Peta Murgatroyd used to “loathe” cooking, but that all changed after her son was born.
The professional dancer from Dancing with the Stars decided to learn how to cook after Shai arrived in Jan. 2017 to ensure that his food is always healthy and unprocessed.
“I have fallen in love with cooking for my little family,” Murgatroyd, who is married to fellow DWTS pro Maks Chmerkovskiy, tells PEOPLE. “I used to loathe it, because I never had to do it and therefore never had the passion for it. Now that I’m a mother and I am concerned with what my child is eating, I am more inclined to cook at home, to ensure I know exactly what’s going in his mouth.”
“It took a while to find a love for it, but now that I have the bug I’m cooking three days a week,” she adds.
But between taking care of a baby and managing her own schedule, Murgatroyd doesn’t always eat at normal mealtimes.
“I have to be flexible with my line of work,” she says. “If I have an early swimsuit shoot at 7 a.m., you bet I won’t be having my usual breakfast until after I finish.”
She’s also moving meals around for Shai.
“His needs come first and a lot of ‘normal things’ have changed about me,” she says. “If time persists, I try to eat at the correct times of the day, but often it’s challenging and I end up eating when I can.”
But there is one part of Murgatroyd’s diet that happens every single morning, without fail: coffee time.
“Mumma needs to wake up to a nice, strong milky coffee to start her day with the little one,” she says. “Being in a good mood is everything for me to begin my day, and having my treat first is how I like to do it!”
Read on for the rest of Murgatroyd’s diet, and pick up a copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, for more from the dancer.
2.5 liters of water
Coffee with half and half and agave
Omelet with four eggs, a handful of goat cheese, five slices of smoked salmon, capers and dill
Salad with 1 cup grilled chicken, two tomatoes, half a cucumber, red onion, dill and a flaxseed-oil-and-balsamic-vinegar dressing
Bowl of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
5 oz. steak with dry seasoning
Steamed broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts with cranberries and balsamic vinegar
Greek yogurt with dried mango
Murgatroyd gives her meals good “forethought,” says Atlanta-based dietitian Marisa Moore, “which can be the difference between grabbing something quick and unhealthy because its nearby or enjoying that steak she mentioned.” Her “protein-rich” breakfast gives her a great start for the day, though Moore recommends swapping one of the eggs for “a big handful of spinach or other vegetables” to reduce the amount of saturated fat. Moore loves her berry-filled snack, which “deliver a delicious boost of antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin C, plus satisfying fiber.” Murgatroyd’s steak and cruciferous vegetable dinner packs in more protein, while avoiding “sugary sauces or glazes.” And her dessert is the perfect choice before bedtime, as the yogurt “contains magnesium, known for its sleep-promoting qualities,” says Moore.
NOTE: It is recommended that women eat around 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, and men eat between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day.