A Day of Food with a Dietitian: Leslie’s Day
This makes me uncomfortable because it is completely inaccurate. The truth is, I eat regular foods and have my food cravings and days of ‘off’ eating just like everyone else. I try to keep to my philosophies below but I also try to avoid beating myself up if I have a not-so-great day. Nutritionally, I believe in trying to make the best decisions as often as possible. After all, this is real-life and things happen.
- Timing is everything. I try not to go longer than 4 hours (but ideally 3 hours) without eating. I am a very grumpy hungry person so I try to avoid getting to that point at all costs. I’m definitely that girl who always has something “healthy” tucked in her bag or desk drawer to snack on for those times when I may not get a chance to eat (granola bar, raisins, nuts…). Being able to avoid the vending machine when hungry is key.
- Three Squares. I always have 3 meals per day and usually 2 snacks, depending on whether or not I’m hungry (which I usually am). And I go by Ashley’s rule of at least 3 food groups per meal and no double-dipping in the starches.
- The Sweet Spot. Really, I don’t deprive myself of sweets and I do usually want them on a daily basis. I do try to reign in the full-fledged dessert eating to a few times per month however I definitely have something chocolate most days. I’ve found that keeping some Dove or Hershey’s miniatures in my freezer is the perfect way to have a small taste of chocolate to satisfy my cravings. I do also LOVE ice cream but rarely eat the full-fat version. If I want ice cream, I have low-fat frozen yogurt while still sticking to a reasonable serving size.
- Smart Calories. Like Ashley I generally avoid beverages with calories. My faves are seltzer (usually with a splash of cranberry juice) or water (also often with a splash of juice). Ok, yes, technically the “splash” has a few calories but…
- Heavy on the Veggies. I always attempt to have at least 2 servings of veggies at lunch, particularly on the days that I work, since I can take advantage of the salad bar. If I don’t have a side salad or some other veggie option, I find it really hard to eat enough veggies in a day. Relying only on dinner just never gets me there. Plus, the added oomph at lunch helps me stay fuller longer into the afternoon.
- Protein. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet although I do eat fish, dairy and eggs. I cook fish at home usually only on the weekends. During the week I try to maximize my protein intake and get at least 50 grams per day. My daily staples are things like skim milk, beans, Greek yogurt, nuts and tofu. I really have nothing against meat or poultry. For me it’s just personal preference. I do believe that eating a diet highest in plant-based proteins is key to good health so that’s where I place my emphasis.
- Whole Grains. I pretty much always choose whole grains and rarely buy anything that is not a whole grain product when it comes to cereal, bread, rice and pasta. Sure, I’ll eat the white/refined version if it’s the only option but if I have a choice, I always choose ‘whole.’
Here’s what my day looked like Friday:
Breakfast: 1 cup of oatmeal with raisins , a handful of nuts and skim milk. Large coffee (always!) with skim milk and 2 Splenda. 8 oz water.
Snack: 6 oz container of non-fat Greek yogurt (my current favorite is Fage blueberry/acai)
Lunch: A large salad with baby spinach, assorted veggies, black beans, ½ cup cottage cheese, 4 oz tofu, handful of nuts, handful of raisins, balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. One whole wheat pita. 1 large bunch of grapes. 32 oz seltzer with 2 oz of no-sugar-added 100% cranberry juice.
Snack: Kashi TLC chewy granola bar (black cherry/chocolate).
Dinner: I was tired tonight and hadn’t gone to the store so… 3 egg omelet with low-fat cheddar cheese and sautéed veggies left in my fridge (red peppers, onion, spinach). One whole wheat English muffin. 32 oz seltzer with 2 oz no-sugar added 100% cranberry juice.
Dessert: 1 cup of Edy’s low-fat frozen yogurt mint cookie with rainbow sprinkles. YUM!
Exercise: 45 minutes on the eliptical trainer