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Food and Nutrition

Dietitian Diary: Thanksgiving With Stephanie

Stephanie Chen, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ December 18, 2020
Food Diary

Today I’m sharing my Thanksgiving week! We all have different ways to manage eating around the holidays, and as you’ll soon see, I didn’t try to be perfect this time of year.

**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.

Monday 11/23

In preparation of what I know will be a few days of indulging later in the week, I make a mental note to myself to be slightly more restrictive in terms of portions for the next few days. I start my day with black coffee as usual, since I tend not to be too hungry in the morning. After catching up on a bit of work and scoping out some upcoming Black Friday deals (I have the day off), lunch rolls around at noon. Today I’m having 2 grass fed beef hot dogs on top of spring mix, and then a cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt mixed with a scoop of unflavored whey protein powder. After lunch, I take a quick walk around the block, and work on a few more things. At around 3 pm, I start my workout. I’ve been fortunate lately to be able to use my (newish) boyfriend’s backyard makeshift gym. Today’s agenda includes finding my one-rep max for deadlifts, followed by Day 1 of my latest routine: deadlifts (3 sets of 8), dumbbell bench press (3 sets of 8), squats (3 sets of 8), and dumbbell rows (4 sets of 12). Between long rests and snack at 4 pm (whey protein powder + water), I end up finishing at around 8 pm. Five hours is a long time, I know! Ideally this workout would’ve been done in 2-3 hours. By 8:30 pm, my boyfriend has dinner ready – today it’s pre-marinated tri-tip steak cooked sous vide. We are pretty much out of vegetables but I dig up some frozen spinach to microwave and have on the side. For dessert I treat myself to a square of Lily’s white baking chocolate. After dinner, I take a bath and we watch a hilarious Hulu show that we’ve recently gotten into – Ramy. Bedtime is around 12:30 am. 

Tuesday 11/24

I wake up at around 7 am today for work. This morning is full of calls with patients, so I don’t get around to making coffee until 11 am. At around noon, I put together a quick lunch of oatmeal mixed with protein powder, peanut butter, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. I also have some Quest chips (not recommended – they are pretty processed). Side note: eating this much protein per day is not exactly fun, but I am trying hard to put on muscle. After some more work, a nap, and a snack of protein powder + greek yogurt, I start workout Day 2 at around 4:30 pm. Today I’m doing bench press (5 sets of 3), banded belt squats (3 sets of 8), Bulgarian split squats (3 sets of 8 for each leg), and ab wheel (4 sets of 3) supersetted with band-assisted chin ups (4 sets of 4). Today is a little better – I finish by 8 pm. Dinner follows, and it’s leftover tri-tip. We finally have spring mix again today, so I have that instead of frozen spinach. I also have a can of chicken noodle soup. After dinner, I take a bath, start watching a documentary called Sacred Cow, and finish the night with more Ramy. Bedtime is around midnight.

Wednesday 11/25

I have an early day today, waking up at 6 am. Instead of making coffee which is too much effort for me today, I have warm water. After a morning of appointments, I have lunch at 12:40 pm which is again really quick: oatmeal with protein powder, one hot dog + spring mix, and some greek yogurt. After more work, it’s time to work out again at 3 pm. Normally I wouldn’t work out 3 days in a row, but because I won’t be able to do any strength training for the next 3 days, I squeeze in this last workout. Snack in between sets consists of greek yogurt + protein powder, and also some Quest chips, with a few bites of a freshly picked persimmon. Today is overhead press (5 sets of 3), banded deadlifts (3 sets of 8), rear delt flys (5 sets of 3), and nordic leg curls (3 sets of 6). I finish by 6:30 pm, but don’t get around to eating dinner until 8:30 pm. We end up going to Chick-fil-A’s drive through, and I order a cobb salad and light Italian dressing (I don’t add the crispy topping). I also eat ¾ of a navel orange. After dinner, I start packing for the next few days, and go to bed at around 12:30 am. 

Thursday 11/26

It’s Thanksgiving! My boyfriend and I spend the morning finishing up packing – we are spending the rest of the week at his mother’s house. It ends up taking longer than we expected, and the drive to Monterey takes over an hour. By the time we arrive it’s 2 pm, and lunch is ready for us – we have a feast of smoked turkey legs, Brussels sprouts, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, corn, and rolls. I go back for seconds – I’ve been waiting for this meal all week! Between lunch and dinner at 6:30 pm, I go for a nice long walk, and spend the day relaxing in front of the TV. Dinner is leftovers from lunch, in addition to a slice of apple cake topped with whipped cream. I also have a can of strawberry Perrier sparkling water – which, by the way, tastes like strawberry yogurt. Strange but I really like it. We don’t do much for the rest of the night, but do enjoy Yesterday (the 2019 film). Before bed, I do some online shopping as the Black Friday deals have started!

Friday 11/27 and Saturday 11/28

I really don’t do much these two days! It’s a lot of watching TV, taking walks, laundry, and enjoying my boyfriend’s mom’s cooking. Friday’s lunch is homemade enchiladas, chips, and guacamole. Dinner is more enchiladas, plus a big salad, and some pumpkin pie cheesecake. Saturday’s lunch is a charcuterie spread, tamales, and more pumpkin pie cheesecake. Saturday’s dinner is homemade pizza, salad, and another slice of apple cake.

Sunday 11/29

Today is the last day we are spending in Monterey. We take a walk in the morning, and for lunch we pick up a few things from Osteria Al Mare, a fabulous seafood restaurant. I split an order of mussels/clams, and clam chowder with my boyfriend, and finish most of my lasagna del osteria which is basically spirals of pasta, prosciutto, and mozzarella, with herbs and meat sauce. It’s delicious, and really filling, but it’s the last day to eat more pumpkin pie cheesecake so I have another slice for dessert. The afternoon is spent enjoying Indian Matchmaking on Netflix (super easy to binge watch!). We start driving back at around 6:30 pm. Soon after we get back, at 8 pm we squeeze in a quick workout – there’s not enough time for the full Day 4 routine of squats, bench press, barbell rows, and ab wheel, but I at least do my squats (5 sets of 3 reps). We pick up Chipotle afterward and start eating at around 9 pm. I try to keep my order on the lighter side – I don’t get rice or beans but order 2x chicken, mild salsa, medium salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce. The rest of the night is spent doing a bit of organizing before heading off to bed. 

Some food pics:

Some workout/walk pics:

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