“Mom, is this healthy?” “Mom, what should I eat if I’m feeling ________?” I find myself constantly asking my mom for nutrition advice, despite the fact that she’s never had any formal nutrition education. She is, however, the biggest health nut I know, spending hours at the gym each week and eating healthier than most people. Even if your mom isn’t as healthy as mine, chances are you’ve probably asked her for nutrition advice at some point over the years. I decided that I wanted to really know what it was like to work out and eat right according to my mother, so I spent a week in her shoes learning what to eat and do if I wanted to be healthy according to mom standards.

Day 1

10:00 am: Shake with raspberries, coconut milk, egg white protein powder, and chocolate Dynamic Greens protein powder

This was super bleh. That’s the best way to describe it; it wasn’t very filling, but I didn’t feel hungry after either.

12:30 pm: Chicken breast and “creamed” spinach


Photo by Carly Koemptgen

The creamed spinach was just spinach microwaved in a mug with cream cheese for 30 seconds. This was pretty decent but I still didn’t feel super satisfied. The plain chicken got kind of boring after a few bites.

3:00 pm: Turkey stick and berries

At this point, I was so hungry my stomach was growling. I intended to just eat the turkey stick, but then I wasn’t satisfied, so my mom said I could eat a few berries along with it too.

4:15 pm: Hot Vinyasa yoga

5:30 pm: 2 steak tacos with corn tortilla, avocado, and hot sauce


Photo by Carly Koemptgen

Thank god my mom is a great cook, because this dinner was phenomenal and healthy enough for her standards. It even looked good enough that it was snap story worthy. My mom also told me that the tortillas will probably be the most carbs I’ll eat all week, so that made me super nervous. At the end of the day, though, I ended up feeling normal except a little more hungry. Also the chips in the pantry have been calling my name all day.

Day 2

I woke up super hungry today. I’m not looking forward to this shake again.

10:00 am: Breakfast shake from yesterday

1:00 pm: Homemade egg salad & berries

3:15 pm: Weight training

I was afraid that I was going to be super hungry after this workout and since I was on the go, I packed a turkey stick. I wasn’t hungry, though, and didn’t end up eating it until later.

5:30 pm: Turkey stick

6:00 pm: Chopped salad


Photo by Carly Koemptgen

This chopped salad is a staple in our house. Since nobody was home for dinner and we had all the ingredients in the fridge, my mom said it was ok to put this together for myself. Today, I noticed that I was feeling a little less bloated than normal and had more energy, which is weird because I’m actually eating less carbs.

Day 3

10:00 am: Turkey stick

10:30 am: 1-mile run

Advice: do not eat a turkey stick before a run.

12:30 pm: 2 eggs, 1 egg white, red peppers, 2 slices of bacon, 1/2 an apple

This was actually pretty good. I love bacon and eggs, so it made my day when she said I could have some. I miss dipping toast in the eggs, though. I’m surprised at how full I’ve been feeling even though I’ve only eaten every couple of hours.

3:30 pm: Turkey burger lettuce wrap with Sriracha mayo, 1/2 banana dipped in dark chocolate


Photo by Carly Koemptgen

My mom was at it again with the fantastic cooking. These homemade turkey burgers were flavorful and satisfying without the extra carbs that a bun brings. All day I had been craving something sweet, so I asked my mom if I could dip some banana in dark chocolate, to which she agreed and took the other half.

9:00 pm: SUUUUPER hungry. I’m surprised that I made it 5.5 hours without snacking, which I definitely would do if I wasn’t strictly adhering to my mom’s diet. Instead of snacking this late, however, my mom suggested going to bed. So here I am, in bed, still hungry.

Day 4

10:30 am: Breakfast shake

These shakes are actually growing on me, but I’m still skeptical as to what is actually in this protein powder. Is it really good for my body?

12:30 pm: Turkey stick

3:00 pm: “Breakfast burrito” bowl with refried beans, sausage, eggs, avocado, & salsa


Photo by Carly Koemptgen

Despite the weird close-up picture, this was arguably the best thing I ate all week. It was warm, satisfying, and super flavorful.

7:00 pm: Strawberries

I didn’t even realize I had gone 4 hours without eating. I’ve noticed this week that I stay fuller longer and am eating less as a result.

7:30 pm: Circuit training

Day 5

1:00 pm: Turkey “muffins”, peaches, spinach salad

Yes, I did wake up at 12:30 in the afternoon. Don’t judge. My mom drank a shake again for breakfast, but I decided to skip it. These turkey muffins were essentially the same mixture as the turkey burgers from the other night, just baked in muffin tins instead.

3:00 pm: Strawberries

6:00 pm: Pizza, salad, & a cupcake

My mom informed me about halfway through the day that she allows herself one “cheat day”. Since we went to a grad party around dinner time, we ate this super healthy dinner. After eating this, I felt awful for the rest of the night. I felt bloated and had a terrible stomachache. I realized that for the last five days, I had eaten fairly well. I ate fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Before this week, I was so used to putting junk food in my body that I never realized how great it felt when I actually ate healthy and worked out. Although parts of my mom’s diet are not sustainable for everyday college students like myself, I have learned that when I eat more of things like fruit, veggies, and meat and less of things like sugar, carbohydrates, and dairy, I feel much better.