What a Dietitian Really Eats, Part 1: Breakfast
Have you ever wondered what a dietitian or nutritionist really eats? I go through phases of eating the same breakfast for several days in a row and eating something different depending on the season, what leftovers are available, and how crazy or calm the week is. I'm guessing most of you can relate. Here are a few of my favorite breakfast meals I've been eating recently as well as "do's" and "don'ts" for how to start the day:
My day starts with a big glass of water or two, followed by full-octane coffee with real cream. I usually do a splash of organic milk and a splash of half and half for the perfect balance of creamy coffee goodness. I skip sugar and all sweeteners and usually enjoy two small cups of real coffee.
I never have juice, even 100% juice. No need for the condensed sugar and calories. We're all better off with whole fruit.
An appetizer with breakfast? I'm kidding, right? Nope. Because my day sometimes starts as early as 4 a.m. with my little guy's wake up call, I'll have a small banana and a few nuts with my cup of joe, especially if I wake up really hungry. I like to eat regular breakfast around 7 or 7:30 a.m. with my daughter so this tides me over until then. If you're someone who doesn't like to eat first thing after waking up or you do a morning workout, this approach might work well for you too. Have a small piece of fruit and a few nuts or yogurt pre-workout followed by breakfast later on in the morning.
The Weekday Main Course
Combining a solid source of protein with fiber, fills me up and keeps me energized until lunch time. Here are a few of my favorite options. Research shows that eating protein with breakfast helps control hunger throughout the day. I know this is definitely true for me so I don't skimp at breakfast.
- One fried egg with sautéed spinach, mushrooms and Avocado (1/2 small)
- Zucchini and ham omelet with salsa + 1/4 cup diced potatoes (if we had potatoes the night before)
- On the go: Toast with peanut butter or protein shake with Pb2, whey protein powder, 1/4 cup oats, and almond milk. For mornings when I'm in a rush or feeling lazy!
- Once per week: Oat flour high protein pumpkin waffles or pancakes. These are my daughter's favorite and we make a big batch so she can have them 2–3 times/week. I top mine with peanut butter, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of agave syrup or unsweetened applesauce.
I love bacon as much as anyone, but I reserve it for the weekends and keep it to 1–2 slices. Biscuits are a favorite of my white-flour loving spouse so we typically have them a few times per month. On occasion we also have sausage or home-made muffins or scones. This is to demonstrate that you don't have to eat perfectly "clean" all of the time to stay healthy. And splurging in small amounts is part of a balanced dietitian's diet.