Eating for Variety and Quality with Kylie Fagnano 

by Metabolic Meals

by Metabolic Meals

Updated Dec 18, 2023

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I’m a registered dietitian and I specialize in helping people who suffer from gut disorders and autoimmune diseases. I help my clients find answers that will bring healing relief and health solutions using an integrative and functional approach. I also literally understand what my clients are going through because I’ve been there.  

In my day to day, I feel my health/body is most supported by eating high quality protein, a variety of veggies, a good dose of fat, and enjoying sweets from time to time when I really want them or when I’m traveling. 

I feel best when I eat more of my carbs later in the day rather than first thing in the morning. I don’t adhere to specific macro ranges, but I do shoot for 30 g of protein per meal and 30 g of fiber each day (minimum).  Getting 30 g of protein at meals is also so important for stimulating the body to build muscle using the amino acids from these proteins. 

The foods that make up the foundation of what I eat are animal proteins and plants.  Most people hear “plant-based diet” and automatically think vegan or vegetarian–but that’s the not only way to have a plant-based diet!  In a month’s time, I try to get as wide a variety of plants alongside the animal proteins I eat as I can.

Kylie Fagnano, MS, RDN, LDN, IFNCP, CLT 
Integrative & Functional Registered Dietitian  
Owner of Strata Nutrition 

What I Eat In A Day

Breakfast: to help support healthy blood sugar levels and to manage inflammation, I have fewer carbohydrates in my first meal of the day.  Not none, just fewer than other meals during the day.  Some days I have more or less but as a general rule: I get30 g of protein from eggs, turkey bacon, or organic breakfast sausage, although sometimes I’ll simply have a protein shake.   

Lunch and dinner are usually different versions of the same thing: I eat more carbs at these meals because by this point I have often have worked out, done hours of work, and feel supported when I add them in!  Carbohydrates in the evening meal can help support sleep as well!  

The basic outline is always the same: protein + veggie + carb.  I make sure these are different each week. I’ll often eat the same meal for lunch most of the week or will have leftovers from dinner at lunch just to keep things easy. Still, when I shop every week I’m buying different greens, different proteins, different veggies, and different nuts & seeds.  This provides a wide variety of fibers to feed different gut bacteria, and gives a huge variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants. These are vital for supporting the body’s ability to heal, maintain low inflammation, and support the immune system.   

How I get a wide variety of plants alongside the animal proteins.  

What plants do I eat?  On my list are:  

  • green leafy veggies (chard, collard greens, kale, spinach, spring mix)  
  • cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy)  
  • root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, rutabaga)  
  • starchy veggies (butternut squash, white potatoes, sweet potatoes) 
  • berries (blueberries, raspberries) 
  • fruits (apples, pears, clementines) 
  • I also include gluten free grains (rice), beans (chickpeas are my favorite!), nuts and seeds (sesame/tahini, sunflower, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios) 

Oils and fats I get from the nuts and seeds above as well as olive oil, avocado / avocado oil, ghee, grass fed butter, grass fed yogurts, and organic eggs 

Proteins include a variety of animal proteins (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, eggs), as well as fish and seafood including salmon, shrimp, scallops.  

Each time I make a meal I keep it very simple: protein + plants + yummy sauce (or a garnish to top with that prevents the food from drying out)! 

Do I sometimes indulge in ice cream, chips, and gf cookies? YOU KNOW IT!  But my food foundation is built on this question: What is going to make me feel the best today? What do I need today? 

I also love using the idea of color as a guide: when was the last time I ate something orange? Purple? Blue? In a month’s time, if I make sure to get a few of these colors in each week – I know I’m doing a good job of providing my body with a wide variety of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

How I Got Here 

I dramatically changed the way I ate in my 20’s. Although I grew up being an extremely picky eater,I was also a vegetarian–mostly for ethical reasons but also just because I was picky.  As it turns out, I was so sick. My thyroid was a mess, I had low iron, I wasn’t getting adequate nutrients or overall support for my body, and I was VERY inflamed. 

When I was feeling the worst and doctors were really pushing medications “just to try them out and see if they helped” it was what I needed to push myself out of my familiar comfort zone and really start healing my body through food. 

A vegetarian diet simply wasn’t a good fit for me. Eating adequate protein, getting rid of gluten, and paying attention to INGREDIENTS in my food rather than just calories was a game changer! 

Want to design your own day? Check out the menu for ready-made meals, signature sides, premium proteins and desserts.

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