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Dietitian Diary: A Week With Danielle

This week, dietitian Danielle shares a week of food, exercise and some travel!

**Disclaimer: Please be aware that this post contains content that some readers may find triggering. This is not intended to be dietary advice. Anything written here is not necessarily appropriate for the Enara program you are on or consistent with your particular goals. 

I’m back! Full disclosure: it’s been very busy and a bit stressful at work lately, and while Im not typically a stress eater, my motivation to keep my food choices healthy and clean and my snacking down tends to dip and with that, and my weight will start to trend upwards. I also was diagnosed last week with a back issue, so it’s been a challenge to keep up my regular level of workouts recently too. So I’m making a conscious effort this week to eat healthy meals at regular intervals, even with a trip coming up!

Thursday February 13

Had back-to-back appointments today, so I’m glad I packed a breakfast that I could eat  in between: Greek yogurt, frozen mixed berries, peanut butter, and chia and flaxseeds with lots of cinnamon. Midway through the morning, I took some psyllium (don’t hate). It’s good for my cholesterol and regularity. Lunch was my usual variation on a salad: chopped kale (dietitian trope), canned mackerel, Anasazi beans, avocado, topped with lemon juice and hot sauce. We have some dark chocolate chips in the office and I usually have 2-3 teaspoons of those to end my lunch. I went to the gym after work, which is easier to motivate myself to do now that it’s staying light out later. For dinner, my husband and I cooked ground turkey and burnt broccoli. I made a mixture of dashi broth, soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar and mixed it with the turkey and of course had Frank’s Red hot on my broccoli. I also made my own spicy mayo to drizzle: 1 tsp of Sir Kensington mayo, 1-2 tbsp greek yogurt and lots of Sriracha. So good! Dessert was a teaspoon of vegan mini chocolate chips.

Friday February 14

My husband texted me the other day, “we don’t care about Valentine’s Day, right?” Romance is dead, folks. Since we are doing the 8-hour drive up to Bend, Oregon midafternoon today and there’s no time for a candelit dinner, I guess it’s true. Breakfast was the same as yesterday, though I added 2 tbsp of dry oats for crunch, which I sadly forgot the first time around, and I packed the same lunch as yesterday to eat in the car. Road trips can be difficult and usually one would take the opportunity to snack, but planning meals like I normally eat them helped keep me in control. Though I didn’t plan to snack, I usually keep almonds in the car for emergencies. I also had TJ’s Truffle Cheese Bites and kumquats, which I am LOVING this time of year that Mayble kindly sources for me. We picked up poke bowls for dinner before we left the area and headed up. (P.S. I had a glass of wine when we finally made it to Bend 9 hours later).

Saturday February 15

Woke up on a beautiful sunny morning with snow flurries. My husband and I went for a 3-mile run on the Larkspur trail around our Airbnb’s neighborhood on a crisp cold morning. When I know I’ll be indulging more than usual, I always try to get in my morning exercise and prepare a healthy breakfast.  I had brought oatmeal, PB and bananas with me, so I had control over the first meal of the day while everyone else ate egg sandwiches. Our friend Scott made a beautiful focaccia, which I did take a few bites of. We took a drive to Smith Rock and did a leisurely hike/walk for about an hour. Bend is known for its breweries but, as a wine lover, I had to stop at what ended up being a mediocre wine tasting and then we headed downtown. All the breweries were packed of course. I don’t love beer but I had a very delicious pint of a Hazy IPA at 10 Barrel Brewing, though unfortunately healthy food options were few and far between. Our table ordered a mediterranean platter, a pizza and loaded fries. I did my best to stick to the hummus and quinoa, with a few fries and half a slice of pizza. Later on, we went in the hot tub, and then I was tasked with creating the charcuterie and cheese platter, one of my weaknesses. I proudly only had a few pieces of each and then sat down in another room with my book in order to avoid grazing mindlessly. Later that night, our other friend made a coconut curry with chicken and vegetables and wild rice. I took a small portion with minimal sauce and we all shared a bottle of wine and played some board games.

Sunday February 16

I started my day with the oats again. Scott (damn you Scott and your delicious baking!) had also made cheesecake in the Instant Pot, and it wasn’t ready until this morning. I typically don’t like cheesecake but I of course needed to try a sliver, and it was in fact, delicious. We then headed out for our morning of snowshoeing on Mount Bachelor. Fun fact: it doesn’t burn as many calories as you expect, sadly, but was still snowy and fun. After, we headed back into the downtown area. I did a great wine tasting while my friends went to a brewery, then we shopped for a bit and went to another brewery, though I just had a few sips of my husband’s beer. Next stop was happy hour: I had some rose, a couple deviled eggs and oysters, and ordered a burger with no bun and extra greens. We then stopped at another brewery, but I at least chose a small beer! Back at the house, I had another glass of wine in the hot tub (probably at least one drink too many). I definitely feel that I overindulged today. It’s hard to be with a group of people in a place with great food and drinks and not get immersed in the party culture.

Monday February 17

I woke this morning not feeling my best, naturally. We had a 8-hour drive ahead of us, and neither my husband or I wanted to put anything but water in our bodies. We made it until about noon, and then had some peanut butter and stopped at Starbucks for egg white bites and a banana. When we finally got home, I made some leftover turkey and cauliflower rice with lentils: it felt great to get back to our healthy staples. I’ve decided to do intermittent fasting this week to help regroup from the weekend. Day 1 complete!

Tuesday February 18

Since I finished dinner at 7:30 last night, my first meal will be after 11:30am to get my 16 hours of fasting in. I had a decaf espresso and tea this morning during my appointments. Since I have no groceries and I didn’t pack anything, I went to the cafe near the office for a very clean salad with a piece of grilled chicken later this morning and a few chocolate chips after. I always get mid-afternoon hunger while doing IF, but I tried to quell it by having a sparkling water and grabbing a piece of dried mango in the car on the commute home. My goals for dinners this week are to revisit some of the Stepwise Cookbook recipes. I had a low carb tortilla with a teaspoon of butter while I made the Greek chicken meatballs, which were just as good as I remember. My husband made some lemony Brussels sprouts, and I ended with a small piece of 100% dark chocolate for dessert.

Wednesday February 19

Morning decaf espresso before my 5-mile run this morning. I was scheduled to break my fast at 11am today, so back to my usual yogurt mix from last week. Mid-afternoon I had a small kale salad with lentils, quinoa and feta with lemon juice and hot sauce. Dinner was leftovers and a low carb tortilla, which is always helpful on my late Wednesday working nights. I’m so happy to be back to my usual healthy meals, which actually feels like more of a reward than when I indulge. Going between some treats and mostly clean meals keeps my weight in check and my body functioning smoothly.I hope you all got to see that dietitians aren’t perfect eaters, and we need to work hard and mindfully to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body weight!

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