Carrie Underwood has always looked incredible, from the first time we saw her on American Idol all those years ago. It seems like just yesterday she took home the top prize, beating out Bo Bice for the honor. Since then, the singer has made quite the career for herself, winning seven Grammy Awards and playing in stadiums, according to her Instagram page. On top of that, she celebrated almost a decade of marriage to her husband, and has become a mom. She somehow manages to strut her stuff at red carpet events in her spare time. When does she sleep?
The singer and mother has become noticeably toned in recent years, and we’re absolutely here for it. And while that could be due in part to her super committed exercise program, there’s little doubt that her diet has helped her get into the best shape of her life. So without further ado, here’s the rundown on what Carrie Underwood typically eats in a day.
"I’m a bottomless pit"
Underwood didn’t magically wake up one day with a slender waist, perfectly sculpted arms, and super toned thighs. Rather, she’s been carefully monitoring her eating habits for a long time. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, she said, "I’ve kept a food journal forever, since I’m a bottomless pit, and I can out-eat everyone I know — it’s like there’s no sensor between my stomach and brain that says, ‘Hey, you’re full, stop eating!’" That is the most relatable situation, ever, in the history of the world.
That accountability proved to be super helpful for her, ensuring that she gets everything she needs, nutritionally speaking, without overeating. "Once I recognized that about myself, I started tracking my diet, which helps me make better choices and pay attention to what I’m eating," she continued. So she’s always been conscious about her dietary needs, and will likely keep at it in the future.
Vegan as much as possible
Like other celebs including Beyoncé, Underwood has been hip to the health benefits of a plant-based diet for quite some time. "I’ve been a vegetarian for seven years," she revealed in a 2012 interview with Self. "But after seeing a friend who looked amazing and had recently gone vegan, I thought, What’s holding me back?" So she decided to go for it.
Underwood’s veganism isn’t just about looks, either. "My veganism is based on a concern about where my food is coming from," she continued. "In my perfect world, I’d have webcams wherever food is processed so I’d know how clean it is." Girl, that’s some commitment!
Given that Underwood was raised on a farm in Oklahoma, her choice might seem odd to some. But she’s confident in her decision to adhere to a vegan diet — most of the time. "I want to be vegan so badly, all the way, 1,000 percent," she told Self in 2017. "But traveling and stuff, it just kind of gets hard. Sometimes I may have to do some egg whites or something for breakfast." That sounds totally understandable, especially with a schedule like hers.
Tofu scramble or a shake in the AM
Given how health-conscious Underwood is, of course she doesn’t skip the most important meal of the day: breakfast. She knows how to do it right, too. "For breakfast, I love to make myself a tofu scramble with chopped peppers, onions, some salsa and toast," she shared in an interview with Livestrong. Sounds like a balanced mix of textures and flavors, with a healthy protein to keep her going.
Underwood mixes it up now and again too, as she told Self that she also enjoys a "vanilla smoothie with pea protein powder, half a banana, a cup of berries, almond milk and ice" for her morning meal. And sometimes, she’ll make overnight oats to nosh on in the morning with chia seeds, almonds, vanilla almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, blueberries, and a bit of maple syrup, according to a post she made on Instagram. Yum!
When the demands of the day call for it, she’ll throw in some extras, too. "If I’m working out in the morning, I’ll also have an orange or a grapefruit," she informed Self. "And black coffee. I like a little caffeine boost!"
"You can’t beat a sandwich"
Underwood has lunch just after her workout, according to Cosmopolitan, so you know she’s going to be ravenous. What gives her hunger the sucker punch, then? "You can’t beat a sandwich," she said, and we agree! "I have Ezekiel bread with Tofurky, or a fourth of an avocado, a handful of mixed greens or sprouts, and mustard. I love mustard." Who’s getting hungry now?
Underwood has more than just sandwiches on her lunch menu; sometimes she’ll whip up a stir-fry. "I like broccoli, carrots, broccoli slaw, fake chicken and onions," she shared in interview with Self. "I eat it with brown rice and season it with Bragg Liquid Aminos." After that, she’s good to go!
Sometimes she’ll dig into a bowl of vegan broccoli and "cheese" soup, according to a post she made on Instagram. And when shes’ out and about, she enjoys a veggie delight from Subway, according to an interview in Rachel Ray Every Day. "I should have a VIP card," she joked.
Snacks to beat the brain fog
Underwood’s a busy woman, juggling her singing career, motherhood, and basic tasks like going to the grocery store — yes, she does her own shopping, according to Cosmopolitan. So when snack time rolls around in the afternoon, she’s always prepared in order to ensure she’s taking good care of herself. "If I’m home, I have an English muffin with peanut butter, but I always keep snacks in my purse when I’m out because I get brain fog when my blood sugar drops — my mouth moves but my sentences don’t make sense," she shared.
So what does she reach for when she’s on the go? "I carry around vegan protein No Cow Bars, which I started buying online after seeing a fitness blogger recommend them; seitan jerky; and a Ziploc bag of cereal, which my son snacks on too," she continued. But she’s not chowing down on sugary kids’ cereals — she swears by Kashi cereals, according to an interview in Eat This, Not That!. That’s definitely better for the blood sugar.
She’s not a fan of takeout or restaurants
When you’re on the road, it can be hard to avoid eating at restaurants. But for the most part, Underwood’s not a fan of going out to eat in general — and not because she gets mobbed with requests for selfies and autographs. "We hardly ever takeout or eat out because I don’t like to," she said in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "It’s not that I’m an amazing chef… but I like knowing what’s in my food, and it’s hard to tell when someone else makes it for you." So it’s a matter of her being on control of what she eats, which is totally fair. Plus, Underwood has had bad luck getting good meatless takeout before, according to a post on her Instagram page.
That’s not to say that everyone in the household is thrilled about Underwood’s disdain for dining out. "My husband would rather go out to restaurants than eat at home — it makes me mad," she revealed to Shape magazine about hubby Mike Fisher. "I really enjoy cooking and eating together at home." Girl, every marriage has its compromises!
Carrie’s carb philosophy
When it comes to carbohydrates, Underwood’s evolved in her philosophy over the years. "I lay off starches," she shared in a 2012 interview with Shape. But even then, she didn’t avoid carbs altogether. "I’m not a fan of the no-carb thing; you’re going to get yourself in trouble that way," she continued. "So I have lots of veggies and fruit but no other starches or bread." Sounds like she was pretty strict back then!
Additionally, Underwood’s been sensitive not just about what carbs she eats, but also when she eats them. "I think carbs are important and good energy, but when I don’t eat them at night, I wake up and I feel like my belly’s flat first thing in the morning," she noted in a 2016 interview with Eat This, Not That!.
More recently, Underwood’s revealed that she’s become more liberal with carbohydrates. "I used to stay away from carbs, but lately I’ve been counting my macros, which means I try to balance my intake of protein, fat, and carbs rather than worry about calories," she revealed in a 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan. She added that she’ll even have carbs for a late night snack. Pasta lovers, rejoice!
Bring on the veggies for dinner
When it comes to dinner time for Underwood, one thing is almost always on the menu: veggies. "I’m always roasting vegetables, making sweet potatoes, veggie burgers or spaghetti squash," she said in an interview with Livestrong. And she usually pairs that with an animal protein substitute, like fake chicken or meatless beef. "All my food has little air quotes around it," she joked in an interview with Shape magazine.
Underwood confirmed these dinner habits in an Instagram post, where she shared a picture of Tofurkey brand Thai basil chick’n with vegetables. "I try to stick to protein and veggies for dinner, especially on show days so I don’t feel stuffed or bloated on stage," she noted in the caption. In another post, she shared a photo of a similar dinner: a veggie burger with fake cheese and a shaved Brussels sprouts salad.
Sometimes she’ll do something a little different, and make a quesadilla, according to Rachel Ray Every Day. But it won’t be stuffed with chicken and cheddar. "I use Daiya vegan cheese to make a quesadilla filled with beans and lentils," she shared. Healthy? Check. Vegan? Check.
She’s not afraid to indulge… sometimes
Clearly Underwood makes healthy eating a big priority, and avoids foods that are super fatty, or chock full of sugar — for the most part. Yes, she sticks to her nutritionally-conscious, mostly vegan diet almost all the time. "That’s not to say I never go overboard on any given food group," she revealed in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "Like at Christmas, I ate everything my mother-in-law was offering. When there are so many yummy foods, I don’t deprive myself, I just get back on the wagon the next day." That’s a good way to stay sane!
What about sugar on a daily basis? "I’m not a big sweets person, but if I’m craving something sweet I have a square of dark chocolate, some vegan So Delicious Ice Cream, or coconut milk ice cream," she continued. So Underwood’s more of a savory girl, it seems. But when it comes to birthday cake, she’s here for it, according to two posts on her Instagram page.
Pregnancy and post-pregnancy recovery
Looking at Underwood you’d be hard-pressed to notice that she’d ever been pregnant. However, she did in fact give birth to her son Isaiah back in 2015. She posts pictures of him on Instagram regularly, doing everything from playing dress-up to riding a horse.
So what did the singer eat during pregnancy, and what were her cravings? "In the beginning, I had cravings for pumpkin. I put it in my oatmeal, and I made this ‘pumpkin/chocolate’ pudding," she said in an interview with Eat This, Not That!. "I also ate a lot more cereal." She added that cereal was a good source of iron for her, as she doesn’t get it from meat.
Underwood had a super pragmatic approach to her post-pregnancy recovery, too. "It really wasn’t about losing weight at all," she continued. "It was more about taking back control of my body, because it was on loan for a while, busy growing a human." We are totally on board with that approach.