Even dietitians fit cheese, chocolate, and a cocktail into their daily meal plan
As a registered dietitian in private practice, Shape.com's Weight Loss Coach, author of The Small Change Diet, and media personality and spokesperson, my life can get rather hectic, to say the least. But no matter what, I always make time to prepare healthy meals—mostly by keeping them quick and simple. I opt for foods that are high in fiber and provide ample protein and healthy fats to keep me full and satisfied throughout the day. I also try to save room for an indulgence or two, as you'll see by checking out what a typical day in my diet looks like.
Practically all year long, no matter how hot it gets outside, I start my day with a bowl of oatmeal. I make quick-cooking oats (not to be confused with instant) with nonfat milk in the microwave and then top it with low-fat cottage cheese, chia seeds, and cinnamon. The combination of fiber, protein, and fat keeps me basically satisfied until lunchtime. Along with my oats, I have a glass of 100% orange juice mixed with about an equal amount of seltzer because I want to get well-hydrated to start the day but not consume too many extra calories while at it; I also need the juice to take my vitamins.
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Typically I don’t feel satisfied at lunch without bread, therefore I almost always have a sandwich. A popular creation of mine is 2 slices Ezekiel 4:9 topped with Earthly Eats Original Tofu Salad, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and lettuce. If I have cucumbers in the house, I throw those on too—the more veggies the better.
One of favorite desserts at lunch is fruit. I usually opt for berries even when they aren’t in season and eat the entire container. Most times I have a cup of black decaf with this, as I feel it puts a “cap” to the end of my meal.
An Adora Calcium dark chocolate supplement satisfies my craving for something sweet.
I never skip an afternoon snack; otherwise I would be way too hungry by dinnertime. My snacks always consists of a carbohydrate (preferably high in fiber but not always) and a protein, and are quite varied depending on what I am in the mood for (i.e. salty or sweet). I try often to get another serving of fruit for the day in, but never eat it alone or I wouldn't be satisfied. Cheese makes a great protein, but because I love it, I do best with portion-controlled servings, such as string cheese.
Growing up my mother always gave us a salad to start our meal with, and to this day I have never stopped doing so. A dinner without salad for me is almost like a morning without oatmeal. My typical salad has romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red onions, tomato, and slivered almonds. I am too lazy to make my own salad dressing and lately have been buying Whole Foods 365 Organic Light Caesar Dressing. I probably only use around 1 tablespoon—since I chop my salad, a little goes a long way. This first course definitely helps fill me up.
Most but not all of my dinners are vegetarian-based. Ever since I discovered Gardein’s Crispy Tenders (made from soy), I have been hooked. After baking in the oven, I blot them in a paper towel to remove excess oil. A baked potato is commonly found on my dinner plate along with my favorite vegetable: simple steamed Brussels sprouts. By topping my potato with regular and/or black bean hummus and a tablespoon of low-fat sour cream, I never miss the butter.
I do enjoy one cocktail with most of my dinners: Ketel One, no vermouth, shaken not stirred. The olives are a key ingredient.