As a dietitian, I'm constantly getting food-related questions. Two of the most common questions I’m asked are:
"What made you decide to become a dietitian?" and "What do you eat every day?"
I think most people assume dietitians eat like a bunch of rabbits – by only eating fruits and veggies. But, I personally became a dietitian because I love food and I love to eat! My diet is far from perfect or rabbit-like, but I do try my best to make wise choices about what I put in my body.
To be fully transparent, below is everything I had to eat and drink one day this week:
- Yogurt bar from the cafeteria (Which contained: 1/4 cup granola, 2T walnuts, 1 cup strawberries/pineapple, 1/2 cup yogurt)
- Well-being meal (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies)
- 1 cup pineapple from the salad bar with about 1/8 cup cottage cheese
- Salted caramel brownie (I know, shocker. But this is a huge weakness of mine!)
(Neither my husband or I felt like cooking on this night)
- Turkey sandwich (plain) on wheat bread
- 1 slice pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup strawberries with 1T Nutella®
- About 150 oz. water
- About 24 oz. coffee + 2 T pumpkin spice creamer (And yes, it's back!)
Now, let’s see how well I matched up with my daily nutrition goals.
I strive to eat five servings of fruits and/or veggies daily. A serving size is about ½ a cup of cooked green or orange veggies, and about a whole cup of leafy or raw salad veggies. I actually ate four servings in the day I’ve food journaled above, which isn't really quite what I like to see. But you know what, no one is perfect! By writing it out, I’m able to evaluate how I stacked up against my goals and I can always improve tomorrow. Good nutrition doesn’t have to be perfect or complicated.
When you're trying to improve your eating habits, I do encourage you to keep a paper-pencil food journal or track your food with the MyFitnessPal app. It can be an eye-opener to see everything written out and does help you to pinpoint where improvements can be made.
If there is anything I can do to help you meet your nutrition goals, I’d love to help. Call me at 317.398.5315 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Collins, Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coordinator at MHP