This week in my nutrition class I've had to track what and how much I eat. It's been eye-opening. As it turns out, I haven't been eating as many calories as I need, although I am getting something like 317 percent of my recommended daily vegetable servings. And so, inspired by this project and the recent post by my friend Beth at Healthy by Design Nutrition, I want to share a glimpse into what a typical day of food looks like for me. Lest you think that all nutrition professionals (or, ahem, soon-to-be nutrition professionals) eat squeaky clean all day every day and judge others for their unhealthy food choices, think again. We're only human.
This is a look at yesterday, Thursday, October 15, 2015.
Breakfast - I slept in a little bit because I wasn't feeling well, but when I woke up I headed straight for the teakettle to boil some water for coffee. I ended up drinking two cups of coffee before I even thought about food, and that was a bad idea -- overcome by caffeine, I rummaged in the fridge to find something quick to eat before I crashed. That ended up being some salami from a recent charcuterie plate, some carrot sticks and cucumber slices, kalamata olives and baba ghanoush. Although this is definitely an unusual breakfast, it hit all the criteria: protein, veggies, fats, savory, yum.
Typically, I prefer to eat some sort of protein - usually leftover meat or fish, or eggs any way - and vegetables for breakfast. If I was really good I would eat this before drinking coffee. I'm working on it.
Lunch - Thankfully, this kept me satiated until lunchtime. I had a pretty sedentary morning doing homework and work projects, and ate at noon. I had a large portion of leftover braised green cabbage with onions and garlic, along with a container of wild-caught tuna packed in water. It was pretty stinky but it was quick, no-cook and satisfying because I LOVE cabbage. My husband is on a night-shift schedule, which means I try to be quiet when I'm in the kitchen getting meals together. No-cook options are my favorite thing right now, and most often that looks like leftovers from the night before or a big salad with canned tuna, smoked oysters, tinned sardines, or leftover cooked chicken, beef or fish.
Snack - Around 3 p.m. I had a banana and a couple spoonfuls of nut butter. Often I'll have a cup of tea, a handful of nuts, a sliced apple, some veggies and baba ghanoush, or an RX bar, depending on how active I've been or what time I'll be eating dinner. Because I've been eating dinner so late this week, I had another snack around 5 p.m. to hold me over until I eat at 7 p.m. Kite Hill recently sent me a variety pack of their new non-dairy yogurts, made with almond milk. I had a cup of their plain yogurt with a pinch of cinnamon and a spoonful of pumpkin puree.
Dinner - Earlier that afternoon I had [quietly] put together a batch of chili to simmer in the slow-cooker, using grass-fed ground beef, crushed tomatoes, onions, bone broth, spices, and a little bit of leftover pumpkin puree for extra body and vegetable content. I had a bowl of this for dinner with a small green salad and a glass of red wine. Since I've been dining solo all week, I've struggled with sitting and enjoying my meal at the kitchen island instead of inhaling it, hunched over my plate on the couch with Netflix glaring in my face. I do not recommend the latter. Instead, I'm working on slowly savoring my food and allowing my digestive and nervous systems to come to a place of rest so that they can function optimally. Turning on NPR and pouring a glass of wine have been pleasant signals that it's time to unwind and relax with a good meal.
Dessert - I don't always eat dessert, but I probably do eat a little bit of chocolate every day, whether a small square from a dark chocolate bar or, like today, in brownie form. These brownies, they are everything.
Before bed I made a cup of chamomile tea.
So, there it is - a day in the life of my food choices. I hesitated to post this because I don't believe that food comparison is a positive phenomenon - eyes on your own plate! - but then again the idea that other people are "perfect" is an even more negative one. Feast your eyes on my normality and imperfection, and take encouragement from the good things that can inspire improvement in your own diet.
Let me know what you think about all this -- in fact, I'd love to know what a day of eating looks like for you! Comment below with what you had for breakfast so that I can be inspired to do better in that category...like I said, it's a work in progress.