So, I bet I’m not the only one who have noticed that “What I eat in a day” videos are widely popular and requested on YouTube. And I will admit this: I watch them too. In fact, I love “What I eat in a day”-videos. They are so inspiring and interesting and I just love the concept.
I find it especially interesting to see what people from other countries eat – because most of the time, I am like: “How do they live without rye-bread? Why is everything defined as snacks? Why all the processed food?”
But to be serious, I don’t understand how anyone live without ryebread! And about the “snacks”: In Denmark, we don’t do snacks like Americans do. In Denmark, we have 5-6 meals a day – and they all have their own name. Like the meal between lunch and dinner is not just a “snack”. It is a meal we eat together – a lot of people even set the table for this meal, and in rough translation it is called: Afternoon Coffee. This is eaten by almost any family with children and probably most other Danes as well. And it is not a snack! For us, a snack is what we accidentally eat between lunch and afternoon coffee. And just to be extra weird, we also have pre-lunch coffee and evening coffee as totally legit meals.
Yeah, we eat often here in Denmark. I guess it dates back to the time when everyone were farmers who got up to eat breakfast af 06:00 AM. Then we were hungry again at 09:00 and it would be time for pre-lunch coffee. Then lunch at 12:00 and afternoon coffee at 03:00 PM. This would be very normal and still is. The dinner would be served at 06:00 PM and then, before bedtime around 09:00 PM, an evening coffee would be the last meal of the day. And I will tell you, these hours are still widely seen as the normal eating hours. So now you know a little bit about the Danish schedule. Bet that was super interesting for you, huh?
One more thing is the homemade vs. processed foods. I will say just one thing: We are not as bad as Americans! We make a lot more food from scratch AND the processed foods we do have, generally contain less salt and sugar than the American equivalents.
Now for my day! I will go through a very normal day for me. I eat the same stuff all the time, so this actually represents most of my days! My diet is not at all interesting in the long run, but it contains the food that I like, so why shouldn’t I eat it?
I will have my breakfast at 09.00 AM. When I’m in school, classes starts at 08:00 but I always wait with the breakfast so I will be full until lunch – and I’m not really that hungry when I wake up anyway, so why not save the time and just snooze one more time.
My favorite breakfast for right now is overnight oats! Yeah – they are so last year! Or what? I eat this for three reasons: They can be meal-prepped, they are easy to bring to school, and they taste so very very nice!
I always hated the thousands of ingredients you have to put into overnight oats and for that reason, I have simplified my life! That means skipping the greek yogurt and all the endless kinds of topping. My recipe is as follows:
35 grams of oats
10 grams of wheat- or oatbran
5 grams of chia seeds
140 grams 1,5% milk
7 grams of raisins
Now, it is important for me to emphasize that the bran is completely unnecessary and if you don’t have it already, don’t buy it! Just use an extra 10 gram of oats. The same goes for the Chia seeds, but they just bring out such a wonderful texture so I would actually buy those if I where you!
So, just to be clear – 50 grams oats, 7 grams raisins and milk! That is the back to basics recipe!
I prep 7 jars of oats, bran, and seeds every Sunday night. Then, before I go to bed, I just add the milk for next day’s breakfast and put in the fridge. This makes my morning so much less stressful – just grab the jar, add 10 raisins to it, and I am good to go! Now, if you are super busy, just add the raisins with the milk the night before, and you will save one whole minute in the morning! And don’t forget a spoon!
I always have the same stuff for lunch. If I am not eating this, it must be because I am cheating on my diet. And this is what I have for lunch:
1 slice of rye-bread
1 hardboiled egg
100 g of tomato
Sometimes, I add 25 grams of tuna, tomato-mackerel, or deli meat to the egg and bread, or even 10 grams of pesto. This is mostly for weekend indulgence.
I always start with my veggies. Cause I will tell you – it takes a while to eat that amount of veggies. I don’t add salt to anything anymore, but I will tell you a secret: I have salt and pepper with my tomato everyday, so now you know my little dark secret. It is just so good!
The only time I change this lunch is when we have a salad that needs to be eaten – then I bring the salad instead of these veggies.
My afternoon coffee is a little more interchangeable. But still almost always the same:
2 slices of crispbread
2 slices of deli meat on top
1 piece of fruit
This is the food that will make me survive cooking dinner or riding my bike 4 kilometers uphill. It is not a lot, but it makes a big difference in my need for unhealthy snacks. But as I said, this meal is more interchangeable, so I do skip this meal sometimes, and sometimes I simply just eat a piece of fruit instead.
Well, I guess dinner is the meal that you know most about already. The recipes I post here on the blog are often everyday dinner recipes. In a lot of my recipes, I write at the bottom how much I eat for dinner, and I can tell you the general rules here:
If potatoes, rice or pasta is served separat:
130 grams of boiled potato or
40 grams uncooked rice or pasta
If meats and sauce are served separat:
100 grams meat
50 grams sauce
If meat and sauce and maybe vegetables are together:
200 grams of stew or casserole that should have potatoes/rice or pasta on the side
350 grams of stew, casserole e.g where pasta, rice or potatoes are included
And I almost always add 100 grams of vegetables – in the winter they are often from frozen bags and in the summer it’s often a salad.
This may be confusing, but it just tells you something about the amount I devour. It is not a lot of anything, but with the vegetables, my plate is always full anyways.
Here are some great examples of what I eat for dinner. From the top right: Tikka Masala, Beef and Caramelized Onions, Meatballs, Green Bean Casserole, Pita with Falafel, Minestrone, Rice taffel, Pork ala Italia, Aloo Matter, Gnocchi and Chicken patties.
During the weeknights, I try to stay clear of this meal, but when we have the occasional late night and I get hungry before bed, I will have a piece of fruit.
If, on the weekends, we are up super late, I will splurge myself and have a good amount of oats and milk, or maybe even oatmeal – but that is only when I am really treating myself.
With no evening coffee, all of the above adds up to a simple 1200 calories on most days. I know people be like “NOO – that is so not enough” – and I know it isn’t. But I don’t care. I don’t care cause there is always this party and that celebration and those muffins. So I tell you now – don’t fool yourself. The daily average will be much higher that this, and I will not shrink down and die from this. Nobody will. We just need to be honest with ourselves! This January, I have been tracking my calories just to prevent overeating, and my personal daily limit is 1800 calories. This means I can have cake or icecream or whatever everyday, if I want. For now, I am determined to lose a little more bellyfat, however, and January have already blessed me with losing 7 pounds so far. So I’m positive that when I have lost maybe 10-12 more pounds, I will start living life a little more indulgent – within the 1800 calorie limit of course!
For me, banana pancakes, homemade nicecream, or a nice chocolate smoothie, is the perfect way to be indulgent within the frame! And that one time when I really push my calories to the very limit, I will have a good piece of Kringle while all of heaven is singing for my ears!