What do I eat? (Macronutrients)

Hi, I’m Shelley Gawith, I’m a Functional Nutritionist with a clinic in Wellington CBD. Most of my clients that I see are busy. It’s my job to get them feeling amazing, but also to make being healthy easy and achievable. It’s the simple things that really make a difference. 

These days there is so much information on the internet so most clients come in overwhelmed and confused about how to eat or what to eat. They’ve read all sorts of things about different diets and how someone lost 15kg on this diet or that one.  


So there are very few bad foods, the only really bad foods are if they are all chemically processed with no nutrients in them. I don’t have many foods that clients should totally avoid. In fact we get our nutrients from every mouthful we put into our mouths right, so unless you want to be on a supplement for everything it’s really important we get you eating right for your body.

So how you  know you are eating right for your body is by making sure you have no symptoms before or after eating. Now the problem is sometimes we have had these symptoms for so long we don’t recognise them anymore. It’s become our normal. So I’ve included a food journal that I get clients to complete, because when we have awareness we can change behaviours right. So I suggest you complete this. 


If you feel bloated, gassy, loose stools, constipated sluggish, brain fog, exhausted, headaches, shaky, after or before eating then we know that food is causing you symptoms and you are not eating right for your body. ( you can also experience after symptoms that aren’t caused directly after eating) Anyway if you experience any of those symptoms then something you are eating is causing you inflammation. But today I want to focus on how you can feel full and energised from breakfast to lunch, lunch to dinner without needing to snack in between.

I know from reading Emilys blog and working with her, she has taught you all, that it’s not just what you eat but how you eat. So I’m not going to talk about this here, but HOW you eat is just as important as what you are putting into your mouth.  


So I often ask clients to complete a worksheet when they are doing my online course, or in clinic I get them to categories in general their macronutrients and what foods they would put under all of these categories. So your macro nutrients are your Fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Now play a game and write down what foods you would put under each heading. It’s really interesting when you become conscious of this. 


So now how you eat right for your body is working out what macronutrient mix you need for your body, to keep you full and satisfied between each meal. 


So for example I need higher fats to keep me full between meals. So I have a lot of fats at each meal. The great thing about knowing how your body feels and what  macronutrient mix it needs, it makes it so easy going out right. So for example I go out with friends for lunch, I will often order a protein and build my meal around that so maybe it’s chicken, I might have a salad with it (my greens will be my carbs right.) Well, that would never keep me full, most clients would think the same thing. And often there’s not a great fat option. So I just ask for a side of extra virgin olive oil, every café always has that and has no problem bringing me extras. Seriously if I just eat a chicken salad for lunch with no oil, I’ll be starving in an hour. It’s ridiculous. 


While dietary plans are great for recipe ideas, the key part is learning to eat for your body and what it needs. What mix does it need. 


Now the problem with snacking in between meals right, (it’s ok occasionally) but when we do it daily, we are causing digestive stress on our bodies. Our bodies take between 4-5 hours to digest each meal. With your washing machine does anyone open it mid load to add more clothes?? No you would think I was crazy right! Everyone knows not to add more clothes mid cycle so why would we do that with our digestive system!! It’s crazy right, we are just making it start all over again, so then what happens?

Well how clean are clothes that go through mid cycle. So it’s actually really important you give your digestive system a chance to rest throughout the day. We can’t keep a machine on all the time and expect it to function optimally, it gets tired and over worked! If you want me to get technical on how your digestive system works, yell out. But for now, I just want you to focus on your macronutrients and eating right for your body.  

Side note, something to be mindful of, are you snacking because you are hungry between your meals, or bored and wanting a break at work, or a distraction. Are you emotional eating? Or are you actually hungry? The great thing about the food diary is you get so much awareness around your habits and your body. Changing anything starts with awareness. So I’ve included a list below and a graphic of your different macro nutrients. 


Also if you are interested in learning more, I suggest you come join us in the Shelley Says So 31 day Summer challenge. It’s really fun, every day you get a new video and a new challenge in terms of learning new health habits to kick start your 2019. Lots of clients do it as there’s just too much to learn, we never have enough time in clinic to talk about all of these things! So sign up today! It’s seriously so much fun. 

 If you also want to learn more about your health, you can come over and join the 5 module course on learning about your health, it covers how to get hydrated for your body, macronutrients in more details, inflammation some simple tests you can do at home to get to the bottom of your symptoms, gut health and of course sleep. It’s the best way to really give your body the best start to 2019. Client’s that have been seeing me in clinic that have completed the course, have been raving. Have a look.  



The major macronutrients are protein, fats and carbohydrates. It’s important to include all three of these at each meal. We want to work out how much your body needs of each of these macronutrients at each meal.  



Protein foods are broken down into amino acids into our body. Proteins are the building blocks of our body. Our body uses and assembles over 50,000 different proteins to form organs, nerves, muscles and flesh. Amino acids are essential for our metabolism, muscle strength, our neurotransmitters, hormone function, immune system just to name a few. 

Healthy protein options in your diet are: 

  • Seafood such as salmon, tuna, prawns, sardines, lobster, white fish 

  • Organic free range poultry such as chicken, duck, turkey 

  • Grass fed, free range Animal proteins: Beef, pork, veal, lamb 

  • Free range, organic eggs 

  • Dairy such as yoghurt, cheese, feta cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, chevre 

  • Raw nuts  and seeds

  • Legumes & pulses- if your body is able to digest these 

  • Grains such as quinoa, amaranth (also contains carbohydrates)    

  • Great lakes gelatin powder is a great source of protein.  



Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in our body after digestion and used as a quick source of energy for the body & fuel for the brain. We need carbs to help regulate proteins and fats. Carbohydrates can be classified as either simple or complex. Simple carbs are broken down and absorbed quickly and do not contain much fibre. Complex carbs take longer to break down and provide more long lasting energy.  

Healthy options to include in your diet; 

  • VEGETABLES- unlimited 

  • Some fruit 

  • Legumes and pulses  

  • Rice 

  • Buckwheat, amaranth, spelt. Kumut 

  • Soba noodles, brown rice noodles, mung bean noodles 


While, pizza, pasta, white bread, dried fruits are technically carbohydrates, I don’t like to include them on my list of carbohydrates, as I see them as empty calories and in some cases they even deplete your body of useful vitamins & minerals. Many people are often intolerant to these.  




Fats are broken into fatty acids and are vital for brain function, cell membrane health, skin integrity and immune function, while satiating us and giving us long lasting energy.  

Types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated. You want to avoid hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats, highly processed vegetable oils, fried fats and trans fats.  


Omega 3s: 

  • Fish oil 

  • Flaxseed oil 

  • Wheat Germ 

  • Walnuts/oil 

  • Hemp seeds/oil 


Omega 6s: 

  • Blackcurrant seed 

  • Evening primrose 

  • Sesame seed/oil/tahini 

  • Sunflower seeds 


Omega 9s: 

  • Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil 

  • Hazelnuts/oil/butter 



  • Coconut oil 

  • Butter 

  • Animal fats from organic free range animals. Duck fat etc 

 You can also eat many of the nuts and seeds as butters and oils. (almonds, macadamias, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts)  

Avocados and avocado oil 


Emily Mason