What Does a Dietitian Eat?

What do you eat? Just tell me some things that you eat. You must eat healthy.
As a dietitian, this is among the top questions I get asked. People must think that if they eat like me they will become healthy. What I always want to tell people is that health is individualized. Just because you eat like me does not mean you will become healthy (my diet is not perfect!). Maybe people think that if they eat like me they will lose weight. Now, this is also not true because I likely eat too many calories for the average weight loss dieter (the person losing weight needs a calorie deficit while I need calories for weight maintenance).
Just to satisfy the curiosity and questions of others I will let you in on a typical day of food.

1 C. Black Coffee
1.5-2 C. Bran Flakes OR 1-2 Slices Whole Wheat Toast with 2 TB. Peanut Butter
1 C. Skim Milk
Snack: Yogurt
1-2 C. Carrots/Raw Veggies/Salad with 1/2 C. Red. Fat Cottage Cheese OR 1/4 C. Hummus OR 2 TB. Dressing (or, sometimes a small sandwich)
1 C. Fruit (strawberries/grapes/orange/melon)
3 TB. Nuts (peanuts or almonds)
Triscuits or Granola Bar (sometimes)
Snack: Apple
Dinner: Varies. Completely different most nights. Sometimes I go out for dinner. Most popular veggie is 1-1.5 C. broccoli with cheese or a salad. I don’t eat much red meat (maybe 4 times per year). Usually chicken, fish, ground turkey, or no meat, and I cook with olive oil. Carbohydrate is usually a bread or starchy vegetable (do not cook many rices, or pastas). As you can tell from past posts, sometimes I am not super healthy for dinner. I like to cook new things, and try new foods. Although I do try to make healthy modifications (reducing fat and salt, choosing whole grains, and including more veggies).
Snack (somedays): Varies. Light ice cream, fudgesicles, yogurt, nectarines, clementines, graham cracker goldfish, flavored seltzer. Tonight I had key lime pie!

Here is an example of my breakfast one day while on vacation in Costa Rica. I chose about 1/2 my plate full of fruit, 1 Costa Rican peach yogurt, and the other 1/2 of my plate was various (sugary, white flour) pastries to try (which I just tried a bite or two of each pastry). My thought: “if I have all these fancy pastries available to try, why not!”. And then of course I went back up to the breakfast buffet to try an egg dish.
The most important point here is that to have a healthy diet you have to be OK with choosing foods that you truly enjoy, in moderation (and learning what in moderation means). I wanted to know what plantain chips, guava, and torta chilena tasted like.
So, as a Dietitian, I live by eating “healthy” 85% of the time, and 15% is probably not so “healthy”. 

Caramel-filled duck/swan that I tried and almost spit out because it was so overwhelmingly sweet.

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  1. MelissaNibbles says

    Thanks for sharing. It seems like a lowcarb diet. Any reason for that or do you just not like rices or pasta?

  2. Nicole says

    Eh, it's not really low carb. But, yes, it does seem that way. I just don't really like a whole lot of pastas and rices unless it's tortellini or rice cooked with all kinds of cheeses (something with a lot of flavor). I do eat potatoes, pretzels, crackers, all kinds of breads, cereals, oatmeal, muffins, etc. :)

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