penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

Healthy Over 40: What I Eat in a Typical Day


People often ask me what I eat in a typical day. It’s a difficult question to answer, because my diet varies quite a bit day-to-day, and I don’t adhere to a rigid philosophy or diet mentality.

That said, there are a few staples I always seem to return to, and I can guarantee that more often than not, much of what I’ve listed below will be consumed at some point during an ordinary day for me.

I encourage people to eat what they feel like while trying to steer themselves towards wholefoods as often as possible, rather than sugar-laden snack bars or cereals (that said, if you do occasionally choose the sugar-laden snack bar, don’t feel guilty about it!).

It’s also important to actually enjoy what you’re eating!

Without further ado, here are some of my favourite go-to foods for staying fit, happy and healthy. You can find all these in my latest vlog about what I eat in a typical day over on my YouTube site.

Healthy Over 40: What I Eat in a Typical Day 1 Garage Fitness Girl
Oats have many health benefits, including lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.


I have oats every morning. I don’t like to be too full before a workout, so I feel like a sachet of oats whizzed in the microwave gives me enough energy for training without making me feel too heavy or full! An added bonus is that studies have shown that oats have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Check out my carrot cake oats recipe (it’s super easy) on the vlog!

Protein Powder

I actually only started using protein powder about a year ago because all the powders I ever tried made me feel gassy and bloated. Thankfully, since using the Tropeka powders I’ve had no problems with my tummy, and I think that’s because they’re all 100% natural and plant-based. Protein is important for muscle repair and I really recommend that all women, especially those who workout, make sure they include adequate protein in the diets. I love having a smoothie after a workout or as an afternoon snack if I’m craving something sweet.

Baby Spinach

Healthy Over 40: What I Eat in a Typical Day 2 Garage Fitness Girl
Spinach contains calcium, magnesium and iron.

I love spinach and I use it as the base of all my salads, as well as popping it into smoothies if I feel like I need some more greens. I f I don’t feel like making a whole salad, I often just add a big handful of spinach to my plate. It’s packed full of calcium, magnesium and iron, and the fibre helps you stay fuller for longer.

Peanut Butter

While peanut butter is one of those foods you probably want to eat in moderation due to the high fat content, our bodies do need some fats to function properly (so please don’t try to go fat-free!). I love to add peanut butter to my smoothies as a healthy source of fat, and it’s also yummy to dip apple slices into for a healthy snack. Something about the combination of the sweet and the salty really hits the spot.  

Almond Milk

I personally can’t tolerate a lot of dairy so this has been a great alternative for me. I must admit that I do enjoy vanilla almond milk more than the all-natural stuff, especially with coffee. The touch of vanilla makes it feel like a treat! Almond milk has heaps of nutrients, but it’s particularly known for its naturally high vitamin E content.

70% Dark Chocolate

Healthy Over 40: What I Eat in a Typical Day 3 Garage Fitness Girl
Almond milk is a great alternative for people who don’t do well on dairy.

I’m not much of a dessert person, instead I crave something sweet straight after lunch. I buy the 70% dark chocolate because it’s not as sweet as regular chocolate, so I can only tolerate a little bit of it. I usually snack of 2 squares with an almond milk cappuccino and a piece of fruit for an afternoon snack. Dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants as well as iron and magnesium, both really important for healthy bodies!


Kombucha is only other thing I drink beside coffee and water. I drink one every day. Low in calories and great for your gut health, it’s a great way for those who drink fizzy drinks to quit the habit while still enjoying a little bit of sweetness and fizz.

Apple Cider Vinegar

I use it as my salad dressing. Apple cider vinegar has various healthy properties, including antioxidant effects. There’s also evidence to suggest it may offer health benefits, such as aiding weight loss, reducing cholesterol and lowering blood sugar levels.


Not really a “go-to food”, more of a lifestyle choice because cooking too often is a real pain! I always plan out my meals for the week so that every dish will leave us enough leftovers for the next day. I love being able to take some leftovers out of the fridge, heat them up, add a little side salad and my lunch is already to go.

I’ve covered all this on my latest vlog ‘What I Eat in a Day’, check it out:

If you’d like to keep increasing your health and fitness, why not sign up for my follow-along workout calendars that I send out every month? You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel, just make sure you tick the notification bell so you never miss a new workout. 

Happy eating & have a great week! 

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