I ate like Meghan Markle for 10 days, and I could easily keep it up forever
I tried some of Meghan Markle's favorites. Mark Cuthbert / Contributor / Getty Images / Savanna Swain-Wilson
I tried to emulate Meghan Markle's diet to see how it would make me feel.
My 10-day eating plan consisted of salads, green juices, oatmeal, sushi, and fresh foods.
At the end of the 10 days, I felt lighter, slept better, and appreciated plant-based meals more.
Meghan Markle may be known as the Duchess of Sussex, but long before she joined and retired from the royal family, the actress was known for being a proponent of healthy living.
Her now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, was once full of thoughts and recipes with wellness as the overarching theme.
Many of Markle's favorite dishes are relatively simple in concept: avocado toast, veggie quinoa, fish tacos, pasta. The list goes on, but Markle's preferences seem to relate to whole, fresh foods more than anything else.
I decided it would be a fun idea to eat like the Duchess myself for 10 days. As a California girl and a regular pescetarian, I was confident that Markle's regimen would make me feel right at home.
First of all, it's important to note that Markle himself isn't a fan of the word "diet."
That may be why their diet has changed so much over the years. Older interviews revealed that she was vegan about 80% of the time and then a pescetarian.
Other outlets claimed she occasionally practiced a gluten-free lifestyle, while others shared a photo of Markle holding a delicious piece of avocado toast.
Additionally, it's fair to say that Markle's eating habits have changed in regards to her marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. But one thing has always remained fairly constant in her eating habits: moderation.
I tried to find a middle ground between all of these and ate as close to Markle's diet as possible while incorporating her favorite foods.
Here's how the experience went for me:
For my first Markle breakfast, I started with a colorful acai bowl
Açaí bowl 2
That was my acai bowl. Savanna Swain Wilson
Markle told Eye Swoon in 2017 that her morning routine consisted of an açaí bowl, green juice, and a cleansing shake.
I first tried Açaí Bowls when I was in high school in Santa Barbara, so the flavor wasn't new to me. But I wasn't willing to shell out that much money ($10 per bowl) for 10 days of breakfast, so I looked for an alternative.
The good news is that I found out that Trader Joe's sells frozen açaí packets that are ready to use.
Markle's açaí bowl recipe is pretty simple: She mixes the packet with the banana and a squirt (emphasis on just one squirt) of almond milk. I made the mistake of adding too much almond milk so I ended up with an açaí drink the first time. She artistically crowns her bowls with a pinch of fresh berries, coconut flakes, banana, Manuka honey and bee pollen.
I assembled my bowl following Markle's instructions, without manuka honey and bee pollen.
The taste was refreshing and slightly sweet, which made for a perfect breakfast meal. I loved that it made me feel satisfied without feeling overly full like other high-carb foods. I also didn't have that two-hour slump after eating this, like I do when I pick up my morning pastry.
I made this for breakfast for four days until I ran out of berries. But until then, I longed for something else.
Oatmeal also became a staple of my mornings on the Markle Diet
The warm oatmeal made the bananas sweet. Savanna Swain Wilson
After a few days of acai bowls, I was craving something with a little more carbs in the morning.
According to Delish, Markle regularly ate oatmeal while filming her television show Suits. This was probably because she was working long hours on set and needed fuel to keep going.
Like Markle, I topped my oatmeal with bananas—which somehow got sweeter as they warmed against the hot oats. I also added a sprinkling of cinnamon and a sprinkle of agave to give it that extra yum factor. Warm, slightly sweet and satisfying.
I ate this around 8am one morning and wasn't hungry until 2pm. That alone is reason enough to make me eat breakfast regularly.
Personally, I found the hardest part of following Markle's diet was cutting out caffeine
I traded coffee for lemon water.Savanna Swain-Wilson
Markle and I might have a lot in common when it comes to food preferences, but our opinions differ widely when it comes to coffee. I happen to be a caffeine queen with a serious (bad) habit of drinking ice cream lattes daily, while the Duchess has a different morning habit.
Instead of coffee, Markle drinks a cup of warm lemon water every morning to start her day.
I'll be honest, the first five days of waking up without my morning coffee were very challenging - I felt like a real zombie. But I'm so glad I followed Markle's advice because this small change showed me exactly how dependent I am on caffeine.
Since I couldn't rely on my morning pick-me-up, I tried to pay more attention to my sleep schedule instead. Of course, one of the reasons I drink so much coffee is that, like most Americans, I don't get the requisite eight hours a night.
About the seventh day that I swapped out coffee for lemon water, I started to feel different. I noticed that I woke up much easier and felt much more rested. I also like to think that the lemon helped with my digestion as Markle said.
Plus, there was something about drinking lemon water every morning that felt so luxurious. I felt more like I was at a spa than I was going to a meeting.
The Duchess is also a big fan of avocado toast, so I made that my favorite meal
Easy avo toast
One of my avocado toasts.Savanna Swain-Wilson
Talk about knowing the way to my millennial heart. The more fresh avocados, the better.
Markle said that when she's staying at a hotel, she usually orders "avocado toast with a poached egg on top."
Avocados are an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, fiber and healthy fats. Combined with an egg for protein and whole grain bread for extra carbs and fiber, it was the perfect light lunch.
I loved the avocado toasts. Savanna Swain Wilson
I don't know if I want to publicly state how many of these toasts I've eaten in 10 days, but let me just say it was more than five.
Some days I added an egg, other days I added tomatoes and other veggies. Either way, they have been absolutely delicious every time.
The majority of my full meals consisted of huge salads
Protein Filled Salad.JPG
This salad was delicious.Savanna Swain-Wilson
According to Delish, a typical Markle lunch consists of a hearty salad with protein and usually a quinoa or rice base.
Although Markle has stated that she prefers beans for protein, I know from other interviews that she doesn't avoid meat 100%. From my understanding, this means that it's okay to eat a little bit of chicken or turkey, as long as it's paired with some veggies.
Salad became my lunch for almost a week. And you might be surprised to know that I never really got sick from it.
For me, people who don't like salad just haven't found the right combination of ingredients.
There are so many different greens and toppings to choose from. You just have to be patient enough to hack them all and make sure they are consistent. Usually this keeps me from making salads.
The amount of prep that goes into them always seemed like a lot for a dish so simple.
I made one with baby greens, shaved turkey, craisins, herbed goat cheese, and pickled beets. Another day I tossed white quinoa with Campari tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and a little basil.
However, I got bored with the green juice
That wasn't my green juice. Joanna Slodownik/Flickr
Markle has cited green juice as her favorite afternoon snack. She drinks this as an alternative to coffee.
Here's the thing - I don't like green juice. I actually enjoy the earthy flavor that comes from the combination of veggies.
However, I'm not a fan of eating my veggies this way, nor am I interested in shelling out $5-$10 for a serving of juice.
After adding cold-pressed juice to my routine for a few days, I understood why Markle is such a big fan of the stuff. Every time I sipped my colorful drink, I imagined myself sitting outside near a peaceful garden somewhere in London.
However, I don't think this is a habit I will continue. For me, the juices weren't filling enough to be considered a filling snack, although I found them delicious. Also, they were a bit overpriced for my budget.
But a green juice now and then certainly can't hurt.
Whenever I got hungry in between, I grabbed hummus and fruit
Markle said she loves hummus, crackers and veggies. Savanna Swain Wilson
A few years ago, in an interview with Today, Markle publicly declared her love for hummus, carrots, and crackers, calling it a "trifecta snack."
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