed, antioxidant-rich smoothie to get my day going. This morning, I decided to make the "Blue Ginger" breakfast smoothie from my book. I vary the ingredients day by day and invent new combinations, depending on what's in my fridge, what's in season, and what I'm in the mood for, but it's usually a blend of frozen blueberries, Brazil nuts, chlorella, spinach, ginger, coconut oil, almond milk, and protein powder. No caffeine, tea, or coffee for me this morning; my breakfast smoothie gives me all the energy I need to enjoy an active weekend day.
11 a.m.: Fresh Green Juice
Next, I'm off to yoga with my 12-year-old son in tow. Today, my focus is on being present, breathing, and feeling grounded. My intention is to live in the moment and appreciate the slower deliberateness the weekend brings. With a workweek schedule jam-packed, I take these moments to appreciate the space the weekend brings and breathe a deep sigh of relief. After a vigorous yoga practice, feeling hot, sweaty, and parched, I head to my favorite juice place for a quick stop before running a few errands. The juice is a little high in sugar, which is fine for post-workout muscles, but I don't drink it all at once for that very reason. A quarter will give me the minerals and electrolytes I need after yoga, while feeling clean and light.
12 p.m.: Hummus with Crackers and Celery Sticks
Back home, my go-to snack while planning and making lunch is hummus with gluten-free crackers and celery sticks.
1:45 p.m.: Cuban "Picadillo" With Steamed Butternut Squash and Salad
Lunch is a homecooked meal with a protein, complex starch, and, of course, a large salad. On the menu: my reinvented Cuban "picadillo" made with lean, hormone- and antibiotic-free ground turkey; steamed butternut squash; and mixed sweet baby greens with avocado and my homemade scallion vinaigrette.
7:30 p.m.: Sushi, Salad, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Finding myself out with my son after a slowed-down afternoon at the movies, we decide to go to a nearby sushi restaurant for dinner. The reality is I can't possibly cook all of my meals, so when I eat out I try to find the places where I can stick as closely as possible to my clean eating plan (well, most of the time). It's nice to sit back and let someone else make the food, especially when the presentation is part of the pleasure. I started with roasted Brussels sprouts with chopped walnuts and scallions, then went on to have a mixed green salad with watermelon radishes and carrot-ginger dressing, before finally tucking into a yellowtail scallion roll with brown rice and an assortment of sashimi, including Scottish salmon.
10:30 p.m.: Apple "Cookies"
I end the night with my healthy apple cookies, which are essentially just sliced apple spread with almond butter and sprinkled with chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, or roasted pumpkin seeds. It's a great snack that quenches your sweet and crunchy cravings without spiking your blood sugar levels for the evening (a major cause of sugar cravings and overeating). Steady energy throughout the night ensures a restful night's sleep before I start the daily cycle again!