A Day of Food with a Dietitian: Ashley’s Day
As a dietitian it’s inevitable that people ask “Well what do you eat?” This week, Leslie & I will be answering that very question and giving you our basic philosophies to eating. You’ll see that we don’t just eat brown rice and veggies all day and hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for healthy eating with our tips.
Ashley’s Food Philosophies-
The Rule of Three: For each meal I try to include at least 3 food groups per meal. This helps me to keep my diet balanced and helps create a better feeling of fullness by pairing a source of fiber (from whole grains, fruits or veggies) along with a source of protein (from meats, beans, nuts or dairy).
No Double-Dipping in the Starch Group: Now let’s just get this straight- I am not a carb-hater. I love the starch group, but I feel we can eat them too often as side dishes out of habit rather than hunger. When choosing my meals, I try to choose only one starch option to enjoy. If I have a sandwich at lunch- I have a yogurt or fruit on the side instead of chips. If I want to have my beloved Baked Lays that day, I choose a salad for lunch.
Protein Plan: I tend to try and eat plant-based or dairy protein during the day and keep poultry, red meat or fish to dinner time. I do this for two reasons; first I believe in the idea that a more plant based diet can be beneficial for my long term health. Second, I like plant proteins compared to animal proteins due to their lower calorie and higher fiber content.
Start with the Serving Size: I don’t measure everything I eat, but when I’m grabbing a snack out of a package, I always try and start with the serving size and see how I feel. If I need more, I’ll grab more. I just know that if I eat out of a container of food or “eyeball” my serving of a snack, it’s going to be more than I probably need.
Calorie –Free Beverages: I try to avoid drinking my calories as much as possible. I’d rather get a feeling of fullness for the calories I take in, rather than having empty calories sneak into my day. My beverages tend to be water with a splash of juice, flavored seltzer water or diet soda (my vice- but I’ve cut it down to 1 glass per day!)
Dining Out: I tend to go out to eat 1-2 times per week and I will generally have 1 “splurge” meal for the week which may or may not include French fries. For the other restaurant meal or take out night, I try and choose a healthy option and watch my portion size.
Sweet Stuff: Believe it or not, I have dessert every day. I’m a huge believer that healthy eating has to be enjoyable or it’s not sustainable. For me to make my daily healthy food decisions, I have to satisfy my sweet tooth. My daily dessert tends to be 100-150 calories tops and can range from a hot chocolate, a pudding or a popsicle. I also indulge in usually one “real dessert” per week which could be cake at an office birthday party, dessert on a night out with girlfriends or stopping at an ice cream shop for my favorite dessert option. This set-up generally keeps me happy and motivated to continue to make my healthy choices.
So here it all is in action; take a look at a day of food with this dietitian:
Breakfast: Egg,cheese and tomato on an english muffin with a LARGE coffee with milk and 3 splenda (I use Truvia at home… but they only have Splenda at work)
Lunch: 1 1/2 cups of vegetarian chili topped with low fat cheddar cheese, 1 cup of cucumber slices, Dannon Key Lime Greek Yogurt (my new favorite yogurt), a clementine and a Coke Zero (my single serving of the day)
Snack: 1 Gala Apple
Dinner: Mustard-crusted chicken with rice pilaf and green beans. Raspberry-flavored seltzer water to drink.
Dessert: 60 calorie hot chocolate with a splash of skim milk
Also to round out my day, I did a 30 minute spin class and 10 minutes on the rowing machine.