As a nutritionist, people are often curious about what I eat in a day. Many assume I follow a strict diet of hard-to-find-and make foods. The reality is that I eat a lot of the same “regular” foods every day – yogurt bowls, lots of vegetables and fruit, smoothies, eggs & meats. These are foods that I like and make me feel good.
As a rule of thumb, I eat for enjoyment and performance for life. By performance, I mean feeling great mentally and physically, staying fit, sleeping well – like one would feed a racehorse. That may be a weird analogy, but think about it – what would you feed a high-performing animal (or a beloved pet)?
This means that I think about food in terms of “What will I be happy to have eaten?” In other words, what will be tasty and contribute to my health?
Thinking in terms of my goals (feeling great, confidence, being active), rather than what feels good in the moment, helps me make the better food choices. Maybe not the most fun ones all the time. Still, I’ll definitely dive into a chocolate birthday cake when the occasion calls for it!
What This Nutritionist Eats on a Regular Day
So, here’s what I, Brook Hagen, MS in Human Nutrition, ate on Monday this week. I used Monday because:
- It’s a typical day, representative of most weekdays.
- I happened to log the food with MyFitnessPal.
Recipe: Best Breakfast Bowl
Recipe: Pumpkin Breakfast Bowl
Salad with Magic Sauce and Sardines (YES, sardines)
Recipe: Mocha Smoothie
Recipe: Killer Slow-Cooker Chili
Modified pumpkin bowl
|Calores||Carbs (g)||Fat (g)||Protein (g)||Cholesterol (mg)||Sodium (mg)||Sugar (g)||Fiber (g)|
Macronutrient breakdown, as percentage of total calories:
Impact of Physical Activity on Food Intake
On Monday, I ran ~6 miles, which means that I burned a lot of calories (about 550) in exercise. Thus, I can see that my food intake was way below where it should have been. Ideally, I would have consumed between 2700 – 3000 calories on this day.
Since I don’t usually track my exercise, food intake, logging my food was a good reminder for me to EAT MORE. We women often think we should eat less food than we need to (yes, NEED), leading to nasty side effects like irritability, poor sleep, nutrient deficiencies, and binging on ice cream at 11pm while watching Netflix.
I’m not saying every woman needs to eat 3000 calories per day, or eat beyond fullness. However, most traditional diets prescribe too little food, which leads to deprivation, then breaking the diet, then quitting the diet, then gaining more weight than one lost, then finding a new diet. Repeat.
Why So Many Soft Foods, You Ask?
Well, I have braces on my teeth for another month or so. Without those, I will definitely be eating more whole nuts, bars, wraps … you know, crunchy, chewy food you have to bite into.
Nutritionists Eat Regular Food
So yeah, I eat a lot of plants and some animal-based foods, too. I love eating and also feeling strong, so I put some effort into finding foods that will do both – taste good and nourish my body.
In case you couldn’t tell, I love me some yogurt bowls and homemade salads. What are some of your favorite foods that you also feel good about eating afterwards?