“I actually crave healthy foods like green juice, nuts and kombucha,” Lee, 28, tells PEOPLE.
But the 5’11” model, who flat out says she “doesn’t diet,” has made changes to her eating habits to incorporate healthier routines.
“I have learned that portion control is key,” she says. “Eating a fist full of chocolate covered raisins for dessert is okay — just don’t eat the whole box! I’ve also learned to eat slower and actually savor the meal. I try to avoid eating while watching TV as well.”
And Lee, who became the first black curvy model in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016, has learned some easy swaps, like trading soda for seltzer and switching out red meat and chicken for vegetarian meals.
Glass of water
Cup of Coffee
Protein shake with spinach, berries, almond milk and coconut water
Ginger berry Kombucha juice
Bowl of cacio e pepe pasta
Roasted shishito peppers
2 spicy mescal margaritas
2 glasses of sparkling water
Large salad with butternut squast, peppers, greens, low sodium bacon and balsamic vinegar
3 glasses of sparkling water
Stove top popcorn and chocolate covered raisins
Glass of sparkling water
Total Calories: 2,580
Lee has a great variety of nutrients and probiotics in her meals, says Chicago-based dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. The model starts off with an excellent shake filled with greens, and “using coconut water and almond milk as the base is smarter than fruit juice,” says Blatner. She then adds probiotics for digestion with her snack of kombucha. At lunch, Blanter likes the shishito pepper appetizer for additional vegetables, and is all for a margarita — but suggests a natural, low-sugar version that’s just seltzer, fresh lime and tequila. She also praises Lee’s salad at dinner for being “healthy, but not too goody-two-shoes,” with the bacon alongside veggies. And Lee’s salty-sweet combo for dessert adds a great “high-fiber, whole grain snack” to cap off the day.
NOTE: It is recommended that women eat at least 1,200 calories per day, and men eat at least 1,800 calories per day.