Since co-founding the uber-popular eating reset program Whole30 more than 10 (!) years ago, Melissa Urban has become a household name in her own right. In addition to helping you find what she describes as “food freedom” with the Whole30, she also works to help you do whatever ~thing~ you’ve been trying to tackle for ages on her appropriately-named Do The Thing podcast. Oh, and she just so happens to drop serious fitness inspo and real talk about all-things self-care on her Instagram regularly.
Basically, Melissa is all about helping people level up their lives in *all* the ways. Unsurprisingly, the food she puts on her plate plays a pretty big role in her near-endless energy.
After doing nine Whole30s throughout the past decade, Melissa’s pretty much nailed which foods make her feel like a million bucks—and which just drag her down. “I know from my eliminations and reintroductions what works really well for me,” she says. “My diet is 90-percent Whole30. Not because I’m rigid about it, but because it’s easy and because I know it helps me feel my best.” (She leaves room for favorites like Applegate Chicken & Maple Breakfast Sausage and Siete Cassava Flour Grain-Free Tortillas.)
Since she’s crazy active and crazy busy, Melissa usually eats four or five meals a day to stay fueled. Here’s what her diet looks like on a typical day.
A die-hard morning exerciser, Melissa hits the gym (or her garage gym) before sitting down for a meal. She hydrates plenty during her sweat sessions, though, and fills her water bottle with LMNT electrolytes for a boost.
If she’s got to jet after that a.m. sweat, Melissa makes a protein shake with a blend of egg white and cricket proteins (which she promises doesn’t taste like bugs).
Otherwise, she sits down for a full meal. “I generally feel more satisfied and focused throughout my day if I have a more protein-dense breakfast,” she says. “So I cook some ground meat and saute a bunch of veggies.” From there, everything gets poured over some sort of base (like butternut squash, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles) and doused in sauce (like Whole30’s new House Ranch Dressing).
Melissa doesn’t do caffeine, so she’ll either stop at her local coffee shop for a decaf Americano or whip up some MUD/WTR, a cozy drink mix made with cacao, mushrooms, and chai spices.
Around lunchtime, Melissa is ready to eat again. “Typically around 2:00 p.m., I’ll do a base of rice, which I eat every day, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potato, and chicken or another form protein, like shrimp,” she says. Again, delish dressing is a must. (Melissa likes Whole30’s Creamy Balsamic Dressing or Primal Kitchen No Soy Teriyaki on this creation.)
FYI: Melissa totally shares your sparkling water obsession. “I usually drink one or two sparkling waters a day,” she says. “I love LaCroix and Waterloo.”
By late afternoon, when it’s not quite time for dinner but Melissa’s stomach starts grumbling, she grabs a quick mini-meal.
“I’ll do usually some sort of meat stick or jerky with some fruit and almond butter, sun butter, or peanut butter,” she says. (PB isn’t Whole30-friendly, but it’s another fave that made Melissa’s cut.) If she doesn’t go the meat stick route, Melissa opts for sugar snap peas, carrots, or another dunkable veggie with some sort of dip.
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Another afternoon must-have? Bone broth. “I drink a warm cup of bone broth every afternoon,” she says. “It’s a great source of protein and collagen, and it’s just something warm when I don’t want another decaf.” She loves Kettle & Fire’s flavors.
Come dinner time, Melissa whips up something tasty to enjoy with her son.
“He really loves Banza pasta, so we will do that with ground meat, veggies, and a tomato sauce,” she says. “Primal Kitchen’s Tomato Basil is great.” Since chickpea pasta tends to leave Melissa bloated, she swaps in spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead.
Other nights, they do “tater tots in the oven with microwaved Applegate hot dogs,” she adds. Nice and simple.
Sometimes, Melissa’s eats end there. “I really don’t like eating after 7:00 p.m. because it makes me feel bloated and I don’t sleep as well,” she says. “But if I eat dinner early and I’ve got a little bit of a later night, like I’m doing laundry or something, I just need a little something before I go to bed.”
On these nights, she goes for a little extra protein, like a meat stick with peanut butter or two hard-boiled eggs with Primal Kitchen Mayo. “It’s pretty small,” Melissa says. “Just enough just to tide me over.”
Otherwise, she sips on herbal tea in the evening. “I have peppermint, I have ginger; I like the digestive kind of varieties,” she says.
I know what you’re wondering: What about dessert? “I am not a dessert person,” Melissa says. “I don’t like feeling like my meal isn’t complete until I have something sweet.”
Though sweets don’t make a daily appearance in Melissa’s diet, she does describe herself as a sucker for frosting. “There’s a gluten-free bakery here in Salt Lake City that makes delicious sugar cookies with frosting and delicious cupcakes,” she says. “Maybe once a week or every other week, my son and I pop in and grab something.”
If she does decide to indulge at home, she reaches for dark chocolate-covered almonds, dark chocolate-covered banana bites, or a Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Sign me up.
Melissa Urban’s Go-To Packaged Foods
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