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Here's What Oprah Eats in a Day

Self logo Self 1/11/2018 Alexa Tucker
a woman holding a sign © Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

If there's one thing most of us can agree on, it's that Oprah is an all-around boss. So it makes sense that all of her trailblazing requires meals and snacks that keep her fueled—and taste queen-worthy, too. In a new TV spot for Weight Watchers' new Freestyle program, Oprah shared what she eats in a day, and it sounds pretty incredible.

On Oprah's menu: Seafood, plenty of fruits and veggies, and pasta (really). Oprah has been open about how important it is that she gets to eat the foods she loves (see: that iconic "I love bread!" commercial), without sacrificing her own personal health goals. And this daily meal plan sounds like it checks the boxes.

Of course, Oprah's a major shareholder in Weight Watchers (and a believer in the program herself), so it's no coincidence she incorporates many of the program's "zero-point foods" in her daily diet. But it also happens that many of these options can fit into a healthy, balanced eating plan in their own right, even for non-Weight Watchers followers.

Before we go further, it's important to note that a healthy diet means different things to different people, and no one eating plan fits everyone. Weight Watchers works for some people, but it's by no means the only healthy eating plan out there. No matter your preferences, make sure you're eating enough overall, filling your plate with nutritious foods, and giving yourself enough flexibility to enjoy the foods you love. And if you have a history of eating disorders, always check with a doctor or another professional before changing your eating habits.

So what's the verdict? "Overall, this is a super healthy diet," Patricia Bannan, M.S., R.D.N., author of Eat Right When Time Is Tight, tells SELF. It has a balance of fat, protein, and carbs, along with plenty of other nutrients.

And, importantly, it also sounds satisfying. Here's what five registered dietitians have to say about Oprah's picks—and why they might also be great options for those of us who aren't, well, Oprah.

a bowl of food on a plate © Courtesy of Weight Watchers

Breakfast: “The Usual” Egg Sandwich

1 slice toasted wheat bread, ⅛ of an avocado, 1 over-easy egg, and 1 medium tomato

The base of this breakfast is a piece of whole-wheat toast, which offers up nutritious carbs (which are important for energy) as well as a boost of fiber. "Fiber keeps things regular in your digestive tract, supporting smooth breakdown of food and a healthy colon," Lauren Minchen, M.P.H., R.D.N., C.D.N., founder of Lauren Minchen Nutrition in New York City, tells SELF. Fiber also aids in blood sugar management, which means it helps avoid a post-breakfast crash. "It will keep you full for longer than something with little to no fiber," she adds.

The avocado also helps keep you fueled up all morning long, thanks to a dose of healthy, filling fat. "Avocado is [also] a great source of B vitamins, which are important for overall health and help our bodies convert food into usable energy," Nashville-based dietitian Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.D., L.D.N., tells SELF.

A runny egg adds protein (not to mention, it's oh-so satisfying to cut into, if that's your thing). "I like that she uses the whole egg, as the yolk is where the lutein and zeaxanthin are found, which are important nutrients for protecting vision," says Bedwell. The yolk also contains choline, another essential nutrient with a wide range of roles relating to metabolism.

Topping it all off with tomato adds a little bit of veggie power to breakfast, too. "Tomato is a tasty and colorful food to add in a morning meal," Nashville-based dietitian Jenny Beth Kroplin, R.D., L.D.N., C.L.C., tells SELF. "The lycopene from the tomato is high in phytonutrients, a powerful antioxidant food."

Overall, "pairing healthy fats and protein with fiber from the toast is a sure way to get through the morning without getting too hungry," says Minchen. Plus, it tastes great: "I personally love the combination of flavors of egg, avocado, and tomato," says Bedwell.

One thing to note: This breakfast does clock in a little low on protein. While, yes, an egg is a source of protein, it only has about six grams, notes Kroplin (in general, dietitians recommend a minimum of 15 grams of protein at every meal). "I would suggest adding a carton of nonfat Greek yogurt to get the protein up, plus it adds essential nutrients such as vitamin D, potassium, and calcium," says Kroplin.

This would also add some calories to the meal, which might be necessary for you. "This breakfast is only 200 calories, so depending on the person, they may need a bit more to sustain them until lunch," says Bannan. (Calorie needs vary widely from person to person and depend on your size, genetics, activity level, and other factors. It's worth noting that counting calories isn't necessary for most people.)

a plate of food on a table © Courtesy of Weight Watchers Lunch: Cacio e Pepe With Shrimp

1 cup cooked spaghetti, 3 tbsp. grated Pecorino cheese, 2 garlic cloves, 1½ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. sea salt, and 3 oz. cooked fresh shrimp

"This is a tasty combination of carbs from the spaghetti, fat from the cheese, and lean protein from the shrimp," says Bedwell.

In addition to the protein, "shrimp is a great source of selenium and iodine, which are both helpful in thyroid support, and a healthy thyroid supports a healthy metabolism," says Kroplin.

Importantly, it all tastes great, too. "She's [seasoned] her pasta with garlic and black pepper, which is a great way to add low-calorie flavor," Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, tells SELF. (Again, not that everyone needs to watch calories, but if that's something you are being mindful of, it's a nice tip.) Not that all seasoning has to be low-calorie by any means—the cheese also adds some satisfying mid-day flavor, says Kroplin.

What's more is that the portions here are great, explains Minchen. "Given that Oprah is a Weight Watchers spokesperson, I can tell that she really believes in their philosophy that all foods fit in a healthy, balanced diet," she says. "Here, she is allowing herself something that most people would consider a no-no on a diet: pasta! But, she's kept her portions moderate and added some protein from the fresh shrimp to make it more satisfying." It just goes to show that, no, there are no "bad" or off-limits foods: It's about the overall picture.

One tweak every dietitian here mentioned: A pasta dish is a great opportunity to throw in some veggies. Sautéed spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini would fit right in, says Kroplin.

Snack: Fresh Fruit Sorbet With Berries and Mint

3 cups mixed berries and 1 tsp. mint

Oprah's preferred way to nosh on berries is to throw them into a sorbet maker (three cups of berries would likely make more than one serving), but even if you don't have one of those, berries on their own can be a perfect sweet fix.

"I can't say enough about how nutritious berries are," says Minchen. "Rich in vitamin C, an array of antioxidants, B vitamins (including folate), and fiber, berries pack a nutritional punch for very little sugar and calories. The mint is also an excellent flavor enhancer, and it is known for soothing the digestive tract."

If this is your full snack, though, Kroplin reccomends adding in something with a little more staying power. "If she wanted to add a piece of string cheese or a handful of nuts, this would add high-quality protein or a healthy fat to the snack, which will keep her satisfied longer, plus help stabilize blood sugar levels," says Kroplin.

a close up of a logo © Courtesy of Weight Watchers Dinner: Miso-Glazed Cod With Veggies and Brown Rice

5 oz. cod fillet marinaded in white miso, dark brown sugar, sake and mirin, ½ cup brown rice, and 1½ cup mixed vegetables

"Again, a very balanced meal here," says Minchen. "The cod provides protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are all important for healthy immunity, skin, muscles, and bones." Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with heart health.

There are some great health benefits in miso. "White miso is made from fermented soybeans, which can promote the growth of healthy bacteria (probiotics) in the gut," says Bedwell. This helps aid in healthy digestion. Plus, "the fermentation process can boost its levels of vitamin E," adds Minchen.

Brown rice and veggies are the perfect finishing touches. "The brown rice is a great addition to the meal, adding in the fiber for digestive health, blood sugar regulation, and satiety," says Kroplin. "And any time a meal can be bulked with vegetables is great!"

a close up of food © Courtesy of Weight Watchers Snack: Popcorn and Kale Chips

1 cup air-popped popcorn and 1 cup baked kale

This is another favorite salty snack of Oprah's, and with good reason. "Popcorn is a whole grain that provides fiber [4 grams per 3-cup serving], which helps to keep you fuller for longer and is also important for digestion," says Gorin. "And I love that she's snacking on veggies! I always tell my clients to eat the rainbow, and I love that Oprah is doing this. Different colors of fruits and vegetables provide the many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are so important for good health." Kale yeah.

Overall, this is a pretty balanced day of eating.

This is a great day of eating, the dietitans agree. "I like that she's including fruits or vegetables at each meal (except for lunch), which is something I recommend to all of my clients," says Gorin. To top it all off? A cold glass of rosé.

Know that your nutrition needs may be different, and this day of eating may not be right for everyone. You may need more calories to keep your energy up, for example, or more protein to help rebuild muscles if you're doing heavy strength training. In other words: It's a good diet to learn from, but don't feel like you need to copy it exactly. After all, everyone is different—and Oprah wouldn't want it any other way.

Slideshow: These are the 15 superfoods your kitchen needs in 2018 (Provided by PopSugar) 


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