What Dietitian Eats?
I get questions, comments, surprising looks on a regular basis regarding my meals because I am a dietitian and I am expected to eat "perfect" at all times. Well, let me tell you already that my meals are far from perfect although I try my best to do what I can with what I have. Ideally, I'd like to start my day slowly with a wholesome breakfast, then separate myself from my desk to eat some salad. In between, I'd love to grab a protein-fiber packed snack and end my day with dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes. But in reality, there are days I don't get a single serving of fruit or vegetable and sometimes I run solely on coffee. Therefore, today I am joining with What I Ate Wednesday to give everyone a glimpse of what a dietitian eats.Ever since I started "Meal Planning", it's saved me both time and money while keeping me more conscious about 'healthy eating'. Earlier this week I shared my meal plan (3/2-3/6), did my grocery shopping and prepped some food for the week. Breakfast: I usually make myself a smoothie, grab a muffin, or eat overnight oatmeal in the morning. If I have time, I make scrambled eggs with a side of 100% whole wheat bread. This week, I had Blackberry Almond Chia Pudding and instead of pumpkin muffins, I made Chocolate Pretzel Granola Bars. I can't wait to remake these and hopefully get the texture perfect so I can share with everyone here. Lunch and Dinner:Most days, I make a double portion of dinner (when applicable) so that I can pack it for lunch the next day as well. So far I have made Caramelized Sweet Potato and Kale Fried Rice (replaced Wild Rice with Black Rice as seen on Nourish Bowl) with a side of Pan Grilled Sriracha Catfish.. so delicious!!! Pasta bake also happens pretty frequently, mostly I like to use roasted vegetables and top it with some parm. When I plan for meals, I focus on three main food groups - carbs (some sort of rice, pasta), then vegetables (usually it's roasted or steamed), and protein (eggs, chicken, tofu). Some of my regular meals include vegetable korma, Thai green curry (with tofu), soup dumplings, tofu tikka masala, salmon en papillote, soba noodles with edamame and soy dressing, shashuka, and chicken tikka wrap. I also make a large batch of soup on a weekly basis - this week was butternut squash soup (with wanna-be pizza) instead of carrot soup + focaccia bread as planned. No matter how much you plan and prep for the week, things always don't go the way you want it and you have to just roll with the punches. I have learned that it's better to let go of things rather than being too hard on myself if I did not get adequate vegetables or had too much chocolate that day. It's always not about the calories, grams of carbs, hours you spend at the gym - it's about how you feel overall mentally, physically, and emotionally! Case in point - instead of korma (with chicken), I had an impromptu dinner date. Even though I skipped my workout and the food was mediocre, it was nice to do something different on a Tuesday evening. Snacks:I go through phases with snacks; how much and what I snack depends on what and when I have for my lunch. When I eat good, filling meals on time, I normally don't eat snacks in between except for some chocolate before bedtime. But there are days when I don't eat on time or adequately, I want sweet and savory snacks non-stop. When that happens, it's a cue for me to stop eating more Cheetos (or ice cream bars) and grab something more wholesome. This week I have been snacking on fruits and broken pieces of aforementioned chocolate pretzel granola bars. Some of my favorite homemade snacks include carob walnut energy balls,no bake peanut butter granola bars, banana almond butter cups, popcorn, and nuts.
My philosophy when it comes to food is to 'incorporate mostly ALL unprocessed foods' therefore I hardly ever buy chips, sodas, frozen food etc. I am not against eating them (I love me Cheetos and Kitkat) when I crave them, at parties etc but I think keeping them away from your kitchen/pantry decreases your chance on eating them on a regular basis because when you are really hungry or want to snack on something, chances are you will grab a bag of chips vs. grapes. At least that's how I am.
Bottomline: I may have a degree and licence to tell everyone what and how much to eat but applying that in real life is lot more complicated. I can totally empathize with my clients, friends, families, and readers when they tell me that they struggle to eat 'healthier, more home cooked meals' and I want to remind that 'eating healthy is a work in progress' and it's a 'lifestyle change' that takes time. For more of my everyday eats, find me on instagram!
I am working on "Essential Pantry Ingredients", "Basic Kitchen Tools", and "Everyday Recipes" which hopefully will inspire and teach everyone on making a healthier lifestyle change - one step at a time. If you have any other requests, please leave a comment below.