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NOURISH

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

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

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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