We know that a diverse diet is key to a healthy gut, which seems to be key to just about everything else. But it can be handy to see an example of what a diverse diet could look like.
The Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald have a Sunday segment in which some brave soul submits their typical ‘day on a plate’ and dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan provides feedback.
It’s not often she declares someone’s meal choices ‘flawless’ but that was the case here. What also made this example interesting was that the person was 86.
His name is Paul Crittenden. He’s a philosophy professor and former priest, a thoughtful and reflective man who’s no doubt considered the way he eats.
Here’s his day on a plate.
8am Muesli with yoghurt, walnuts, prunes, figs, apple and grapes, then a flat white, followed by back-strengthening exercises and walking to the shops.
10.30am A cup of black tea.
1pm Prawns, mayo, cucumber and lettuce on olive sourdough, plus an orange and a banana. Black coffee before 30 minutes of walking, then reading and writing.
7.30pm Swordfish pan-fried in extra virgin olive oil with chervil and garlic sauce, steamed potato, carrot and zucchini. Fresh fruit salad with rockmelon, pear, mandarin, banana, kiwifruit and passionfruit. Half a glass of red wine.
Joanna McMillan gave him top marks for eating plenty of fibre, protein at each meal (to support muscle and other tissue) and healthy fats (e.g. in the olive oil, fish and walnuts).
Paul’s meals are also a good example of variety and unprocessed food. He eats a lot of fruit. I’d be leaning towards more vegetables and probably a bit more calcium (in addition to his yoghurt at breakfast), but constipation can be a major issue in later life and obviously this works for him.
It doesn’t look like he’s a snacker. A common question from women is how to avoid the mid-afternoon munchies.
If we eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch, along with water between meals, we’re less likely to be hunting for a biscuit or chocolate at ‘afternoon-tea time’.
And hats off to Paul for the back-strengthening exercises and his lunchtime walk. He seems to be a great example of someone who’s combining good nutrition, exercise and an active mind.
Photo Source: Age/Sydney Morning Herald