In a sea of diet advice, Maggie McGill’s point of view is a breath of fresh air: shake off your conceptions of “good” and “bad” foods and give yourself permission to eat what you love. This practice, commonly known as intuitive eating, is a gentle and grounded perspective that feels especially welcome as we enter on the holiday season—a time often characterized by indulgence—after a particularly challenging year.
A writer, photographer, and fashion blogger who identifies as queer and non-binary, McGill is dedicated to body liberation—and she has some advice for anyone who wants to give intuitive eating a try. “Write down how you feel before, during, or after eating” and pay special attention to your cravings and food-related memories, McGill advises. “We’re told to ignore the cues that our bodies have given to us around hunger, fullness, and cravings—it takes time and energy to get back in tune with your body. Becoming aware of your thoughts and attitudes about food is a great first step toward getting back in tune with yourself.”
Despite this level-headed view, McGill, who’s vegan, is no stranger to the stereotypes and judgments present in the healthy living space. “Many vegan circles can be filled with dieting and health policing,” McGill says. “But the community that I’ve found… is so supportive and weight-neutral.”
Read on to learn about some of McGill’s favorite foods and the plant-based recipes that are keeping them cozy during chilly fall nights.
8:00 a.m. Breakfast: The best meal of the day! For breakfast I’ll usually have tofu scramble on toast with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning, a crispy hash brown, and an orange-cranberry morning round, served with a hot cup of coffee of course. On weekends or after a morning workout, I’ll have a breakfast sandwich made with tofu scramble, Beyond breakfast sausage, Violife cheese, and a toasted Philly Muffin.
1:00 p.m. Lunch: In the colder months I love a soup and sandwich combo. One of my faves is tomato soup with grilled cheese, which we make using a panini press. If I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll add apple slices and jam to the grilled cheese for a sweet and savory zing.
6:30 p.m. Dinner: Evenings have become one of my favorite times of day because I love trying out new recipes from things we have hanging out in the fridge and cabinets. My go-to cozy dinner is gnocchi with a homemade blush sauce, a crispy “turkey” cutlet, and roasted cherry tomatoes with a balsamic glaze. Throw in some garlic bread and it’s a done deal.
Snacks: These are a vital part of my day. I try my best to honor my hunger cues, so I end up eating around every 3 hours and snack time is crucial if I want to stay focused. Some of my favorite snacks are pretzel thins and hummus, apples and peanut butter, a bowl of cereal, or a handful of nuts and a few cookies.
Drinks: I love a hot cup of coffee or tea, so those are my go-to drinks if I want something other than water. Chai is my favorite on cozy fall nights!
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