Food and Nutrition

Food Diary: A Week With Nutrition Specialist Danielle

Danielle Cortez, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ June 8, 2023
Food Diary

Nutrition Specialist Danielle makes hummus from an Ottolenghi cookbook and plays pickleball this week. Follow along in this just-for-fun piece for a peek into her daily routine!*

*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.

Danielle’s Daily Routine & Food Diary


Woke up to rain this morning in San Diego, so plans for a 4 mile run with Moto (our dog) got scrapped. Once I got my daughter (Skye) out the door with my husband at 6:15, I hopped back into bed and did some patient notes while I waited for it to stop. By 7:45 it wasn’t really stopping, so I did a Peloton 45 min advanced tread bootcamp in my garage gym. It was HARD. I took Moto on a quick walk and then got ready for the day. Breakfast was a greek yogurt parfait with frozen berries, pb and cheerios (which has popped up again and again in my past diaries) paired with my beloved Sweet and Spicy herbal tea at 9:30 — later for me than usual due to the exercise debacle.

Lunch at 12:45 was a salad topped with leftover pork loin from dinner last night. I realized later on I forgot to add a legume/grain, which is not a good idea on a day I work out so hard. I had two tiny kid cookies afterwards. Took Moto for another walk at 2:30pm (this dog is spoiled).

Dinner is often between 5-6pm, and we try to end eating early because we go to sleep around 9 as my daughter NEVER sleeps in and can be heard chatting to herself around 5:45 am every morning. My husband was going to pickleball so he cooked us pan seared tofu and brussel sprouts that I had with a guacamole pack (my daughter refused, guess she doesn’t like avocado today — toddlers). Skye and I made the Enara VLCD muffins to have for the weekend since she likes them and gives me one more option for her at school. Her school is at a synagogue so they have limitations on bringing meat, which is difficult for us since it’s what my daughter loves the most. After dinner, I gave myself a little dessert of 1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips, tsp-ish of pb and whipped cream.

VLCD muffins - Danielle's daily routine and food diary


Avoided snacking while making my daughters breakfast and lunch for school, which is always a win. I like to wait til at least 8am to eat breakfast. Got her to school and took Moto on a 30 min walk, no more intense workout for me today since I went hard yesterday and I’ll have more time to work out tomorrow. Tea and cottage cheese and an Enara oatmeal muffin with peanut butter at around 9am. 

I planned to work from a cafe and get poke at my favorite spot (over salad, no sauces per our VLCD guide) but it wasn’t meant to be so I ate leftovers at home for lunch. I met my good friend and her new boyfriend at a wine bar for happy hour, so two glasses of wine and we shared Ruffles and a ranch appetizer (literally what it sounds like). Jury is still out on him. I hadn’t had any alcohol in 2 weeks due to a sinus infection so it was nice to enjoy that. I went home after and ate a bunless turkey burger for dinner and accidentally spilled red wine on my white couch.

Ruffles and ranch - Danielle's daily routine and food diary


Busy weekend ahead. I did a 30 min Peloton treadmill class in the morning, and we took my daughter to a nature explorers class, before which I grabbed an iced decaf americano with a splash of half and half from Starbucks. Breakfast was ½ muffin with pb and 2 hard boiled eggs. I don’t think I had much for lunch, but we met friends for an early dinner where I had a skinny margarita and a salad with chicken kebabs on it. My daughter ate almost a ½ lb cheeseburger with no bun (she is 2!!) so at least it was worth the $17. Restaurant prices these days! My husband mixed us up a couple of Palomas and we hung out after my daughter went to sleep. 


Another active day for us, which I love doing on weekends. I took the dog on a 3 mile jog, and just grabbed a little matzoh with pb and j on it for breakfast. It seems I do rely pretty heavily on peanut butter in the mornings. I then made egg salad with a little mayo and put that with lettuce on a low carb tortilla from TJ’s (I’ve mentioned in the past that they aren’t great) around 10am. Since I had a coaching session for pickleball and then was going to play with my husband after that, it had to tide me over for a while.

I grabbed some strawberries with tahini in between sessions, but was pretty hungry by 5 when we finished up. We took turns playing pickleball and playing with Skye at the playground which works out well. I got a coupon for a froyo place and really wanted to take my daughter, so we all shared froyo with sprinkles. Dinner after was some fresh tuna we got from a coworker boat hookup and some leftover veggies. 


Played a couple hours of early pickleball before work, and grabbed a tortilla with tahini beforehand. After, I had my yogurt parfait and coffee, and a cheese stick a couple hrs later. I’m usually pretty diligent about set mealtimes, but I figured I would listen to my body since I was being so active. 

I had an apple with tahini around 2:30 topped with coriander and ground cumin. I used to make homemade dukkah but it’s been a minute, and this is close enough. When my family got home I decided to make hummus from the Jerusalem cookbook by Ottolenghi, and it did not disappoint! I snacked on some matzoh and hummus before heading out for more pickleball with my husband — our preferred form of date nights these days. We played for 2 hrs, and since I barely had a full meal today, we came home and had leftover tuna, this new jalapeno lime crunch product from TJ’s (see pic below — this is basically just oil and spices so a little goes a long way), some more hummus with chips, and edamame. It was later than I usually eat, but important to get some protein in after a double exercise day.

Apple and tahini - Danielle's daily routine and food diary TJ's jalapeno lime onion sauce


Woke up extremely sore and tired, so instead of our usual run hike up our local mountain, I took Moto to a nearby lake and did an hour walk while I chatted with a friend on the phone. Breakfast after was coffee and oatmeal with strawberries, an egg added in for extra protein, peanut butter and flaxseed meal.

Lunch at around noon was a salad thrown together: chicken sausage, feta, muffuletta mix from Costco, edamame, veggies and vegan Dill dressing from TJ’s. 

Dinner was later than usual since I ended work later, and we were having fun playing in the backyard. My husband roasted chicken thighs on the bone (flavorful and cheaper than boneless skinless breasts but higher in fat) and broccoli and cauliflower. He also brought home a homemade sourdough loaf a patient had given him, which we had with the homemade hummus. More choc chips and whipped cream for me after dinner, plus a glass of rose from a bottle we picked up from our recent getaway to Valle de Guadalupe, a wine region in Mexico not far from San Diego.

Chicken and veggies - Danielle's daily routine and food diary


Did not avoid the early morning snacking today. My daughter was inexplicably awake at 4:30am, and refused to go back to sleep. I did a 45 mins Peloton strength training class at 5:30, and snacked on the apples with pb she left over for breakfast around 7am. At 8 I had 2 eggs microwaved and topped with hot sauce and a little sour cream and coffee. I should mention I aim for 2-3 40 oz bottles of water throughout the day. Another salad like yesterday today for lunch.

Played 2 hrs of pickleball** after work and took care of 6000 steps to get over my daily 10k goal. Came back starving, and had leftovers from last night, plus a half of a granola bar I bought for my daughter (that she hates) for dessert, and lots of water. 

**Note about pickleball: I played more than usual this week as my husband and I are both training for a tournament. I usually treat it like a “bonus” workout, and not as part of my usual routine. The reason for this is that the length and strenuousness of the games vary, so I like to have my workouts locked in and then anytime I play pickleball I count it as bonus physical activity.

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