Written by: Grace Burton, MS, RDN, LDN
As a dietitian, people frequently ask what I typically eat in a day, whether it be patients, friends, or family. This happens to be a loaded question, but to sum it up simply, I eat a balanced diet. Balanced as in some days I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, some days I go out to eat, some days I have more time to cook and try new recipes, and some days I treat myself to ice cream. This sample day I chose to share was on one of my long work days where I got home around 7PM. It was also two days before going out of town for a long weekend, which is code for a cleaning out the fridge/ convenience foods type of day. I thought about showing you a day where I had more time to prepare and make pretty meals, but let’s be real- that’s not always the case, even for us dietitians. I always keep staples on hand for days like this when I’m short on time and I need grab-and-go, easy foods that will still be nutritious and give me energy throughout the work day. These include fruits, vegetables, hummus, whole wheat crackers, popcorn, nuts, cheese sticks, and yogurt (all of which are seen below)!
6:30AM – Breakfast
For breakfast, I love Siggi’s yogurt and eat this often (the vanilla & cinnamon flavor is my favorite!) I topped it with granola and had a banana to complete the meal. Sometimes I add peanut or almond butter to my yogurt (don’t knock it until you try it) for added protein but I had peanut butter flavored granola today so I figured that was enough. This breakfast satisfies me for 3-4 hours usually.
10:00AM – Snack
Skinny Pop is a quick easy snack and the white cheddar flavor is my favorite. Today I paired it with some almonds (more than what’s pictured) for some healthy fats to help keep me satisfied until lunch.
1:00PM – Lunch
As I mentioned, some days I’m more on top of things and I have more time to prepare something for lunch. Today was not one of those days – hence all of my “snacks” that I put together to make a meal. I had hummus, carrots, tomatoes, wheat thins, and a cheese stick. These still provided me with protein, whole grains, fiber, and vitamin/minerals, so I felt good about this snacky meal. I forgot to take a picture before diving into my cheese, so there’s the wrapper. Also I got a little hungry before 1:00 and had the wheat thins in my desk drawer so I snacked on some of those before lunch, which is why there aren’t that many left in the bowl.
Side note – I love cheese. It’s probably my favorite food and I could easily live off of it. I have practice serious self-control when it comes to cheese so that I don’t overload my body with sodium and saturated fat. I also love dips of any kind and I find that dipping raw veggies in things like hummus or guacamole makes the veggies more exciting to eat.
5:00PM – Snack
It’s a guarantee that I will start to get hungry at some point between 4-5PM every afternoon. If I don’t have something to snack on, I will be hangry until dinner and I will have no energy! Today it was an apple with a spoonful of almond butter.
Cost saving tips: buy the 3 lb. bags of apples and get about 10 apples for ~$4.99 instead of picking your own apples for at least $1.99/lb or $5.97 for 3 lbs (and you will get way less than 10 apples most likely).
7:30 – Dinner
Some days I pour a glass of wine and enjoy the cooking process. Other days, I get home around 7:00 and I’m hungry and I want to eat ASAP, which was the case today (but I did still pour that glass of wine). I heated up some leftover brown rice, steamed some broccoli in the microwave, and microwaved a Morning Star veggie burger, and then I combined them all in a bowl. I threw some salsa in there for added flavor and bam, satisfying meal made in less than 10 minutes. Not to mention, this meal is very cheap and also a healthy, well-balanced meal!
I didn’t have anything else the rest of the night because this filled me up and I also go to bed pretty early. I did go for a walk after dinner now that it’s warmer and light out. But overall, as you can see I like to keep things pretty simple during the week!
Grace is a registered dietitian working at the Wake Forest location. She enjoys running, and especially like doing races in other cities because it gives her an excuse to visit new places. She also loves trying new restaurants, spending time at family and friends, and cheering on the NC state Wolfpack at football and basketball games.