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Food and Nutrition

Dietitian Diary: A Week With Kathy

Kathy Pariani, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ June 17, 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.

Sunday June 6

I really enjoy prepping my meals for the week on Sunday evenings, so I decided to start here.  I stopped at the store on my home from a weekend away at a family wedding, and am ready to get back to some home cooked meals! 

A quick marinade of soy sauce, dried ginger, garlic and sesame seeds on a pound of chicken thighs is in the oven for dinner tonight.  I will chop them up and mix with napa cabbage, romaine, cilantro, snap peas, toasted almonds and sesame seeds and a delicious sesame soy dressing. I love a salad with a good crunch.  This will be great for a couple meals this week.  After dinner, I make a batch of granola that will last a good two weeks for breakfasts, along with some yogurt and fresh berries. 

Make this granola your own by choosing your favorite nuts, seeds, spices and other add-ins; adapted from Elise Museles’ Whole Food Energy’.

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup maple syrup (note: try replacing this binding ingredient with 5 egg whites for a sugar-free savory granola!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons total of your favorite spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
  • 1 cup total chopped nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • 1 cup total of seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, 
  • Optional additions: cacao nibs, buckwheat groats, shredded coconut, dried fruit, flax, chia, hemp

Bake on a sheet pan at 325 °F for 25-35 minutes

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Monday June 7

I start every day with a cup of dark roast and a splash of half and half.  After a few early morning appointments, I spent less than a minute preparing my yogurt, granola, blueberry breakfast. I can get pretty hungry in the mornings, but the combination of the half and half in my coffee and the quite nutrient dense granola kept me feeling satiated until lunch. 

Lunch today was super easy. I served up some of my salad from last night along with about a tablespoon of dressing.  

I had a turkey Chomp stick and a peach for snack today. A pretty satisfying combo I must say. Also quite filling, which led to a later dinner for me, around 7:30. And guess what I had – more chicken salad. You wouldn’t think it would be so filling but the large amount of veg, along with dressing, chicken and nuts is really satisfying. No cravings noted. I put some frozen salmon in the refrigerator so it will be thawed and ready for tomorrow’s dinner – when I will finally not be eating chicken salad anymore.


Tuesday June 8

Same coffee, same breakfast, same lunch – the slight annoyance of eating the same thing is ultimately outweighed by the fact that I didn’t have to think of something else to make, and best of all, there were no dishes to wash, except my bowl and fork. 

After lunch I took a 4ish mile run around the neighborhood. I tend to get headaches after runs if I don’t replace electrolytes.  One of the easiest ways I’ve found to do this is to squeeze half a lemon into a large glass, add 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and an 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Mix it up well, fill with water, mix again and drink up. I also had a string cheese to tide me over until dinner.

I was all set to make some delicious salmon tacos – inspired by many of my patients’ photos! I received some very sad news about my cat and just didn’t feel like cooking. I did have those salmon fillets from Trader Joe’s which were very thin, so I simply poached them for about 4 minutes, and added them to some greens with a bit of dressing on top. A corn tortilla with some cheese completed my meal. Not my most delicious dinner yet, but under the circumstances I felt good about cooking at all.  And my cat really enjoyed some leftovers ☺. Needless to say, no photo for this one!  

Wednesday June 9

Same breakfast

For lunch I made a chopped salad with the salmon from last night. I occasionally hear comments from people that they feel like they don’t know how to make a good salad.

A couple tips: dry your produce well – in a salad spinner, with a dishcloth or even a paper towel. Chop all ingredients fairly small so you have a variety of textures and tastes with each bite.  I really dislike it when a large leaf of lettuce smears dressing across my face as I’m trying to take a bite – chop it up! Tip #3 is variety – add some nuts, fresh herbs and a crunchy veg like celery to make your salads more interesting. Don’t skip on a bit of dressing – even if it is just olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. A bit of fat aids nutrient absorption and keeps you satisfied until your next meal.

In today’s salad I washed, dried and chopped the following: romaine, kale, cilantro, carrots, cucumber and English peas. Don’t forget to massage some olive oil into your kale to break down those fibers first. I mixed in some salmon, pumpkin seeds and lemon/olive oil dressing.  It would have been much better with some avocado, but I didn’t have any on hand.

I ended the evening with a bit of super dark chocolate. 

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Thursday June 10

Same breakfast

I prepped lunch and dinner this morning as I have later clinical hours today. TJ’s falafel mix is a quick easy plant-based protein that is delicious with some Mediterranean sides.  Today I added a few baked falafel to romaine, cucumber, tomato, toasted walnuts, and a lemon tahini dressing. I had a jar of harissa in my fridge – just a tablespoon adds a lot of flavor. 

Did it again for dinner ☺.  I poached two chicken breasts while I was cleaning up the kitchen so they would be ready for tomorrow.

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Friday June 11

Same breakfast

The mangoes were calling my name at the store yesterday. Chopped up some mango, avocado and chicken breast, added it to chopped kale and poured on the rest of my lemon tahini dressing from last night. Topped it with some sunflower seeds for crunch.

Friday evening, I went for a hike with a friend, and got take-out yellowtail tacos with a side of kale salad. Never gets old.

Saturday June 12

Same breakfast

On Saturdays I’m really getting to the end of my food supply.  For lunch I scrambled up the remains of my fridge which included 2 eggs, last bit of kale, a few cherry tomatoes, some cilantro and grated manchego.  I added some chopped avocado on the side.

I spent the afternoon planting a garden – so excited about this – and celebrated with a cold beer and sushi.

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Sunday June 13

Back to grocery shopping and meal prep day. I woke up to the same breakfast – that batch of granola is really working for me.  I decided to pick up a cookbook I purchased a few weeks ago (Cool Beans) for some inspiration. I picked a few recipes, wrote out my lists and headed out.

I ended up running errands right through lunch, so grabbed a tuna wrap from Trader Joe’s. Not what I really wanted, but better than the starving grumpy mess I would have been by waiting for a great meal. Once home, I cooked up some sides that can be combined in various ways for meals over the next few days: a black and pinto bean puree, some caramelized onions, lemon-herb tofu ‘cheese’, some roasted sweet potatoes.  I have a garbanzo chorizo on my list too – but I’ll leave that to a midweek night. Looks like the warmer weather is inspiring some vegetarian meals this week.

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