The common stereotype of a nutritionist is someone who counts calories, lives off vegetables and never eats junk food or drinks alcohol. I want to be frank with you: I don’t care about superfoods, I don’t take supplements and I don’t use coconut oil. I’m not one of those stereotypes.

All my life I’ve had an interest in food, how it made me feel and how I could fuel my body for training. Food has been a major part of my life both socially and academically.

Cooking in my house is an event I look forward to. Most mornings, while I eat my oatmeal, I read through cooking magazines. I mark the recipes I’d like to try and take a scrap piece of paper and write my shopping list. As I do this, I mentally review what ingredients I already have in the pantry, so I don’t overbuy. I only purchase what’s needed for the week.

While I do have a shopping list, I don’t always stick to plan. I do buy extra in-season produce, if I can buy it cheap and in bulk. My favorite place to shop is the farmer’s markets. There I can buy over-ripened tomatoes by the box and make pasta sauce. I can buy trays of mangoes and make popsicles. I can buy boxes of spinach and use it across lasagnas, in fruit smoothies and frittatas. I sometimes experiment with how many dishes can I make with one ingredient, then I cook them all at once, literally. I don’t have time to spend every night in the kitchen.

There are a few staples that I cannot go without: olive oil and salt. Olive oil and salt on cooked vegetables, salads, grills or bakes makes everything taste amazing!

I inherited my sweet tooth from my dad. Every second afternoon we would frequent the local pastry store for a milkshake and custard tart. I soon realized, as a growing teen, this ritual was contributing to major weight problems and low self-esteem. So, I put a stop to that pretty quickly.

Although, I still love sweets and don’t deny myself, I realized most sweets don’t taste as good as they look and they don’t make you feel great either. Most people don’t give themselves enough of a chance to tune in to see how their body feels after eating a certain way. For me, it became obvious that creamy cakes and chocolate did not make me feel good. For this reason, you won’t find these treats in my house, unless I’ve occasionally baked something from scratch.

As for eating out, I like the social experience but I think fine dining is a rip-off. Paying more money for less food makes no sense to me. I like hearty foods that are nutritious and satisfying.

My husband and I are resigned to the fact that eating at home is a far better option than dining out. Besides, when you’re a good cook it’s actually more enjoyable.

I only train Monday to Friday, and weekends are a no-go zone, unless I have a race on. I enjoy it and it’s my socializing time. My favorite training night is swim team, which occurs twice a week. It also means I get two dinners.

The swim sets are intense and typically cover between 2-3 km in just over one hour. I eat a carbohydrate and protein-rich dinner just before I leave. This week it was lentils, rice and chicken with salad. I pack a one-liter bottle of non-carbonated diet drink because drinking plain water while swimming tastes like you’re drinking pool water and that’s yucky! Naturally, after training, I come home starving. For my post-train meal, I enjoy fried eggs with salad or a fruit smoothie. Unfortunately, though, two dinners aren’t an everyday event.

I do like having guests over for dinner, to test out new recipes, so maybe I’ll invite you around one day!