The Nation's Health + [vegetables]

Daily Nutrition

I've studied nutrition and dietetics for almost 7 years now, yikes! And by far the most common question I get after telling people what I do is - "What should I eat?" or "What are the bad foods I'm not supposed to being eating but will continue to do so anyway?" Although I always try to answer as truthfully as possible, there isn't one right answer for everyone. I can give generalizations, but each person needs nutrition tailored to their lifestyle and specific health needs. Generally I answer, "Eat your fruits and vegetables, stay away from high fat and sweets most of the time, and eat lean meats and protein." That is probably the best and shortest answer, although as most dietitians could tell you, we could go on for hours about the intricacies about food and how it interacts in the body. (And trust me, I could go on for days on certain topics.)

When I go out to eat, it can be a struggle at times with others thinking that I will judge what they order or even judge me for not ordering a salad (believe it or not, salads aren't always the healthiest item on the menu). But never-the-less, there is pressure. The way I usually deal with all of this is not going out to eat that often (truthfully, I get tired easily of the limited items at a lot of restaurants or lack of creativity from place to place), instead viewing it as a treat - that way I don't need to always be super conscious of what I order because I know I follow a healthy diet during the rest of the week.

So to field some questions about healthy eating and the ever presence of someone peeking over my shoulder to see what I'm eating, I'll lay it all on the line now.

A typical day will included my attempt at a 25-50-25 percent ratio of protein-carbohydrates-fat. For those who look at grams of protein, etc - that is alot of protein, it's a high-goal which is usually not quite reaches, but it usually gets close to 20% kcal from protein.

Here's a "typical day":
Breakfast - Kashi Go-lean (13g protein per serving, yes!) with Greek Yogurt or soy milk and piece of fruit;
or smoothie with yogurt, unsweetened protein powder (sweetened is just too sweet for me), frozen banana and strawberries, with soy milk

Sometimes morning snack - granola bar or other fruit

Lunch - Leftovers or my usual spinach salad with 3/4 cup cottage cheese and raisins and edamame or tomatoes and other vegetables; fruit or other snack; and then typically some "bready" type item for lunch or later in the day

When time allows I'll usually grab a couple bites of something when I get home - small bowl of cereal or cheese and crackers (occasionally a brownie if I've made something)

Dinner - this can vary, but most often something with beans and chicken, type of egg scramble with a veggie burger, vegetables of some type, and a grain of some sort - whole wheat couscous, quinoa, or home made bread roll