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What I ate today: A day in the meals of a dietitian

Because I am a dietitian, I sometimes feel like people are eyeing what I eat. Generally, I don't mind because I choose foods that nourish my body, mind and spirit at least 80 percent of the time (the 80/20 rule). I truly enjoy the taste of real, whole foods, and my energy level and mood appreciate them as well! The 80/20 principle is a way of eating that honors balance and moderation. It allows for dining out socially, enjoying a luxurious meal and indulging in a sweet treat. Most importantly, it makes clean eating doable as a lifestyle. Simply put, 80 percent of the time I focus on eating clean, healthy foods.

Breakfast toast and bread

Breakfast

A slice of it toast with peanut butter and banana slices is a great way to start my day. I absolutely LOVE peanut butter and include it in my breakfast five days a week. I'm a creamy fan and choose a natural brand for its two ingredients: peanuts and salt. I've always liked raisin bread, and a few years ago I discovered the Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread. 

Morning snack

Morning snack

Mornings are when I am the hungriest, so I have a morning snack nearly every day.  I alternate between plain organic yogurt with either fresh or frozen berries to naturally sweeten the yogurt or a piece of fruit and almonds...how many almonds depends on how hungry I am!  I eat about one ounce of almonds most days as I really like the crunch. I often divide my portion of almonds between my morning and afternoon snacks because  the protein and unsaturated fat in almonds keeps me satisfied.

lunch salad, lunch that a dietitian eats

Lunch

Taking my lunch to work helps me save money and helps me follow the 80/20 rule. I do the majority of my lunch prep the night before. I put together my salad last night at the same time I was fixing a salad for dinner when  all the ingredients were out on my counter. Night time lunch prep while working on dinner makes the time involved minimal. 

Since I do not eat meat, I opted for cottage cheese to count as my protein (if my lunch doesn't contain any protein I know I will be hungry again in an hour), which also acted as my dressing, and sprinkled pecan pieces for a healthy fat with a lot of flavor! I included a juicy orange and a few Triscuit Thins dipped in delicious red pepper hummus from a co-worker. I felt fueled for my afternoon after lunch (well, at least until my afternoon snack!).  Today's snack was as simple as the rest of my almonds and an apple.

dinner that a nutritionist eats

Dinner

Wednesday dinners tend to be foods that can be put together in 15-20 minutes since there's not much time between getting home from work and shuttling my boys to church activities. I keep certain staples on hand, such as black beans and whole wheat tortillas. For quick meals, I usually rely on raw veggies (the purple and yellow carrots are a favorite "fun food") and maybe a fresh fruit to round out the meal. I am a particularly fond of dark chocolate so I complete my meal with a couple squares of bliss!

Evening snacks

Chocolate bar dark

Evening snack

Between driving my boys to their activities, I was able to meet a friend to walk. Afterwards, I found myself feeling hungry and knew I needed something that would satisfy me, which, for me, means some protein and healthy fat. Being a non-meat eater, a small portion of nuts is often the answer.  Pistachios are so delicious and I know how easy it is for me to consume a lot of them, so I poured some into a small bowl.  My sweet tooth didn't get completely satisfied from the dark chocolate earlier so I finished my day with a couple chocolate covered banana treats from Trader Joe's. It might have been a mistake to discover these little snacks, but honestly, deliciousness comes in small packages! Just a couple of of these does the trick for me!

I know I can't be "on" 100 percent all of the time, but I can be 80 percent or even slightly better all the time. This concept helps me to know that I'm choosing foods that nourish my body, mind and spirit while maintaining a balanced and mindful relationship with food.

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