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Food and Nutrition

Dietitian Diary: A Week With Danielle

Danielle Cortez, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ February 5, 2021

Thursday January 21

I’m super excited to share my dietitian diary with everyone this week. Last time I shared, I was in my very tough first trimester, and I couldn’t tell anyone why my diary was severely lacking in veggies (food aversion). Now I’m back to my regular eating and feeling great. 

Thursdays I work from a coworking space, which is a nice break from working from home. I usually pack Greek yogurt with berries, peanut butter, chia and flax seeds, cinnamon and ¼ cup Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch to bring with me. I pair it with a Sweet and Spicy decaf tea in a big to-go mug.

Since my second trimester, I’ve had to add a mid-morning snack on most days since I’ve been feeling hungrier. Snacks are always a little tricky, because they can get salty and processed really quickly. Today I packed ¼ cup of Trader Joe’s Go Raw trail mix as my snack. 

The two days a week I go to the space, my husband kindly packs my salad. Today was kale, sauerkraut, tomatoes, ½ cup mixed farro and quinoa, and goat cheese. I also had less than ½ of a homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie my husband and I baked last weekend. When I picked up my dog, my mother in law gave me a fresh baked baguette, so I had a small piece with butter when I got home. OK two. Dinner was leftover lemony Cruciferous Crunch from Trader Joe’s under two over easy eggs with a little guacamole. Dessert was a couple of pieces of 100% dark chocolate with a little pb and whipped cream before heading to our first dog training class.

Friday January 22

Since we ate early last night, I was hungry earlier than expected in the morning. My husband and I took our dog Moto for a 30 minute dawn walk. Then I came back for some decaf espresso, an apple with peanut butter and dukkah and some cottage cheese. I ate at 7 am, which means I’ll definitely be hungry for a mid-morning snack. I used to push my breakfasts to at least 8:30 am to minimize snacking, but since being pregnant I’ve had to loosen my rules a bit and listen to my body. 

11 am snack, as expected, was ¼ cup (or so) of Go Raw trail mix. At 1 pm I took Moto for a 30 min walk. I tried to train him a bit using duck treats, but was only mildly successful. 

I only had about 5 minutes to throw together a salad, so I did, with romaine, sauerkraut, leftover dinner veggies, goat cheese, quinoa, and chicken sausage. I used a mix of tzatziki and hot sauce as the dressing. I also had a little fruit snack packet in the midafternoon— not a great choice and glad it was my last bag. Impulse pregnancy Target buy.

Since it was Friday, we decided to have fun with homemade pizza. Trader Joe’s has a great pre-made dough, and we added mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, broccoli, and tomatoes. It is substantial in calories so watch your portions if you try it. Honestly it didn’t come out great, a little soggy, but it was pizza so it could’ve been worse. 

Saturday January 23

We took Moto for a 3 mile run/walk in the morning. I am definitely slowing down, and felt extra pain in my feet, calves and lower abdomen during today’s run. I think my body is telling me to start taking it a little easier. I used to run 3-4x per week, and now I’m down to only once a week. It makes sense that things are tougher as I’m carrying around 20 extra lbs and my center of gravity has shifted. When we got back, I had my yogurt breakfast but made steel cut oats for later in the week. I like to mix half water and half 2% milk for the oats. We had a virtual baby class, so I had a late salad at around 3 pm. My father in law dropped off something called milanesa, which is a South American version of schnitzel. Yes, it is fried steak folks but I had to try a few pieces. Dinner was an apple with peanut butter— I’m dealing with lack-of-interesting-meal fatigue, in that I like to go out for a nice dinner at least once a weekend in my regular life, but with restaurants closed down, I don’t enjoy takeout as much so every day seems the same. I also had a little caramel waffle cone ice cream (don’t sleep on Target’s Market Pantry brand for inexpensive but delicious ice cream for a once in a while treat).

Sunday January 24

I wanted to go up to the mountains to take our dog into some snow, but the roads would’ve been a little treacherous and we didn’t have chains so we did an urban walk for 2 hours along the coast near La Jolla. I’m finding even a longer walk puts some strain on my body but I also feel pressure to keep up my activity level for mental and physical health. Before we left, I grabbed peanut butter and blueberries on low carb tortilla roll up. I don’t think I can go a day without peanut butter!  When we got back, for lunch, I had an Amy’s organic burrito over lettuce with salsa and avocado with Red Rooster hot sauce. I did a late afternoon 30 mins upper body Peloton strength training class and for dinner my husband made a really awesome tomato-based kale and chicken sausage stew which we will be able to eat throughout the week. I found that having 2 recipes keyed up for the week for dinner helps take the thinking out of each weekday meal which lowers our stress by quite a bit. 

Monday January 25

Thunderstorms in San Diego, can you believe it? Unfortunately, this means Moto’s doggy day camp is closed for the day, so I’m home instead of at the coworking space. My husband took him out for a quick jog, but it’s clear he needs more than that as he stares at me with sad eyes at only 7:30 am. I take him for another 30 min walk in the windy cold so he’ll relax until his afternoon walk. His walks, while sometimes stressful to schedule into my day, give me another hour of baseline activity, especially important when working from home. Before we left, I had the steel cut oats I had made on Saturday with blueberries and peanut butter paired with a decaf espresso. I had some meetings and other work to do, and by 12:30 Moto was ready for his afternoon walk and I needed a snack, so I grabbed a string cheese which unfortunately I had to share with him. We did a 35 minute walk in the blustery day, and when we came back I ate a similar salad that I had last week. Dinner was the soup from last night but topped with avocado and a tiny but of parmesan. Dessert was a square of Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree with a little pb and a little whipped cream.

Tuesday January 26

Busy day today and I woke up hungry. I took Moto on a run which again turned into a run/walk as I’m definitely slowing down. I had my usual yogurt mix though this time with 5% Fage which was a nice treat (they were out of 0% and 2%). I brought my packed salad lunch with me to my mother in law’s for a change of scenery and to give Moto a chance to run in the backyard. I also packed snacks: string cheese and white cheddar rice cakes. Dinner when I got home was the kale soup again and a bottle of Hop Water, which is a hop flavored sparkling water by Lagunitas, and the closest thing I’ve had to beer in a long while. 

Wednesday January 27

Being consistent with food choices can seem especially difficult during a hectic week. As we prepare for the baby, which includes virtual classes, training our dog, and still working long hours, food might be the last thing on our minds. This is when you need to prioritize the most and spend a little time once a week to make your food plan. I’m grateful we did this on Sunday. We’ll finish the kale soup today and I have another recipe, turkey zucchini burgers from the Jerusalem cookbook to make for tonight to hopefully get us through until Friday, and that really takes the pressure off. I was recently reminded that my calorie goals for 3rd trimester are an extra 450 a day, which seems like a lot. My plan is to keep watching my weight, making sure I’m gaining at the speed I’m supposed to, and focusing on nutrient quality.

Breakfast was brought to me by my lovely husband, who made me an amazing banana and egg pancake. This is basically 1 banana mashed up into two scrambled eggs and cooked like a pancake. I put on some peanut butter and a little organic maple syrup. I got hungry again around 11 so I had half a grapefruit, which I’ve been craving lately. Lunch was the end of the kale soup topped with avocado and sour cream (two fats, I know!), preceded by a 30 min walk with Moto. We had a walk date planned with another pregnant friend which we did around 3:30 for an hour. It’s sunny and cool so perfect walking weather.

Dinner was the aforementioned turkey and zucchini burger recipe, paired with an Asian cabbage salad my husband threw together which is a staple in our house, plus small white beans. We always have a lot of Asian condiments on hand, like rice vinegar, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, and ginger. This week felt like we had a great meal plan in place, which definitely reduced dinnertime stress. I’m looking forward to treating myself to a take out treat dinner this Friday after a super healthy week!

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