All in a day's work: Bianca the student
Bianca is a 16-year old high school student.
She has been vegetarian for a few years, a choice she made for health benefits. She says she used to be very unhealthy, but is now much more conscious of how she eats. She wakes up early to make her breakfast at home, then walks to school. She makes a packed lunch the night before which is often nuts, fruit and leftovers from dinner. She drinks heaps of water (at least two litres a day) and tea and aims to be as healthy as possible, however it can be a bit harder to make healthy choices when she is out with friends.
6:30am 1/2 cup porridge with 1 boiled pear, a teaspoon of honey and sprinkled with cinnamon, cup of green tea and coffee with soy milk.
10:30am Handful of dates, almonds, cranberries, apricot and coconut, and a banana with lemon juice and peanut butter and blackcurrant, vanilla and elderflower tea.
12.40pm Quinoa salad with quinoa, spinach, broccoli, carrots, celery, alfalfa and pine nuts, green tea. Not that hungry after my snacks earlier but eat anyway because there is nothing else to do (this happens ALL the time).
6pm 1 Boiled kumara, 2 beetroot and 3 sprigs broccoli, with chilli beans (3 heaped tablespoons: family had lamb so I substitute with extra vegetables and beans/otherwise slice of bread or something carb-y) and green tea. I’ve been hungry since 4pm but was at work.
8:30pm 2 pieces 85 per cent dark chocolate and black red bush tea with honey. Right before bed fresh lemon and ginger tea. I’m bored, so I am eating.
Nadia Lim's nutrition quick fix
Well done on being so organised and putting in the effort to eat well. The key things to remember are that you are still growing, so meeting your RDI (recommended daily intake) for key nutrients such as iron and calcium is crucial. Up until the age of about 20, females are still building their peak bone mass — this is the highest bone mass your body will achieve in your lifetime. After this point, it starts to drop off. Thus it is important to ensure a good calcium intake (1200mg/day for you) from milk and milk products or substitutes such as soy milk. Iron absorption can be increased through eating vitamin C-rich foods with or near your meals, and avoiding coffee and tea within about two hours of meals as the tannins in these drinks reduce iron absorption.