What Kind of Dietitian Are You?

Weird as it may sound, this is a question I get often.th

“Do you eat hemp seeds mixed with organic goya berries and goats milk yogurt?”  “Do you perfectly portion out your foods like the My Plate example?”  “Do you avoid all forms of high-fructose corn syrup and red dye #5?”

I like to think of myself as a down-to-earth person, and my nutrition philosophy echos that notion.  “All foods can fit!” is essentially my motto when it comes to eating.  If I tell a patient that they can never have their favorite food again, it’s pretty unlikely they are going to comply with that advice.  And, they’re probably going to stop listening to everything I say from that point forward.

One time, a pastor of a church we attended at the time told my husband he felt so sorry for him…. having to live with a wife who was a dietitian.  “wow!  that’s rough!”   And, my teenage daughter often bemoans her horrible fate of being born to a dietitian mom.  Yes, the struggle is real, people!

Confession time – I love pizza, amber ale, spicy Bloody Mary’s, omelets, a good juicy burger, and Mexican food of any kind.  Do I eat these every day?  Nope.  I will certainly indulge at times and enjoy every bite.  Suffice it to say, I am not the granola wheatgrass dietitian.  (Disclaimer:  I gave up beef and chicken earlier this year after watching some food documentaries — more on that in future posts — I’d never tell a patient to do that!)

Keeping it real — here’s what I eat in a ‘typical day’ —

Breakfast – I am the world’s worst at eating breakfast…. I love breakfast foods, but not in the morning!  So, typically I drink a LOT of black coffee & that’s it.  (bad dietitian!)  I’ve recently gotten into the overnight oats…. more on that in future posts

Lunch – If it’s a go-to-work day, I always prep my lunches on Sunday for the week.  Then, I can grab & go in the  morning without stress.  My go-to lunch is a salad organized in the popular mason-jar style, but in an IKEA plastic container instead.  (more room, less weight…) Shake it up at lunch time & you’re good to go.  Here’s my basic recipe:

  1. Protein on the bottom: 1/2 can garbanzo beans or albacore tuna. 
  2. Lemon juice or flavored vinegar
  3. 2-3 marinated artichoke hearts (see how the oil from these mixes with the acid & BAM!  you have dressing done!)
  4. Lots of veggies – chopped carrot, bell pepper, tomato, celery
  5. Greens

Snacks – I try to eat fruit in the afternoon, either at work or on my way home.  I’m not a huge fruit lover, so this is challenging.  I would much rather snack on potato chips!

Dinner – of course, with everyone this varies a lot.  Some nights are busy with activities, so prepping on Sunday is key in our family.  Last night we had chipotle orange shrimp on quinoa.  Night before we had veggie enchilada lasagna.  Other dinners in the past week – crockpot black bean fajitas, build-your-own burrito bowls, and tofu stir-fry (otherwise known as “clean out the fridge stir-fry” in my house!)

So, that’s my life as a mom dietitian….. I don’t eat perfectly, but I try to eat well and enjoy my food!  Tasting and savoring are gifts to be enjoyed!

Until next time!


Author: drjennbowersnutrition

Dr. Bowers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 25 years of experience in clinical nutrition, education and health promotion. Her down-to-earth philosophy is "All foods can fit!"

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