Nutritionist in kitchen designing a healthy meal plan.

By: Emily, RD, LD

Some might think that a Registered Dietitian’s diet is always healthy. We have the education and training to support many people’s nutritional needs, including our own. I do believe I eat pretty healthfully, but who is to say that my definition of a healthy diet will meet your needs or will help you reach your own health goals?

I am a dietitian, but I am a human first, and thankfully, have really fun taste buds who love both cheesy nachos and an occasional yummy burger with fries. To me, that is part of my healthy diet, as I value my mental health around food in addition to the nutrient component. My taste buds also love fresh crunchy vegetables, a hearty crock pot meal loaded with nutritious vegetables, or anything off of the grill.

The great thing about food and our need for nutrients is that we have so many choices as to how we get nutrients that suit our personal preferences and help us reach the health and wellness goals of our choosing. 

Check Out My Meal Plan for a Day

What I eat in a day, as a Registered Dietitian, is meant to help me achieve my own wellness goals, which may or may not also support your wellness goals. The goals I choose to focus on include:

  • Nourishing my body with a variety of nutrients that will fuel my everyday activities
  • Support my body’s natural processes
  • Maintain an energized brain!

Here is just a glimpse of what my version of “healthy eating” looks like in a day.

Breakfast 

My typical breakfast will contain a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and a source of healthy fats. For me, starting my day this way provides energy to wake my body and mind after a long night’s sleep and keep me full until my morning snack. Whatever I eat in the morning needs to be convenient, quick, and sometimes transportable, so I can eat in the car or right when I get to work. 

  • Greek yogurt, a fruit like a banana or frozen berries, and chia seeds or nuts. 
  • 2 scrambled eggs, a slice of grainy toast smeared with butter or peanut butter.

Lunch & Dinner

In my best weeks, lunch is meal-prepped on Sundays and Wednesdays. I have tried the whole “cook once and eat all week” method of meal prep and that doesn’t work for me and my routine. By meal prepping twice in the week, my leftovers stay fresh, and I can give myself more variety!

Casseroles, pastas, crock pot meals, etc. I love it all. Regardless of the recipe, I’m creating. I do my best to add a source of vegetables and a protein, especially if it does not already call for one. Lately, the addition of different whole grains and lentils have been fueling my spunky energy needs.  

  • Roasted or air fried assorted vegetables (e.g., carrots, squash, broccoli, bell peppers, red onion) with a protein like chicken breast or salmon. 
  • Mix pasta, barley, or farro to leafy greens with a vinaigrette and feta cheese as a side dish or add a protein to make it a meal.
  • Beef or turkey taco salad with plain greek yogurt, salsa, avocado, and a few crunched up tortilla chips. 
  • Sandwich of whole wheat bread with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and turkey; raw crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery with PB. 

Snacks 

One thing about what I eat each day that may be similar to the Livea program is that I try to eat five to six times a day. Snacks are so important to me for the following reasons:

  • They ensure I do not get too hungry between meals
  • They help me get all the food groups in (hello variety of nutrients!)
  • They are a nice place to incorporate my “sometimes foods.”

Also, what a great way to have a quick break in the workday by taking five minutes for a snack, step away from your computer screen, or get a little stretch. I try to have 2-3 snacks in the day: a morning snack, an afternoon snack, and sometimes, an after dinner snack (or a little dessert). The afternoon snack can get a little late in the day, like pregaming dinner, but it works in my routine as I then have time to make a nice meal without the stomach growls interfering. 

My go-to snacks: 

  • Cheese Sticks
  • Fruit (bananas and pears)
  • A Livea Meal or other protein bar
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Cheez-its with peanut butter

Beverages

Water is like my morning coffee. I aim for 64-80 ounces of water each day, and I sincerely love it: the taste, how refreshed it makes me feel, and it is energizing! I prefer to start the morning off with 16 ounces right out of bed and sometimes have double that down as I’m arriving to work. Not only have I noticed the energy this habit has given me but also my digestion is more consistent. Aside from water, I may sprinkle in an adult beverage on the weekend, occasional orange juice, and coffee tends to be my afternoon pick me up about 3 days in the week.

Which Meal Plan Is Right for You?

Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all thing and how individuals define “healthy” may be different than the person next to them. The main take away I hope you receive is that there are no good or bad foods, perhaps just sometimes and always foods. How one dietitian eats is not necessarily how you should eat, especially if your wellness goals are different. Although, a dietitian can help you navigate what foods and nutrition will be helpful to get to your goals. 

If your goal is weight loss, I feel confident that the Livea Program is going to help you achieve that goal. As you navigate your journey with Livea, connect with your Lifestyle Consultant to explore what your new food-routine could look like when you are ready to maintain at your new weight!