By: Ashley Rossi
Following a consistent eating plan when your schedule varies every day can be challenging. Some days I have 10-hour photoshoots while other days can be half days or casting days. Occasionally, I will get a day off, which I’ll use to prepare for upcoming shoots, go to the grocery store, and organize the kitchen. When looking in my pantry, you can almost always find protein bars, granola bars, whole wheat bread, almond butter, avocados, hummus, fresh fruits, and sometimes sweet potato chips. In my refrigerator, I have spinach for salads, eggs, oat milk, butter, and beverages. My go-to drink right now is Vital Proteins Collagen Water. The Blackberry Hibiscus flavor is my favorite!
Here’s a breakdown of what I eat in a day.
When I start my day, I always have a cup of coffee. I do not have a big appetite in the mornings, so I usually add a teaspoon of butter and Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer. I also like to put oat milk in my coffee if I am out of creamer for a lighter option. This will help hold me over until snack or lunch time.
Since I rarely eat breakfast, I’m always looking for a snack before lunch. If I’m on set, I will grab a banana or orange from the fruit bowl. If I need to bring my own, I come prepared with a cookie dough protein bar – just in case. This helps me stay full and focused with on-the-go nutrition.
Usually by this time, I am ready for a meal. Salads with protein are my typical choice. I pair kale with grilled chicken. Some of my favorite things to add are cheese, red/green peppers, carrots, avocado, and lemon-turmeric dressing. In the mid-afternoon (especially when I’m on casting days), I will follow up my lunch with a coffee to go. My favorite coffee order is an oat milk latte, which almost every coffee shop in N.Y.C. offers.
Before I get home, from either a full shoot day or from running around the city for castings, I stop for a smoothie or acai bowl. The smoothie that I drink the most contains almond butter, banana, chlorella, kale, moringa, pineapple, coconut milk, and spirulina. It has healthy fats, is high in protein, and has potassium. Nut butters are a fantastic source of healthy fat and protein. And bananas are packed with vitamins and fiber and can help restore electrolytes after a workout or a busy day.
For me, dinnertime is when I consume my carbohydrates. If I eat carbs during the day, I tend to get sleepy and have low energy. So ideally, I prefer to incorporate them into my dinner. Since I am working during the days and my meals and snacks are bought at cafes and juice bars, I like to cook my own dinner at home. I love to make bowls with different ingredients depending on what I have readily available in the fridge or what I’m craving. For the bottom of the bowl, I cook a 7 grains and lentil blend. This is an excellent source of fiber and iron. I top off this blend with a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves, which almost steam from the heat of the grains. Then, I add sweet potato and either grilled chicken or seared salmon. I really love making these bowls because they contain healthy carbs, protein, and fat. Some other ingredients I substitute in are steamed broccoli or roasted brussel sprouts.
Every night, I have made it a ritual to always have a cup of tea (non-caffeinated). Chamomile with honey and lemon is a classic in my house. Sometimes I will add ginger, especially in the winter months. Vanilla Greek yogurt with granola on top is a treat I enjoy as a healthy dessert alternative. I also have a sweet tooth, so this is also the time you might find me dunking a biscotti into my tea or even having a scoop of vegan coconut ice cream in the summer!
Photos: courtesy of Ashley Rossi