What does a dietitian eat?
This dietitan’s day on a plate
“You eat WHAT?” It’s a question I often get asked. And my answer is always the same: “There are no foods that are off limits”. I eat healthily most of the time, but I still enjoy the occasional tipple and slice of pizza. And cheesecake is a non-negotiable – I always have a piece, but only ‘every now and then’.
The short of it is, this dietitian has a pretty unremarkable diet. You won’t find exotic South American berries, Russian caviar or activated almonds in my kitchen. And no coconut water, goji berries or cacao nibs either. Truth is, there’s nothing groundbreaking about my diet. So much so that I’m going to prove it to you by putting it all out on the table, so to speak. Here’s my typical ‘day on a plate’.
2 Weet Bix plus 1/3 cup of oats, frozen berries, a small banana and ½ pear with 100g of natural low fat Greek yoghurt and 1 cup of skim milk. I devour breakfast while attempting to finish the crossword – at least I always manage to finish breakfast.
6 plain wholegrain crackers – pretty boring, ha?
1 x whole grain sandwich with tinned tuna, a slice of cheese and a decent lashing of hummus plus a pink lady apple.
200g tub of low fat blueberry Greek Yoghurt and a small handful of mixed nuts.
3 x chilli and lime marinated chicken skewers + assorted vegetables and ½ cup of brown rice.
2 squares of dark chocolate
A cup of hot chocolate (made with hot water and a splash of milk) + some watermelon.
Saturated fat: 16g
There you have it. It’s pretty stock standard. I quietly admit that while I do enjoy being adventurous in the kitchen and experimenting with different flavours and foods I generally have a pretty ordinary diet.
I strongly believe that it’s important to start the day with a good solid breakfast containing low GI carbs, a decent whack of protein and a couple of serves of fruit. I manage to get almost half of my dietary fibre requirements in one meal – fibre is essential for the health of our bowels, but it can also play a role in reducing cholesterol and can keep us fuller for longer.
Lunch is often had on the go when at work. I always try to include high-quality protein (tuna and cheese) with a fibre-rich grain source. I should probably work on getting some veggies in at lunchtime though.
Like most people, I don’t want to cook up a storm for dinner after a long day at work (I also go to gym most evenings) so I generally opt for a high-quality protein like chicken, steak or fish, plenty of veggies and a nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. Tonight I chose brown rice, but I’m a big fan of quinoa, pasta and potatoes (I reckon the humble spud doesn’t deserve to be so maligned).
As for snack foods I try to have something to tide me over between meals. The whole grain crackers work well as a snack on the go, but the protein-rich Greek yoghurt is the perfect treat before hitting the gym to promote muscle growth and recovery as well as to supply enough energy to hit it hard. For dessert I had a small treat; a luxury I consume occasionally. And to top it all off I had a hot chocolate, just because.