Everything You'll Find In Michelle Obama's Daily Diet

The Obama family took America by storm in 2008 by making political history, becoming a First Family that oozed warmth, and truly making us all feel like we'd enjoy dinner with them. The queen of the castle, er, White House, made history for a few other iconic reasons. She spearheaded the Let's Move campaign as an incentive to help quell the mounting childhood obesity epidemic — and her body alone launched a thousand conversations about: OMG, those arms!

Michelle Obama has spent a lot of time in the public eye discussing ways to provide and facilitate healthy family dinners. But this got us thinking — what does the former first lady eat in a day? The Obamas famous turkey chili has been mentioned in news articles and Michelle's 2018 memoir, "Becoming." We know she works out, but nutrition must play a role in her forever-young countenance. We got to digging and discovered that the ex-FLOTUS packs a lunch every day, often with turkey chili, which President Obama also loves (via Refinery 29). These meals are, of course, interspersed with her favorite food: pizza (via The Hill).

Roasted chicken

Relax, your grocery store oven-fried chicken habit is not up for debate. In fact, Michelle Obama is a big fan of oven-fried chicken. She has often been quoted, like in her interview with The Food Network, stating that making small changes is one of the keys to success when it comes to developing healthy habits. For example, she recommends swapping out fried chicken for oven-fried chicken as a way to implement a healthier routine for family dinners. 

Chicken is a good-for-you animal protein that is incredibly versatile and is a staple in many homes. It provides lean, complete protein, B vitamins, selenium, iron, and potassium. And while those nutrients and elements are present in fried chicken, unfortunately, not all methods of prepping poultry are created equal. According to Healthline, indulging in fried chicken on the regular can expose you to undue cancer-causing agents and a whole bunch of unhealthy fats. By trading fried chicken for oven-fried chicken, alá the Obamas, you can save yourself calories and fat, which may improve your overall health (via CookinDocs Healthline).


Grapefruit might be the most polarizing fruit on the planet. People seem to either hate its strange sweet-but-bitter flavor profile, or they eat one for breakfast every day — some people even use a few drops of grapefruit essential oils. While there is no evidence that Michelle Obama indulges in essential oils — citrus or otherwise — she has been known to enjoy grapefruit for breakfast (via The Guardian). 

Like many other types of fruit, grapefruit is low in calories and high in nutrients, which makes them an exceptional dietary choice. Grapefruit provides a lot of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, some B vitamins, and magnesium — so Mrs. Obama is onto something by choosing this juicy fruit as part of her morning meal. Grapefruit also provides ample amounts of healthy fiber in addition to youth-promoting antioxidants. Grapefruits have long been touted as a "diet" food because they may aid in satiety and weight-control. Moreover, some of the compounds in grapefruit are thought to decrease insulin resistance, diabetes, and kidney stones while increasing heart health (via Healthline).

Turkey sausage

Michelle Obama knows how to work hard and play hard, a skill that we can only assume requires a ton of protein and energy-promoting foods. Her "breakfast of champions" often includes turkey sausages for a quick shot of protein in the mornings. According to The Guardian, turkey sausages can be hard to come by while traveling overseas, so they recommend trying their turkey sausage patty recipe instead if you're trying to mimic Michelle's morning moves.

Turkey has a unique nutrient profile, especially among popular breakfast meats. One serving of turkey offers a ton of protein and minimal fat (though the amount of fat and carbohydrates varies when it comes to turkey sausages), and more vitamins and minerals than we could have anticipated. Turkey provides a host of different B vitamins, offering great health benefits. Swapping out your standard pork sausages for those made from turkey can save you a ton of unhealthy fats, unnecessary calories, and sodium (via The Food Network).


And truly, what "breakfast of champions" is complete without eggs? In addition to being one of the most nutrient-dense foods, they are oh-so-simple to prepare, which is likely why Michelle Obama includes them for breakfast regularly. Living life as a First Lady-turned-author must be busy, which makes it even more incredible that Michelle takes the time to cook for herself and her family while inspiring others to make healthier decisions. Michelle favors her breakfast eggies scrambled, but no matter how you prepare them, eggs provide loads of protein to help you jumpstart your day (via The Guardian).

Eggs are incredibly healthy because they provide a small amount of all the nutrients you need. Healthline noted, "A whole egg contains all the nutrients required to turn a single cell into a baby chicken." A single egg provides ample amounts of 13 different vitamins and even more trace minerals. They have a great amino-acid profile, plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, and lots of antioxidants. These compounds have been proven to preserve your youthful appearance.

Many people express concern over the cholesterol derived from egg yolks. For most typically-healthy people, the cholesterol present in eggs does not raise bad cholesterol (LDL), but they can increase good cholesterol (HDL). 


If you think oatmeal is boring breakfast fare, think again! While it can be unexciting, adding some accessories in the form of fruit is a surefire way to boost the flavor and enjoy your oatmeal more. In an interview with HuffPost, Michelle Obama explained how she enjoys food too much to get caught up with calorie-counting. This is a sentiment emerging more frequently as the diet culture of the '90s and early aughts gets stuck securely where it belongs, behind us. When Michelle is on her healthy-eating game, she  adds oatmeal to her rotation of morning meals.

A typical serving of oatmeal is relatively high in carbs, which are not the enemy despite what the movie "Mean Girls" may have led you to believe. A half-cup of dry oats contains a significant amount of protein and only a few grams of fat. The greatest attribute of oats is the sheer amount of vitamins and minerals. The same half-cup serving contains nearly 200% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of manganese, around 40% of the RDI for phosphorous, nearly 35% of magnesium, and so much more (via Healthline). The variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are abundant and ready to be utilized within your body make oats a super healthy food for morning-time noshing.


The Obamas have a turkey chili recipe that has been alluded to in countless publications, interviews, and books. It is alleged that Barack Obama has been making the same turkey chili recipe since college (via Refinery 29). And so the story goes, his lovely wife still touts it as one of her favorite dishes for lunch, according to a 2017 article published by People.

In line with what Michelle Obama explains as one of the best ways to emphasize health, turkey chili is a great stand-in for traditional beef-filled chili. While beef tends to offer a few grams more protein per serving, it contains more saturated fat than turkey meat. Saturated fats have been proven to increase the amount of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, in your body. According to the American Heart Association, they also increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, fat-free turkey is available, while fat-free beef is not. Although neither option is glaringly worse than the other, taking a page out of Michelle's (cook) book and opting for turkey chili is a great way to spare yourself the additional saturated fat (via Healthline).

Veggies and hummus

Michelle Obama has been quoted saying that she eats five small meals per day when she is on her best dietary behavior (via HuffPost). One of her go-to healthy, small meal snacks is veggies and hummus (via EatingWell). In an interview with Everyday Health, Michelle said, "Choosing a healthy diet isn't about deprivation, it's about balance. It's about moderation... as long as you eat fruits and vegetables at every meal, you'll be okay if you have pizza or ice cream every once in a while. The problem is when the treats become the habits." So, hummus and veggies as a mid-afternoon snack is a no-brainer when it comes to a balanced — not to mention convenient — diet.

We all know that veggies are healthy, but what about hummus? Yup, it's healthy, too! Since hummus is made from garbanzo beans and tahini, which is made from sesame seeds, it offers a lot of plant-based protein and many vitamins and minerals. Iron and folate are among them — and these are especially crucial if you avoid eating meat (via Healthline). The fiber content of hummus can also help with gastrointestinal health and blood-sugar control, so we are on board with Michelle's choice for afternoon snacking!

Ezekiel bread and almond butter

Another one of Michelle Obama's staple mini-meals is Ezekiel bread with almond butter, as explained by EatingWell. Ezekiel bread's reputation often precedes it; health-conscious moms and yoga teachers always seem to be conspiratorially-whispering things like, "It's bread, but healthy!" Ezekiel bread is different from your standard Wonder Bread (is Wonder Bread still standard?) in that it contains no added sugars and it is comprised of sprouted grains and legumes. And as it turns out, the sprouting matters because it creates a stronger nutrient than refined flours. The sprouted wheat, millet, barley, spelt, soybeans, and lentils are processed to culminate in delicious and incredibly nutritious bread (via Healthline).

Nut butters and almond butter also offer a host of healthful benefits that, when combined with Ezekiel bread, can come together to create a filling and nutrient-dense snack. Almond butter provides plant-based protein, healthy fats, ample fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants that are thought to help prevent cancer cells from attacking healthy cells (via Stanford Health Care). If you are looking for an afternoon snack to fill you up while providing a whole bunch of nutrition, follow Michelle Obama's lead and get on the Ezekiel bread and almond-butter train! Choo-Choo!


Couscous consists of little pasta balls often served with North African dishes. Sounds good, right? It gets even better. A serving of cooked couscous contains about 6 grams of plant-based protein, iron, calcium, and carbohydrates. Its fiber profile is excellent, making it a great choice when it comes to helping you feel full. There is some evidence to support the idea that high-fiber diets can decrease the risk of developing certain cancers. It also helps control your blood-sugar levels, which has an overall beneficial effect when it comes to living a healthy, nutrient-rich lifestyle (via WebMD).

As far as the Obamas go, EatingWell reported they like to enjoy plenty of side dishes with their standard dinners of lean protein, which often includes chicken or fish. Amid family conversations and quality time around the dinner table, Michelle Obama will prepare couscous as a side. After all, it is versatile, healthy, and delicious.


Rice is another common side dish in the Obama house. They often serve their rice with lean protein and some kind of super-green veggie on the side. In a HuffPost interview, Michelle Obama explained she tries to eat her carbs, like rice or potatoes, at lunchtime instead of dinner. And she particularly enjoys brown rice.

Brown rice and white rice offer differing nutritional profiles, but they have a few things in common. Namely, they are almost all carbohydrates and contain no sugar or fat. While both kinds of rice are beneficial and healthy, brown rice has a bit more nutritional power than its fluffier, whiter counterpart. Specifically, during processing, white rice gets stripped of the bran that exists within the seed of the grain. Brown rice, however, keeps its bran, which makes it a healthier choice because with that bran comes fiber. Bran also contains valuable minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. So, yet again, the former first lady knows exactly what she's doing when it comes to healthful eating (via Medical News Today).


Since Michelle has been quoted discussing the merits of loading your plate with lots of fresh veggies, it should come as no surprise that one of her favorite greens is broccoli, according to EatingWell. Broccoli is another one of Obama's go-to foods because it's loaded with nutrients and goodness. 

Most of Michelle Obama's favorite foods seem to be full of good-for-you compounds that can spell "success" when it comes to your health. And did you know that broccoli has more protein than most other veggies? One serving of the stuff contains 2.5 grams of protein, which is not a lot when you consider how much protein you need per day (approximately 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight), but is substantially more than most other vegetables. Additionally, a serving of broccoli provides iron, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber, as well. Raw broccoli is made up of nearly 90% water and is loaded with fiber. As mentioned, fiber is great for helping you feel fuller longer and for regulating gut health. It's also excellent for managing weight loss, along with combating certain diseases (via Healthline).


Green peas are another super healthy food that often graces the Obama's dinner table, according to EatingWell. Much like broccoli, Michelle Obama enjoys green peas as a side to her lean protein and the occasional carbs at dinner time. Unlike broccoli, though, peas aren't a part of the vegetable family. Instead they belong to the legume family alongside lentils, peanuts, and many others, another group of nutrient-dense foods. And because green peas are in the legume family, they provide slightly more protein than the items that are strictly vegetables.

Green peas have a rough reputation — especially among kids — but they are incredibly nutritious and taste good when prepared well. Truly. One serving of green peas provides fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Less predictably, peas also furnish necessary thiamine, folate, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. And they contain polyphenol antioxidants, which supply an abundance of free-radical-fighting benefits (via Healthline). 

French fries

Michelle Obama is an intellectual, fashion, and health icon. We want to be clear: Nowhere does it say that french fries are part of her daily eating routine, likely because they're seriously lacking in the nutrient department. However, Michelle has been quoted many times stating that one of her most favorite foods is french fries, and we've never heard anything more relatable, ever. French fries are the snack food of the people, which could be part of the reason Michelle spearheaded the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (via The Hill).

French fries are traditionally served in classic American-sized portions, which is part of what leads to their unhealthy branding. Beyond that, they are most often deep fried, which can pack upwards of 22 grams of fat per large serving. Fries made of white potatoes, as opposed to sweet potatoes, don't offer many nutritional benefits. They can, however, create a compound that is thought to be carcinogenic during the cooking process. So even though french fries are one of Michelle's favorite foods, this is one to skip on a day-to-day basis (via Healthline).


And finally, Michelle Obama's holy grail food. This is the food she has waxed poetic about more than once. She claimed it can be healthy, though we know it to be unhealthy. She claimed it can be prepared for dessert, though we more commonly see it as the main event during mealtime. Michelle has called pizza, yes, pizza, the "ultimate food" because of its versatility. She stated that it can be a junk food or a healthy snack. And, well, if the choice is ours, we definitely assume we know which option tastes better. 

The Hill quoted Mrs. Obama saying that pizza is her favorite food. She continued by explaining that nearly every Friday she eats a veggie pizza on whole wheat crust. She quickly acknowledged that whole wheat crust might not be everyone's cup of tea but that it works for her. This is another inspiring example of Michelle taking something that's not so healthy and turning it into a nutritious, healthy food. Bon appetit!