My day on a plate: Melanie Hawkins

5pm En route to the theatre, I grab two brown rice tuna and avocado sushi hand rolls and an almond latte.

7.15pm A Berocca before my performance.

9pm During the show’s interval, I snack on corn chips, a banana and mineral water.

11pm After the show, I have a few glasses of water, some crackers, carrot sticks with hummus, a large glass of red wine and some chocolate.

Dr Joanna McMillan says …

Top marks for … A great choice with the sushi, which provides wholegrain, fish for protein and good fats from the avocado. The seaweed provides iodine, which is often low in Australian diets. The carrot sticks are also a good choice.

If you keep eating like this you’ll … Fail to fuel a diverse microbiome, impacting gut health. This day was short on fibre, particularly the diversity of fibres you need. You had no nuts or seeds, very few vegies and no leafy greens, and you also fell short on wholegrains.

Why don’t you try … Ditching the chips in favour of nuts. If you need to have gluten-free bread, go for a high-fibre one, otherwise opt for wholegrain sourdough. Ditch the added fats to your coffee – there is nothing bulletproof about it! You would be much better getting those kilojoules and fats from whole foods. Soy or other fortified plant-based milks are dairy-free options that would at least provide calcium and protein.

Melanie Hawkins is currently starring in Saturday Night Fever at Sydney Lyric Theatre.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale May 19.

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