If you’re wondering what a dietitian eats in a day, this post is for you!
Since March is National Nutrition Month, I reached out to many of my awesome dietitian blogger and colleague friends, asking about some of their favorite foods to include every day.
I think there can still be some misconception that dietitians are the food police and out to tell people to “eat less of this, and less of that.”
But in reality, many of us eat the same things as our clients, and we’re often talking about ways to add things in, rather than take things away.
We know that food is more than fuel, and we aren’t robots.
We’re all trying to get 25 grams of protein at breakfast, and spread protein throughout the day.
What a Dietitian Eats in a Day
So, here are some of the favorites among nutrition professionals and dietitian colleagues.
“I eat one square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate almost every day. It satisfies my sweet tooth, and I love getting antioxidants with it.” – Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, RD from Nourished Simply.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts are portable and full of satiating protein and healthy fats, which are good for heart health!
“I have a tablespoon of unsalted nut or seed butter either in a smoothie, in breakfast oats, or spread on dates after a run. I feel better knowing it gives me protein and healthy fats in one serving!” – Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, MS, RD, LD from One Hungry Bunny.
“I eat flax seeds or walnuts every day. By starting out the morning with these healthy plant foods sprinkled over my morning cereal, I feel good knowing that I get a great dose of plant omega-3s in my diet.” – Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant Powered Dietitian
“I eat walnuts every day. I add them to my cereal, yogurt, dips, or as a snack before and after workouts. Walnuts provide me with the extra protein and omega 3 healthy fats that my body needs every day.
I can quickly grab a small handful of walnuts and know that it will satisfy me.” – Rahaf Al Bochi, RD, LD at Olive Tree Nutrition.
“I eat some form of berries about every day, whether they’re strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.
Not only are they flavorful and nourishing, but my kids also love them, too!” – Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN, CSSC from Go Wellness.
Yogurt & Kefir
Personally, I can’t go a day without a satisfying greek yogurt smoothie.
“I’m such a fan of the creamy, hearty greek yogurt and I love how it’s a great source of protein and calcium. I usually eat it with fruit and cereal, in a smoothie, or as a snack with ground flaxmeal or chia seeds.” – Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN.
“I just don’t feel like myself if I miss out on yogurt – plain low fat or full-fat Greek or skyr. Aside from the beneficial probiotic bacteria, I also love that it’s a combination of protein and carbs that feels right for my body and keeps me going when I need a filling snack between long stretches.
One of my favorite ways to eat it is with cocoa powder stirred in and a teaspoon of peanut butter. – Jess Cording, RD from Jessica Cording Nutrition
Fruits and Veggies
This one probably isn’t surprising, knowing that we’re dietitians, right?
“I absolutely have to have spinach every day. It’s my favorite way to add bulk to my meals and make sure I’m getting my veggies in. I add it to eggs or a smoothie at breakfast, use it in a salad or sandwich for lunch, and stack it underneath whatever I’m having for dinner.” – Jessica Spiro, RD
“To encourage myself to hydrate during the day, I dress up my water with a cucumber slice. It adds just a touch of flavor that I need to pick up my water and sip.” – Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN.
“I always have a salad with mixed greens and a scoop of hummus on top” – Janet Brancato, RD from MyNutopia
“For breakfast, I almost always scramble 1 cup of egg whites with one overripe banana. I mash the banana with a fork. The dish is large, filling, low in calories, high in protein, perfect for those of us with a sweet tooth. It sounds bizarre but it is so delicious!” – Danielle Cushing, RD and author of The Every Kitchen.
“Since winter is ending, you will likely find me eating foraged greens and spring onions!” – Tara Beth Johnson
“I add cinnamon to my almond butter and toast every morning. I think spices are a great source of phytonutrients and I am to add an herb or spice to every meal.” – Jean LaMantia, RD
What I Eat Every Day as a Dietitian
Well, golly gee, I eat many of the staples that these wonderful women have listed above.
I will add, I’m also currently adding a bunch of breastfeeding night snacks with a newborn.
Within a normal day, I’m eating:
- Oatmeal – I love a good chocolate baked oatmeal or meal prep oatmeal
- Greek Yogurt
- Peanut Butter (times like 4) – I love a peanut butter coffee smoothie or 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies
- Dark Chocolate
- String Cheese
- Sweetpotatoes – Pair them with anything! Here are 30 ideas for what to eat with sweetpotatoes.
- Blueberries – Lemon blueberry overnight oats and blueberry donuts are favorites!
- Apple or Banana – Apple turkey burgers are fun and easy.
- Chia Seeds – I add them to just about everything! We love chia seeds for kids and they are add in’s for yogurt, oatmeal, salads, baked goods and more.
- Spinach – Spinach sweetpotato tater tots are fun for introducing spinach to kids!
- Grains – Broccoli orzo salad and vegan couscous salad are both easy to customize!
- And usually, ice cream (especially in my peak marathon training weeks)
All this to say..there’s no perfect day of what food SHOULD look like. What works best for you is perfect.
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