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Food and Nutrition

Food Diary: A Week With Danielle

Danielle Cortez, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ October 31, 2022
food journal

Wondering what a dietitian eats? Danielle is Enara’s Director of Nutrition and Exercise, a Nutrition Specialist, and mom to her toddler. She’s sharing everything she eats in a week in this just-for-fun piece!*

*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.

Thursday September 22

Woke up at 5am to exercise before my husband leaves for work. He is out the door at 6:20am everyday, leaving me with our daughter to get her ready and drop her off at daycare on some days. If I want to work out, I need to be in the garage gym by 5:30. I did a Peloton 45 min strength training class this morning even though I really wanted to stay in bed. My daughter eats delicious breakfast foods these days like thick homestyle waffles with butter or peanut butter, and microwaved eggs with cheese. Maybe we should do her food diary instead? Way more fun. I try not to graze when I feed her because I’ve seen way too many parents struggle with their weight due to eating their kids’ table scraps and I really try to not eat before 8am. Alas, I did nibble a bit due to early morning workout hunger. At 8:30 I had Greek yogurt, peanut butter, frozen berries, Cheerios and chia seed parfait while I prepared for a day of patient care, which I paired with a decaf Sweet and Spicy tea. It’s temporarily cooler in the mornings here in San Diego which justifies a hot bev. 

Since it’s Thursday, we are really running low on groceries. I had a salad with TJ’s Italian chicken sausage, pinto beans we batch cooked in the instant pot, an avocado pack and salsa verde over mixed greens.

After this, I had a half of a chocolate chip dunker from TJ’s. I’ve looked at the dunkers wistfully for years every time I food shopped and I finally pulled the trigger. If you can moderate (my husband cannot), they are a nice portion-controlled dessert. I should mention my goal currently is to maintain my weight so this works for me, but it may not for everyone. 

Pre-dinner I had a handful of Bamba (peanut snacks) to tide me over while we decided what to do for dinner. On a whim, and because we had eaten home every night since Saturday, I ran out to get Jersey Mike’s for the three of us. We live in the suburbs now so good food is not too close; I found that at Jersey Mike’s I could get a “tub” made of any sandwich, which is basically the salad version. We all got #7s: turkey & provolone Mike’s Way (lots of veggies, a little oil and vinegar) and I added guacamole. I splurged for a fountain Diet Pepsi on the side and had a few Doritos. I’m a recovering Diet Coke drinker that resurfaced again while I was pregnant, and only try to drink them every so often on a day I’m really craving one. Research has not been conclusive about the long term harm of artificially sweetened beverages, so I do give myself a pass sometimes. My daughter devoured her mini sandwich, which was a rare treat for her. 

Friday September 23

Fridays I’m currently home with Skye, so it’s always grab and go for me. I try to avoid working out on those days since it’s already an exhausting day. Hanging with her all day is harder than any job I’ve ever had (rewarding, and often fun, but not easy). She had her breakfast and we took the dog for a walk. Quickly before heading out for music class, I had the rest of a container of cottage cheese (Skye shared), one Veggies Made Great spinach egg white frittata from Costco (great frozen item) and 1 cup of frozen grapes (Skye shared) with ~1 tbsp peanut butter. I planned to get an iced americano after class but she fell asleep in the car so I skipped it. 

For lunch while Skye napped I did some work and had my usual breakfast but for lunch, which was the yogurt parfait from the other day. It’s hot again and we’re still low on interesting food so this was quick and cold. When my daughter woke up and only ate a quarter of her leftover sandwich, I did finish it as I was still hungry. I’m not happy I did that, especially since I didn’t work out this morning but Skye days are challenging and I tried not to beat myself up, since later that day I will take her to a kids’ gymnastics place where we both will run around quite a bit. We then met my husband at a winery nearby that we’re members of, where we each had a glass of wine and shared a small cheese plate. I then ate leftover ground turkey and added veggies to it when we got home. 

Saturday September 24

This begins a pretty busy and social weekend for us. I woke up sleepy but had planned to work out so I got myself in the garage gym to do a 45 min Peloton tread bootcamp. It’s the hardest workout I do and I always feel great after I do it. I took a trip up to Temecula in the late morning with a girlfriend where we shared a wine tasting and a small pizza. Shortly after I came home another girlfriend came over for dinner. We wanted to keep it pretty basic, so we set out two types of cheese with crackers and pepper jam, grilled pre-marinated chicken shawarma from Trader Joe’s with zucchini and onion and chimichurri. I like to entertain with the pre-marinated meats there, but due to the salt content we don’t use it as a staple. Our friend made a chickpea and cauliflower dish with homemade tahini herb dressing. I had 1.5oz of tequila on the rocks with lime too. Too much cheese over the last couple days and I know I’m going to feel that tomorrow.

Sunday September 25

I took our dog for a 30 min walk and then hung with Skye while my husband played pickleball. I went to Starbucks and then picked up chocolate cake ingredients to make for a neighbor who has helped us out a lot recently. We then met up again at a local park to play for a bit. I felt like I ate more than usual yesterday so I didn’t eat until about 11:30, and then had some cottage cheese, 1 cup of frozen grapes with a little peanut butter while I made the chocolate cake. Luckily I’m not a big fan of cake so it wasn’t tempting, though I did try the batter and realized I totally forgot the sugar (insert dietitian joke here). We were going to two parties this afternoon so wanted to eat light until then. The first party was a neighborhood goodbye party where I indulged in a small glass of champagne and a couple bites of a spinach pie. We then moved on to a Rosh Hashanah dinner (the Jewish New Year) which was actually at the home of someone who was one of my first members at Enara almost 6 years ago! We’ve become good friends (she is no longer a member of mine) and she also lives in San Diego so it was great to have our families celebrate together. The food was delicious: challah, different types of herring, chicken, brisket and noodle kugel. My daughter wasn’t intent on sitting nicely at the table so we all took turns playing with her and the other kids. My husband and I ultimately ended up sharing a plate of food. Of course I had to have some lemon and passionfruit tart. I left with a headache (I’m sure two partial glasses of wine didn’t help) but had a lovely time. 

This was a VERY social weekend with a lot more drinking than I usually do. I don’t usually eat out or drink on Sundays because I don’t want to start the week lethargic. I know I’ll be puffy for a few days since what I eat and drink always shows up on my face.

Monday September 26

Woke up feeling better than expected though not great. Luckily Moto and I hike Cowles Mountain across from our house every Monday morning, which is about 3.5 miles door to door (going to the top). We ran for most of it today. I was hungry at 8am when starting work, so I had cottage cheese, an apple and peanut butter with a decaf espresso. 

Lunch was quick between and in meetings. I had leftover Trader Joe’s cruciferous crunch, ground turkey, and quinoa with a little hummus and some of my brother’s Hottee Aguacatee hot sauce, plus half a dunker. Dinner was leftover chicken shawarma and grilled zucchini with hummus. It was a leftover kind of Monday at our house. I’m determined to avoid alcohol this week to make sure I have a clear head and lots of quality sleep. My energy definitely continued to lag throughout the day. 

Tuesday September 27

This was a weird one. Gave Skye her waffle which she wasn’t that into so I finished it, along with a few blueberries and a decaf espresso. I was watching her this morning since her daycare is closed, and Tuesdays are apparently when everything fun is also closed. We went to the playground around 8:45 and then to Target, which has endless excitement for a toddler. We both ate Harvest Snaps as we walked around, which I consider a potential low moment in my current life, both from an eating and maybe parenting perspective. 

Lunch between meetings was a salad with chicken sausage, grape tomatoes, lettuce, quinoa, a little herbed tahini dip from TJ’s, chimichurri and salsa verde. I love sauces but in small amounts. I then had a full dunker, because it was a full dunker kind of day. 

I ate some more Harvest Snaps with my daughter around 4:30 as we were waiting for my husband to cook dinner, which was Asian style tofu and sauteed cabbage, a staple at our house. We add miso, coconut aminos, sesame oil, and garlic to both dishes when cooking. We also made mini spinach tortellinis for my daughter in our never ending quest to get her to eat more veggies, so I had a couple of those too. Dessert was a Hi-Chew; Japanese candy is a favorite of mine. I definitely ate snacky foods more often than I wanted to today, but we were off schedule.

Wednesday September 28

Breakfast was a yogurt parfait after a 4 mile run with Moto. 

Lots of meetings today, so I grabbed the same lunch I had yesterday with some broken tortilla chips on top plus a Polar black cherry seltzer. Back in the day when Enara was just a local clinic, Jenn from the billing team and I taste tested many black cherry seltzers and this one always came up top of our list. For economic purposes we have a Sodastream but there’s nothing like a cold can of flavored seltzer. 

For my pre-dinner snack before a later meeting I had a TJ’s carb savvy tortilla with a little butter and TJ’s elote seasoning. The tortillas are not very good, very rubbery. I prefer Mission Carb Balance but I would have to make a separate trip. For dinner I had leftover tofu and cabbage and made some homemade spicy mayo with mayo and sriracha as my fat portion. After dinner I shared a dunker with my daughter who called it a “tootie.” Very cute. Was I happy she didn’t eat much dinner but loved the dunker? No, but I approach parenting with food the same way I approach it for myself, which is trying not to emphasize any foods as “treats” or “good vs. bad.” I don’t want her to value cookies over cabbage, and also want to make room for all of these foods in her diet, and in mine. 

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