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Food and Nutrition

Dietitian Diary: A Week With Dana

Dana Calidonna, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ September 16, 2021

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. 

Everyone’s lives and situations are different and unique. I’ve found what works for me and if some of it works for you too, that’s great! And if not, that’s ok too. I strive to take a balanced approach with my eating and always take pleasure in my meals whether it’s a simple arugula salad or a yummy slice of pizza. No one’s diet is perfect nor does it have to be to live a healthy life.

Monday 9/6 

Happy Labor Day! Always great to start out the week with a day off. I have had a pretty relaxed weekend so far and am looking forward to continuing that today. I wake up pretty early and spend the morning with my cat working on some things and sipping coffee with almond milk and collagen powder (this is in no way a plug for collagen but if you are interested in learning more about it check out this great post). Late morning I start to get hungry and decide to have one of my favorite weekend breakfast treats: an Ezekiel English muffin topped with peanut butter and banana (and fig today since I just got some at the Farmer’s Market yesterday). 

In the later afternoon I head out to take a walk and stop by the grocery store. It is a VERY hot day in San Francisco so I toss some popsicles into my cart along with some items to make a soup later in the week and some granola. I needed something to break out of my oatmeal monotony but most granolas I find in the store are packed with sugar, so I like to make my own (plus then you get to choose what you put in it). I make the granola when I get home using a recipe from the New York Times Cooking but I cut the sugar in half and use whatever nuts/seeds I have on hand (almonds, walnuts and chia seeds today). I snack on some of the granola in the afternoon which holds me over until dinner. 

For dinner I warm up some leftover veggies (kale, mushrooms, onions, sweet potatoes) from dinner last night and top it with eggs and avocado. I sip on a hard kombucha (a new obsession of mine) while I prep dinner. I have to pick my fiance up from the airport in the evening and when we get home I enjoy one of the strawberry popsicles I bought for dessert before heading to bed.

Tuesday 9/7 

I sleep in a little Tuesday morning, enjoying the last remnants of a long weekend, and then start my morning with my usual coffee while I catch up on some work. Mid-morning I head out for a 45 min walk and then it’s breakfast time: granola from yesterday with greek yogurt and a nectarine and some figs (can’t get enough of the summer fruit right now). A few hours later I start to feel a little hungry but lunch time isn’t until close to 4pm (in between a busy afternoon of appointments) so I grab my favorite snack, a Tilamook cheese stick, to hold me over. 

I’m not super hungry around lunch time but I know I will be before I am done for the day at 7pm, so I warm up the last of the veggies from yesterday and top it with two eggs and some avocado. I slowly eat my lunch throughout the late afternoon. 

After work I feel like I want to stretch my legs after sitting/standing all day, so I take another short evening walk. When I get home I warm up a frozen Amy’s burrito (which I always keep around for emergencies) and enjoy it with some Greek yogurt for a simple dinner. Before going to bed, I soak the dried chickpeas I bought yesterday for the soup.

Wednesday 9/8 

Wednesday morning I’m up early so I can attend a pilates class at 8am. I feel fortunate that I live within a 10 min walk of my favorite studio. It’s a beautiful morning so I take advantage of the weather with a slightly longer walk on the way back. I spend the morning busy preparing for the day and working and actually end up not ending breakfast (same as yesterday) until close to 12pm, which is pretty late even for me. Around 3pm I break for lunch and start the soup for tonight (the soaked chickpeas need to cook for an hour). I’m not feeling super hungry since breakfast wasn’t that long ago so I decide on a couple of scrambled eggs with tomatoes and cheddar cheese for a light lunch. 

After work I finish making the soup recipe (also courtesy of the NYT) by adding the rest of the veggies to the chickpeas. It’s a new recipe and comes out really good! I love making large batches of bean/grain recipes that can be eaten again and again throughout the week (they usually freeze well too!) and this recipe definitely fits the bill. I top my portion with some parmesan cheese and a few crumbled Ak-Mak crackers.

Thursday 9/9 

Thursdays and Fridays I’m up earlier (between 530-6am) since I see clients in the morning. I drink my usual coffee throughout the morning until I have a break at 9am. My eating schedule is a little different on these days but I make it work. I have my granola with yogurt and fruit during my break and drink lots of sparkling water throughout the rest of the morning. Around 130pm I start to get hungry for lunch and I warm up some soup from yesterday and add a dollop of yogurt. I like to liven up leftovers with different toppings (yogurt, cheese, avocado, hot sauce, soft-boiled eggs) to keep things interesting. 

I spend the afternoon working and then I head out for a pilates class at 530pm. On my way home I run into TJs to grab a few things for dinner. I stock up on some yogurt, arugula, and avocados to get me through the week and also buy some frozen falafels I see as a quick protein. I didn’t meal prep as effectively over the weekend as I often do so having to make do for right now. 

When I get home I heat up the falafels and make a salad with arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and a little hummus topped with the falafels for a quick meal. My stomach is feeling a little off so I also sip on a kombucha while I prep dinner. For dessert, I have two small Halloween-shaped Reese’s candies that I couldn’t resist buying at the drugstore.

Friday 9/10 

Friday morning I’m up early again but my stomach is still feeling off so I don’t feel like eating anything until around 11am. I opted for some cottage cheese and fruit since it seems easier on my digestion than granola. In the afternoon I have to run some errands and I decide to get a smoothie on my way home. I actually don’t normally like smoothies but again it seems like something easy on my stomach. I opt for one with oatmeal, banana, almond butter, and cocoa powder hoping the extra fiber and fat will keep me more satisfied than smoothies usually do. I go pilates again at 530pm and then warm up dinner: soup with yogurt and add a soft-boiled egg (I love this easy recipe from Bon Appetit) to liven things up. I sip on a beer while I prep dinner as a start to the weekend treat.

Saturday 9/11 

Saturday morning I drink lots of coffee before meeting my friend at pilates. After class, we head out to do some shopping and get breakfast. We stop by a favorite cafe and order dirty chai lattes and egg sandwiches. We spend most of the day shopping and walking around the city and by the end of it I’m at 15,000 steps! I’m pretty exhausted. When I get home I warm up the leftover falafel and make a simple salad. I sprinkle some Green Goddess seasoning from TJs on top for a little more flavor. For dessert, I have a small piece of Mochi cake that my friend made and sent home with me.

Sunday 9/12 

Sunday morning I down some coffee before heading to my pilates class. My fiance picks me up after and we head to our local farmer’s market where we do the majority of our shopping for the week. I always buy fruit for breakfasts and staples like eggs, greens, and then usually whatever other veggies we need for the week (planning to make a kale salad with roasted veggies at some point so I get what I need for that). I usually plan at least one or two recipes for the week and fill in the other meals with staples and leftovers. I also buy a croissant for breakfast from one of my favorite bakeries. 

We are actually heading out for a little road trip today so when we get home we quickly pack and hit the road. I eat the croissant with some more coffee before leaving. We pack a cooler with some snacks for the road- cheese and crackers, smoked salmon, other meats, hummus and cucumbers, and some fruit. My mom also gives us a couple chocolate-chip cookie bars when we drop our cat off at her house. I eat a little of everything (including the cookie bar) throughout our drive. 

When we finally reach our destination we are both pretty hungry (snacking is never as satisfying for me as eating a real meal). So we head into town to get an early dinner. We order a salad and pizza to share. I also have a local beer with dinner. 

After dinner we spend ~30 minutes walking around the town before heading back to where we are staying. Back at the house, I enjoy a glass and a half of champagne while we watch a movie before calling it a night.

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