My day on a plate: Dr Vanessa Pirotta

Marine biologist and science communicator Dr Vanessa Pirotta, 30, shares her day on a plate.

Dr Vanessa Pirotta.

5am I start my day with a green tea.

10am After a morning full of science writing and international meetings, I have two soft-boiled eggs, plus some Greek yoghurt with a small amount of rolled oats.

12pm A small workout before jumping on a whale-watching boat, then a quick bite: four vegetable gyozas and plenty of water.

5pm After being at sea for three hours I'm starving! Back home, I have leftover chicken curry, one wholemeal English muffin with natural peanut butter and a cup of black tea.

6pm My second dinner is a small bowl of pasta with homemade Italian tomato sauce and two glasses of water. For dessert, four squares of 70 per cent dark chocolate and a peppermint tea.

8pm Another cup of peppermint tea.

Dr Joanna McMillan says …

Top marks for … Eating to appetite with four small meals instead of one or two large ones. This helps digestion and keeps your energy levels up through the day. Your wholegrain oats and English muffin add fibre and protective bioactive plant compounds, and you're not eating any ultra-processed foods.

If you keep eating like this you'll … Miss out on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds found in vegetables and fruit, both of which are lacking in this day. The complement of protective compounds in different plant foods is important; you could broaden yours by eating a wider range.

Why don't you try … Adding berries and an apple to your yoghurt and oats. Toss a handful of spinach through your curry, or microwave some broccolini or peas to accompany it. Add a mixed salad to your pasta bowl.

Dr Vanessa Pirotta is an ambassador for the OfficeMax/Winc STEAM grants program. To apply, visit before July 12.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale June 30.

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