What a busy functional nutritionist eats in a day — Klara Mudge
The best breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a knowledgable but realistic Nutritionist — written by Klara Mudge, of Both Sides Buttered
Yesterday I recorded everything I ate — something I ask of my clients constantly, but rarely do myself because I’m like most people in that I prefer not to stop and take stock of things, unless someone says I must, please.
Recording, reflecting, writing things down — those menial, petty actions that take us out of the cushy comfortable half-awake, half in-denial back-seat of our lives and puts us slap-bang behind the steering wheel, fully-awake and active.
Ignorance is utter bliss until something else becomes more blissful than ignorance — like self-awareness and insight and slaying your dream goals because you incorporated some form of proactivity!
Viva conscious living.
The very thing these Glow girls are on about. I’m so lucky to write for them here, and to share with you, their wide-awake gathering, some things from my work and life, like what I feed myself’.
Lots of people ask me this.
I get it. We want to know if the experts we listen to actually walk their walk and how they navigate the practical application of all their beautiful theories into real life.
I also get that we’re a curious (read: nosey) species — we like knowing what other people get up to when they think no-one’s watching. If they “mess up” we get a validating happy reminder out of it that we’re not alone in our imperfection, and if they don’t mess up and make a big success of something we want to see how they did it, so we can cut and paste their exact steps into our own lives and hope for the best.
In my case, my diet might underwhelm you. There is no big cut and paste tactic here, just real, good food. Maybe I’m wrong. You tell me. Here’s what I consumed yesterday, on a Thursday, and what I typically eat on most week days.
I try drink a big glass of filtered water right when I wake up (told you this would be basic!) I’ve been doing it for years ever since my lecturer at university said that we wake up in a dehydrated state after a whole night of liver detoxification while we were sleeping (basically the only thing going on while you sleep is liver and brain detoxification). Sometimes I’ll add lemon because it tastes like I’m earning extra body browny points. All that zest!
( My hack for this healthy habit is to fill up my big water flask before bed and have it next to me ready to guzzle first thing while still in bed, , before the day gets in the way ).
Next is the build-up to one of the best events of the day: my first coffee. I make a coffee so complicated and glorious that I’m almost embarrassed to get into it. But I will, for the love of glow.
I blend organic freshly-ground coffee with several ingredients into a fluffy frothy liquid that resembles a latte, minus the dairy. ( see footnotes for why I don’t drink milk ) This celebrated beverage is based on bulletproof coffee, which is the concept of adding grass-fed butter / ghee and or/ MCT oil to your coffee for satiety, brain nourishment, and a more mellow, lasting caffeine buzz.
Here’s what I blend together for my morning coffee drink
A spoon of collagen protein: because I sneak protein into every meal and collagen is a good one as it’s a major building block for our structural building blocks (skin, hair, muscles, tendons) . I’m into The Real Thing, at the moment.
A tablespoon of MCT oil (or coconut oil if I’m out of MCT): Medium-chain- triglycerides are a type of saturated fatty acid found in coconut oil, with health benefits ranging from improved cognitive function and weight management. Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism.
Half a teaspoon of grass-fed ghee ( made by hand, in small batches on our family’s farm )
Half a teaspoon of tahini — sesame seeds are packed with minerals and contain phytosterols (Phytosterols displace cholesterol within the intestinal tract, reducing the pool of available absorbable cholesterol. Some research has shown that among 27 different nuts and seeds tested, sesame seeds come out on top (along with wheat germ) as having the highest phytosterol content)
Lately, this creamy coffee drink replaces breakfast on most days but if I’m feeling hungry or have a workout in the mornings, I’ll make a smoothie of frozen berries, soaked flax seeds, protein powder, soaked goji berries, some tahini, a scoop of ashwagandha, and cinnamon.
Usually an uneventful, to-go option, desk friendly. Sometimes it’s salad in a jar or leftover dinner (see below) . But yesterday it was something I have about twice a week usually: Avocado toast on gluten free bread, spread with some farm butter under the avo, sprinkled with lemon juice, chilli flakes, salt + pepper and a boiled farm egg on top. Hemp seeds sprinkled on top for extravagance and a dose of GLA (gamma-linolic-acid). I keep a jar of kimchi and sauerkraut in the fridge at home and at the office, so a big scoop of either usually accompanies my avo toast on the plate. #guthealth for life.
On weekdays, If I’ve done a workout in the afternoon like a yoga class or a hike, I usually make a fresh green juice afterwards to give my body a major boost of alkalizing, antioxidant nourishment. Sometimes I have this green drink in the morning as well ( especially if I didn't get enough sleep, am feeling overwhelmed with to-do’s, or if I had too much wine the night before )
My natural, plant-based Berocca, on steroids, serves 2
1 cup organic kale / collard greens / spinach
½ cup organic parsley
½ cup organic arugula / rocket (for that cruciferous effect)
A small bunch of organic cilantro (optional, interchange with parsley if you want)
1 lemon, mostly peeled (but leave on a bit of peel for that limonene)
1 kiwi (optional, just if you need a bit of sweetness)
An inch of cucumber (optional)
1.5 cups cold filtered water
Blend on high until extra smooth, serve over ice.
My main meal of the day when I have the time and space to fully enjoy my food. I used to have a difficult relationship with food — often eating mindlessly, in excess,or nothing at all, and out-of-line with what my body wanted, which all changed when I committed to slowing down and cooking really good delicious, indulgent home-cooked meals as often as possible.
Now, preparing and eating dinner is one of the highlights of my day and life. I rarely use a recipe and always draw inspiration from what fresh ingredients I have on hand ( determined by what was on display at the previous Saturday’s farmer’s market ). I check in with my cravings — based on my mood, the weather and who else I’m cooking for ( will it be a fun spicy messy vietnamese noodle stew with friends or a huge creamy crunchy buddha bowl for one). My trusty pinterest board “Eat This” is another reliable source of inspo.
Yesterday I made a mushroom, bacon and butternut saucy stir-fry on quinoa, topped with a pile of flat-leaf parsley and a dollop of thai curry coconut cream sauce.
PS. Keep an eye out for this recipe coming to Glow soon.
Why I don’t drink milk and avoid gluten
I’m not lactose or gluten-intolerant, and have always enjoyed the occasional slice of hard cheese or piece of baguette once in a while, but I quit all forms of dairy and gluten about 2 years ago when I did an elimination diet with my doctor and boss at the time, Robin Berzin, at Parsley Health. Nothing major happened overnight, I just gradually became more aware of how good my body felt. My skin cleared up, I had more energy during the day, and I finally got a hold of my appetite. Enough reason to quit even the cheesiest most melted mozzarella or creamiest greek yoghurt. Today I’ll have some dairy occasionally, especially if it’s kefir or ice-cream made from the milk of happy, wild-grass eating hormone-free cows on our farm.
Ditto for gluten
"With a degree in personalized nutrition, a certificate in NLP coaching and a deep love of good food, Klara is steadily healing the manic modern world one overworked urbanite at a time. She is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist and the curator of Both Sides Buttered, an accessible, digestible health blog with an accessible, less-cheesy approach (all puns intended). Born and raised in the Namib desert of Southern Africa, Klara has lived in Cape Town, London, Luxembourg and New York, working at Parsley Health alongside Functional Medicine MD Robin Berzin. Klara helps people from all over the world, and writes for a number of leading wellness sites. Get her guidance on Both Sides Buttered.