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Dietitian Diary: Sheltering-in-Place with Viveca

This week, dietitian Viveca (hi!) shares a snapshot of her quarantine life.

We made it to Friday! I’m sharing a snapshot of my quarantine life from a couple weeks ago. I food-journaled on a Thursday and Friday, so you’ll see the dregs of my weekly grocery shop and some creative leftovers usage.

I want to preface this Dietitian Diary by saying that food and exercise look a little different for me now than they did a few months ago. I, like many of my patients, have tried my best to hold onto the routines that worked well for me before, but, in the spirit of authenticity, there has definitely been more comfort eating and Netflix, and fewer minutes of exercise logged. These are areas that I continue to focus on as the quarantine progresses. I also want to give the disclaimer that I have a relatively uncomplicated life compared to many, free of responsibilities of parenting, homeschooling, etc. I am grateful to continue to be able to work with my patients from home, to have a family that is safe and healthy, and to have a great support system at home and in my community.

Wednesday May 27, 2020

Today is day two of an intense heat wave. I wake up early, appreciating the cooler morning before the heat sets in. I have my usual English breakfast tea + milk while I journal for a bit. I’m eager to get in some exercise before the heat arrives but am pretty sore from a strength workout yesterday, so I head out for about an hour-long walk, trying to hold a quicker pace to get my heartrate up a bit. When I return, I make a bowl of Greek yogurt, summer berries (amazing!!!), walnuts, dark chocolate chips and cinnamon. I spend the rest of my morning doing chores around the apartment and getting organized for my afternoon’s appointments. 

For lunch, I make some buffalo chicken in my Instant Pot (I just cook chicken in water, shred it and then mix in Frank’s RedHot) and make wraps for myself and my boyfriend (who I’m quaranting with): low-carb tortilla, buffalo chicken, crunchy lettuce and a little Greek yogurt to balance the heat from the Frank’s. Paired with a farmers market peach and a cold Peach-Pear La Croix. We try to make a point of sitting down to meals together when our work schedules accommodate it. I then head into a busy afternoon of patients, breaking for an apple + PB snack mid-afternoon. 

I have a short break in patients a little after 6 PM, so we sit down for a quick leftovers dinner. I have some leftover brown rice pasta (from a pantry clean-out effort), pesto, shrimp and sundried tomatoes, which I eat cold (pasta salad style because it is HOT!!!) over some chopped spinach to bulk it up with some veg. 

After dinner and one last patient, we head out for a short walk (enjoying the cooler evening air!) and then settle in for the evening. Shelter-in-place initially involved some heavy dessert intake, but we’ve gradually tried to migrate away from that, and a recent hit has been “nighttime cereal bar”. I have a small mug of something Cheerios-like, topped with blackberries, a few chocolate chips and some almond milk. Paired (like Dana!) with some old The Office episodes. I cry every time I see the Jim and Pam wedding episode.

Thursday May 28, 2020

I wake up to a mercifully cooler morning and enjoy my usual AM tea + journaling routine. I’m in the mood for some higher-intensity exercise this morning, so I decide to do one of the Orangetheory workouts that they’re posting daily on their Instagram. I’m eager to get as much outdoors time as possible, so I’ve started doing my workouts downstairs in the communal parking area. Not super glamorous and I get some weird looks but…here we are. The workout is about 40 minutes and is a combination of HIIT cardio and core. For breakfast I’m craving eggs so I have a couple sunny-side up eggs on a whole grain English muffin (I try to keep these to an occasional thing but they’ve been lingering around the apartment more since my boyfriend moved in…). Paired with some blueberries.

I spend the morning prepping for patients and drinking more tea. For lunch, I saute an Andouille chicken sausage that needs to be used up with a big pile of mushrooms, peppers and onion. I have it in a low-carb tortilla with some guacamole. I have a few cherries and a cold Mango La Croix on the side. I have a full afternoon of patients, with a short break for an Rx Bar because I’ve got patients straight through to 7 PM and tend to need something more substantial to tide me over. More tea.

After I finish seeing patients at 7 PM, we sit down for another leftovers dinner. I cobble together a weird but somewhat complementary combo of buffalo chicken and veg chili on a bed of kale topped with some Greek yogurt and red onion. Not the most elegant meal, but I get immense satisfaction out of clearing out leftovers. Then, an after-dinner round of Bananagrams (so fun if you love word games!), followed by more cereal (Puffins + blackberries + chocolate chips + almond milk) and The Office.

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