It can be hard to keep up with all the diet research and advice out there and plan your life accordingly. We have a general idea of what’s good and what’s bad, and use that in decision-making (or purposefully ignore it). But what about the people whose job it is to know what foods are best for you and encourage you to make healthy choices? What do dietitians eat? Your Morning talked to Canada’s Dietitian of the Year, Sue Mah, and found out what she eats in a day. It’s a lot of veggies and plant-based protein, but there are some splurges in there too.
Apparently the thing a lot of us are lacking in our breakfasts is protein. Mah starts the day with an omelet to keep her full until lunch. She packs that thing with as many veggies as she can–another thing we don’t typically get in the morning–and even adds in some cheese. On the side she typically has some whole grain toast, orange slices and a glass of water. Sounds like a delicious way to start your day.
At lunch, Mah’s go-to is a pre-made lentil shepherd’s pie. The base consists of lentils and more assorted veggies like carrots and stewed tomatoes. The lentils are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, zinc and fiber. To lighten up the mashed potato topping, Mah adds cottage cheese to the potatoes. She finishes off the meal with a fruit salad (the vitamin C from the fruit also helps with the body’s absorption of iron from the lentils).
Like all of us, in the afternoon, Mah needs to think about beating that mid-day slump. This is when she indulges in a coffee; and not just any coffee, a double-double. If you’re going to splurge, make sure you enjoy it to the fullest. She also likes to pair produce and protein in the afternoon to keep her full and alert until dinner. One of her seasonal favourites right now is a quarter-cup of peanuts and a peach.
Dinner for Mah consists of salmon and a lot of veggies. As a general rule, half of your plate at any given meal should be dedicated to vegetables. She typically makes a salad with a bunch of the greens and veggies she has on-hand. Add quinoa for some more protein and interesting texture. She finishes off the meal with another bowl of fruit (you can’t get enough of that) and a piece of dark chocolate–70% cocoa or more–for the anti-oxidants and a burst of sweetness to end the day.
Looks like the moral of the story here is to eat your fruits and vegetables, get your lean protein and focus on good, fresh ingredients. We’re not sure how we feel about limiting our desserts to just one piece of chocolate after dinner, but it’s good to know even dietitians indulge sometimes.