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Dietitian Diary: Sheltering In Place with Rebecca

This week, Rebecca shares with us a couple days of quarantine life.

Things are going to be different in this Dietitian Diary. Let me start off by saying none of this is easy for anyone. I know we all are trying to figure out what the weeks and months ahead are going to look like, and that is unsettling and scary. For me, I turn to food and physical activity as a form of solace when things don’t feel normal, even more so now. I’m going to walk you through two days of my life during shelter-in-place as I work from home. I fully recognize my life is likely very different from yours. I don’t have children that require childcare and homeschooling (though I do have a very energetic pup who is feeling the social distancing too). My husband and I both have the flexibility to work from home currently. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. So, if any part of this diary doesn’t jive with you, I hear you. And if part of it does, know we’re all in this together, and we’re just trying to do our best. 

To keep things interesting this time around, I’m going to include photos of my food! 

Thursday: 

During this quarantine, I’ve generally tried to wake up at the same time throughout the work week to keep it consistent. Today this means ~4:30 am. I drink my coffee with homemade almond milk as I complete some work from yesterday. I also prefer to complete a workout in the morning while fully caffeinated. I never thought I could be a “home workout person,” as I love going to classes. However, I’ve had to come up with a new routine (like so many of you too). On Monday, I start the week by planning out my workouts. I put them in my Google calendar, and make a list in a separate note with checkmarks. This holds me accountable, and when I complete the workout, I check it off my list. I have to say, this was a work in progress and didn’t come naturally. The first week I was really sad I couldn’t go to my usual classes, and had a ton of expectations about what a workout “should” look like. I recognized I needed to change my own expectations and work with what is currently available. My workout this morning is from Nike Training Club. It’s a 45-minute HIIT circuit from Kirsty Godso. I mentioned this in our exercise article, but I love her energy. Following my workout, I make my favorite oatmeal waffle with a little Greek yogurt, banana, peanut butter, and fancy balsamic vinegar (purchased locally here). I love using nice vinegar in lieu of syrup. I then take my furry child out on our daily walk. This is a new practice for us that has been such a blessing during quarantine. I typically take her to a local dog park, but seeing as these are closed for now, we’ve expanded our horizons. It’s a 3.5 mile loop in our neighborhood that gives us both some nature time and lots of steps. I try to minimize distractions (ideally no phone calls or podcasts) so I can just absorb time outdoors and time spent with her. Once home, I work for a few hours then have a small snack. I’m not sure what to call them, but they’re my own proprietary blend of oats, cashews, coconut, spices, and few other ingredients. They’re salty and savory and two small “bites” holds me over for a long while. I can’t share the recipe because I’m waiting for the trademark 😉. 

Today, I’m giving a virtual talk for WeWork on healthy eating. I’m excited to share with this online community on a timely topic. After my talk, I have ~20 minutes for a small lunch before I start my daily appointments. I’m not terribly hungry, but I don’t have a break until late in the afternoon, which will be too late for me. I had previously prepared a vegetable salad, but I’m wanting something warm and spicy instead. I make a salsa verde chicken taco with my favorite Siete almond flour tortillas. The chicken was actually prepared two weeks ago, but I froze half and thawed it yesterday. The recipe is from New York Times Cooking and is very similar to this one we posted on our blog. Side note, I love the Japanese concept of “hara hachi bun me,” or roughly translated to “eating until you’re eight parts (or 80%) full.” I try to think about this when I’m deciding how much to eat or when to put my utensil down. Sometimes, the clean plater in me wins, but that’s okay. It’s a process. If this concept is interesting to you, check out the book Savor, by Thich Nhat Hanh. 

During my break a few hours later, I have two “cookies” I made over the weekend. These are little globs of banana, peanut butter, flax, and some chocolate chips; certainly a “healthified” version of a cookie, but this holds me until dinner. After my appointments are done, I eat what I had planned to eat for lunch; a big base of kale salad topped with roasted vegetables from a previous dinner, some premade lentil salad, and hummus. I have a few squares of my favorite chocolate bar, and call it a day. 

Friday: 

Wake up ~4:30, drink copious amounts of coffee and play catch-up with work. On Fridays, I check out the New York Times Cooking YouTube channel for inspiration and earmark things to try over the weekend. I love watching the kitchen tours of their cooks, especially Alison Roman’s. Once fully caffeinated, I complete a 40-minute Pilates workout. My favorite studio has been posting “live” classes and then saving to their Instagram TV. While I can never tune in for the live class, the saved version is just as good. It’s amazing how hard this workout is, even off the Megaformer machines! Following my class, I’m feeling ready for breakfast. I check in with myself: do I want something hot or cold? I land on a cold yogurt and granola bowl. I mix some chia seeds with Greek yogurt, add ¼ cup of homemade tahini granola, freeze dried blueberries, a little peanut butter, and top it off with a blackberry and ginger flavored balsamic vinegar. 

After breakfast, take my furry child out for our daily walk. Today, I’m listening to Brene Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. It’s provided such great perspective during this strange time, and I highly recommend it. Once home, I work for a few hours and then I’m ready for a small snack. I have a few slices of dried mango and my favorite sparkling water. Prior to my appointments starting, I have a lunch of leftovers; roasted asparagus from two nights ago, the rest of my salsa verde chicken, and stewed lentils with purple kale I made over the weekend. I love making a big batch of lentils or beans to have throughout the week, and typically freeze half so there’s always something in the rotation/available for moments when groceries are running low, or when I don’t feel like cooking. This method has also helped to minimize trips to the store (check out this article we posted on pantry staples). During my afternoon break, I’m feeling “snack hungry,” so I have half an apple with a little salted peanut butter. On Fridays, my husband is in charge of cooking, a routine we’ve stuck with since the quarantine. He’s making his “famous” chicken thighs and potatoes with dill and feta, a New York Times Cooking recipe that gets lots of love in our household. He’s really good at this one! Also, shoutout to NYT Cooking. I highly recommend their subscription service, as mentioned in this article. Post dinner, I love having something sweet, whether that’s fruit, chocolate, herbal tea, or a baked good. The principles of Intuitive Eating would call this “taste hunger” and this is typically where dessert fits in; you’re not physiologically hungry, but you know something would taste good. Tonight, I have a small scoop of my favorite ice cream and settle into the couch to watch something funny. Cheers to making it through the week. 

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