What One Registered Dietitian Eats In a Day

By: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.  |  Wednesday, February 17, 2016

As a registered dietitian, I'm asked for plenty of advice on how people should be eating. But people often seem curious about what I eat in a day too. So I set out to photograph my meals on a typical weekday. I eat my fair share of vegetables and drink plenty of water, but I'm constantly trying to keep my sweet tooth in check (only sometimes successfully).
Here's everything I ate on a random day in February. And if you're looking for advice on what you should eat, I highly recommend checking out our meal plans.
Watch What to Eat on a 1,500 Calorie Diet
Breakfast: Peanut butter and banana on a sprouted whole-grain English muffin. This breakfast is pretty standard for me, especially on mornings when I need my meal to-go. Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats and protein to help fill me up and the whole-grain English muffin delivers fiber which is also filling. I also had unpictured coffee (a must!) with milk and a glass of water.
Don't Miss: Protein-Packed Breakfasts
Morning snack: What, your morning snack doesn't normally look like this? Neither does mine. I got lucky because the EatingWell Test Kitchen was testing recipes for an upcoming issue of EatingWell Magazine, including a salad, mini squash and a white bean puree with pickled carrots on top. It was a teeny-tiny appetizer plate, but the few bites of nutrient-rich vegetables were enough to hold me over until lunch.
Lunch: On most work days, lunch either consists of a salad loaded up with toppings or leftovers. Today, it happened to be leftover Thai red curry with vegetables and tofu over rice from the night before—and tasted just as amazing for lunch. We basically took all the veggies we had on hand—onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, kale—and used them up in this curry. Lunch was pretty balanced with lots of vegetables, a little bit of protein (tofu) and starch (rice).
Afternoon snack: Honey-wheat pretzels and 2 clementines (which I ended up saving for after dinner). I had some pistachios and cottage cheese in the office, for protein-rich options, but yesterday all I wanted was pretzels. Even though I wouldn't call pretzels the healthiest snack—they're a refined grain and don't deliver much nutrition—there is something about their crunch that I just can't quit. I started packing just a single serving so I won't overdo it on snack-y afternoons.
And, apparently a piece of dark chocolate snuck in there too! I stop by our office candy bowl almost every day for a little piece of chocolate.
Don't Miss: Healthy Snack Recipes
Dinner: Leftover green soup doesn't make for the most beautiful dinner, but I had taken it out of my freezer the day before for a quick meal. For a better picture, and more importantly the recipe I made, check out EatingWell's Spinach & Goat Cheese Bisque. I served it with a slice of leftover homemade veggie pizza with mushrooms, onions, and pesto. Can you tell that leftovers was a theme for today? I had an appointment after work and knew there would be no time to cook by the time I got home at 8 P.M. Thawed freezer green soup made sure I got a good dose of vegetables in at dinner. Normally, there would be a glass of wine, but we didn't have any in the house (note to self: add wine to grocery list) so I sipped on water.
Dessert: Dried tart cherries are one of my favorite foods (with amazing health benefits). I had just re-stocked my supply of cherries and peanuts at Costco, so grabbed a handful of each for a sweet and salty treat.
Drinks: I didn't photograph my drinks but I always have my water bottle by my side and probably fill up my 20 ounce bottle about 4-5 times a day.
My thoughts: Looking back on this day, I was impressed I was able to photograph everything I ate! I also felt inspired to get in the kitchen and cook something to break out of my leftovers rut (I made a big quinoa and kale salad). I've been trying to make healthier snack choices too (today I had grapes and almonds). Every day ebbs and flows a bit on the healthy eating front for me so some look better than others. I trust it all balances out. Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my day of eating.