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Food and Nutrition

Food Diary: Autumn Eats With Nutrition Specialist Kathy

Kathy Pariani, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ November 23, 2022
food journal

Join Nutrition Specialist Kathy for a week of autumn eats!*

*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 October 30

Sunday morning and it’s cool, fall-y and foggy. I love a Sunday morning for drinking coffee, and loosely menu planning for the week. Started this morning off with steel cut oats, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, hemp seeds and frozen blueberries. I am really on a roll with this breakfast — I’ve been eating it for days with no end in sight. 

The other night I went out for dinner to a French restaurant and had a Salade Lyonnaise. When I think of salad at home I think, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, boring. Well the Lyonnaise is not that salad. It was so delicious and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The texture of frisee, the salty lardons, a gooey poached egg on top, brightened up with vinegar — so delicious. 

I might make it this week. I might not, but the reason I’m telling you all this is because I have a cookbook (Leon, Happy Salads)  that I sometimes pull out that is chock full of salads that are not boring. 

On the list this week from Leon is a pastrami salad with celeriac and savoy cabbage, grated so every bite has a little bit of something. Then there’s a halloumi salad with grated brussels and kale. Trying not to go off the deep end with a full week of salads because I’m sure I’ll get sick of them by the end of the week. For now, I’ll stick with those two.

Went for a run in the Headlands, came home and drank a scoop of whey protein in water. It’s so much more satisfying than it sounds. Then for lunch, ate the rest of my ancient grains lentil soup from Trader Joe’s with 2 fried eggs on top. 

Decided to go for a hike with a friend in the afternoon. Ate a Chomps turkey stick before, and 2 mozzarella sticks after, on my way home from the grocery store. 

I made the pastrami salad for dinner, except it was a prosciutto, capocollo salad instead. I like the texture a lot. Definitely needs something else with it — so had some sprouted toast with sunbutter.

Autumn eats | prosciutto, capocollo salad

Monday October 31

Happy Halloween!

Same breakfast, and same lunch as my dinner last night. When I am working out a lot I tend to get really hungry in the morning, so I also had some yogurt with homemade granola (recipe in my last dietitian diary) mid-morning. I feel a little silly saying that I’ve been doing P90X yoga once per week — not sure why, it’s a pretty great workout and really helps me focus on alignment which can sometimes get whacky with running. Did that this afternoon.

And then — Halloween! Hope you all had a fun holiday even though it was a Monday. I made a big pot of Minnesota Winter Vegetarian chili and some cornbread, and had some friends over to hand out candy on our street. I am lucky enough to be at the end of the parade route in my small town so all I need to do is walk outside and I’m at the party. Ate a few pieces of candy and drank some red wine. 

Tuesday November 1 

Had an early start today and didn’t have time to make oatmeal. Even 10 minutes is too long sometimes, so I decided to eat the yogurt and granola first. When I had a bit more time in the morning, I squeezed in a second breakfast of sprouted toast and 2 soft boiled eggs. Again, need the extra calories in the morning when I’m doing a lot of exercise.

This was a pretty easy food day for me. Ate chili and cornbread for both lunch and dinner. Also ate the rest of my pastrami salad before a trail run this afternoon. Had a few bites of coffee ice cream for dessert. Ready for an early bedtime tonight.

Wednesday November 2

Started off this morning with some weak coffee — ughhhhh. Thank you my sweet daughter for making my coffee but, that’s just not ok. Moving on. Back to my steel cut oats with nuts and blueberries for breakfast. Went to a 1 hour, small group, strength circuit class at my new local gym. Loving it. I am really someone that needs structure for strength training, and am also appreciating the social aspect of it after so long of this slow integration back into a community. 

Came home and ate a second breakfast — yep still happening. I’d rather eat my calories than drink them, so I made sprouted toast and eggs for a nice 22ish gram protein boost after breaking down every muscle in my body 🙂

And wow, so soon and it’s already lunch time. Well I could continue on with the chili pot, but I think I’ll freeze the rest and leave it for another day. Just a few days ago when I was dreaming about salads, halloumi and brussel sprouts were sounding so good. But fall so suddenly arrived, and I’m much more interested in warm food right now. Besides, I couldn’t find halloumi at the store — the woman at the cheese counter recommended a substitute which I now know is not a substitute. It’s still good, but is much more of a sheepy feta and not a squeaky halloumi. So. I’m making a kitchen sink bowl — the last bit of kale and cherry tomatoes from my garden, roasting the brussels instead of shaving and eating them raw. Chopped up the cheese. Toasted some walnuts. Oh and some leftover smoked salmon. A bit of lemon and olive oil and I think all of these things together will taste amazing. Still not a hot dish, more of a warm one, but the combo of cooked and raw will work.

Autumn eats | kitchen sink bowl

Dinner time and I am way too hungry to make something new. So glad I didn’t end up freezing the chili. 

Thursday November 3

Strong coffee this morning, so that’s covered, but I realized I was out of both oatmeal and eggs. Yikes, those are both my standbys. Instead I had a piece of sprouted toast with sunbutter and a smoothie with protein powder, banana and blueberries. I will need to make a quick run to the grocery store today. Second breakfast was yogurt and granola. Today is my rest day but my metabolism is still kickin’ so I’m feeding it. 

For lunch I stir-fried broccoli with chicken sausage, topped with the feta that was supposed to be halloumi. Two string cheese were a great mid afternoon snack.

Spruced up my leftover lunch for dinner with the rest of the roasted brussel sprouts from yesterday. Ate a couple squares of dark chocolate after dinner and went to bed early.

Friday November 4

Started my day with coffee, sprouted toast and soft boiled eggs. It’s hard to spend health food store prices on oatmeal when I’m used to Trader Joe’s, so I will have to wait until the weekend when I have time to make the trip.

Same yogurt and granola for second breakfast.

For lunch I roasted some broccolini and delicata squash with olive oil and salt, and seared some squares of salt and pepper tofu with garam masala. The last few cherry tomatoes from my garden added some freshness to the plate. Went for a trail run after work today, and ate 2 string cheese for a snack.

Autumn eats | broccolini, delicata squash, tofu

Drove into San Francisco for Ethiopian food, dharma talk and meditation and a couple of beers tonight. Weird combo, but had a great time.

Saturday November 5

Woke up with coffee, sprouted toast and soft boiled eggs. Ran some lovely trails beginning from Muir Beach today in the cold and fog.I love running in this weather, no views and it’s very wet, but the temperature was perfect and the landscape is very mysterious looking when you can barely make it out. After my run I ate half a steak burrito for lunch. Too much corn, not enough steak, but still tasty. And for dinner my boyfriend roasted a lovely chicken with root vegetables, and I made a salad of mixed greens, savoy cabbage, radicchio and avocado. I love the contrast of warm savory against a slightly bitter crunchy raw salad.

And that’s the end of my week. Looking back I feel good about the amount of cooking I did this week and am so grateful for the exercise I was able to fit in. Of course I think about the recommendations I make to others when making my own food choices. Protein at every meal is a big one for me — think I got this covered. I feel so much more satisfied when eating protein so ensuring it is on hand in adequate amounts is a solid habit at this point. Avoiding snacks is likely the second most common recommendation I make when one is in a weight loss phase. However, when in a building or training phase as I’m in right now the extra nutrient dense calories and protein are critical for improving performance and recovery. Hope you can find the balance that works for you this week!

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