What a Registered Dietician eats in a typical day

What a Registered Dietician eats in a typical day

  • Healthy Eating

  • Recipes

  • By Desiree Nielsen, Registered Dietitian

    When you’re a dietitian, people tend to take a keen interest in what you’re eating. And as a plant-centred, anti-inflammatory dietitian, I really do practice what I preach. I enjoy eating healthful foods and in fact, I crave them.

    However, there are some challenges I am sure that I share with some of you: time, meal planning and managing food waste. As a mother of two who runs her own business, I don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time preparing meals…unless I am developing recipes for work. I tend not to do weekly meal planning, even though the dietitian side of me knows how much easier it makes things. I have done it in the past but now that I work from home most of the time I usually make it up as I go! Some days, it’s a lot of fun…other days, I am scrounging up pantry staples because there is no time to hit the grocery store.

    With all of the recipe development I do, sometimes it’s really hard to use up everything before it needs to hit the compost bin. One of my main priorities in creating meals for my family is to try and be less wasteful and ensure we are rotating through our food supply.

    I thought it would be fun to take a peek at what a real day on my plate looks like, instead of an idealized version. As much as I enjoy scrolling through eye candy on my Instagram feed, let’s pull back the curtain on healthy eating to show you that you don’t always need unicorn smoothie bowls to eat healthfully…and deliciously!

    Breakfast: This chia pudding is one of my go-tos for a busy morning. Chia seeds are rich in soluble fibre, which makes them incredibly soothing to the digestive tract and their omega 3 fatty acids helps keep inflammation at bay. It takes just five minutes to put together the night before and it is really versatile – add any spices, fruit or add ons you wish! Today, I am pairing it with a rhubarb compote (from my recipe development during the week) and stirring in Bio-K+ to get my probiotic boost. 


    Lunch: Lunch is almost always leftover maintenance! Last night, we ate a delicious chili with sweet potatoes, butternut squash and kale. I am not a big fan of absolutes in nutrition but I do have a few goals: the first, is to eat greens, beans and seeds daily. These foods are high in fibre, minerals and anti-inflammatory phyto-chemicals that help me feel my best. The second goal is to make half my plate fruits or vegetables. I love chili and stews because they transform whatever you have in the fridge into a savoury, comforting meal. I didn’t quite have enough chili to make a filling meal so I baked a few fries to go along with it. I love this chili recipe…and you will too!


    Dinner: After a really busy day, sometimes dinner is super simple…but always satisfying! I am lucky that my kids are great eaters but admittedly, not all of my creations are a hit. This is a ‘tuna salad’ sandwich made with chickpeas; it’s the perfect combination of kid-friendly and healthy! It takes just five minutes to make and I enjoy it served open-faced, on European rye bread. I served the sandwiches with some Dijon green beans. That pink drink? It’s not soda…it’s kombucha!


    Food is my life…but that doesn’t mean I am fussy about it. Some days, it’s all about creativity and others, it’s just about getting the family fed! Enjoy playing in the kitchen but know that you don’t have to be a MasterChef to feed yourself well. Find the simple, flavourful recipes that make eating well a snap!

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    Desiree Nielsen Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author and host of the vegetarian cooking sshow, The Urban Vegetarian. Desiree takes an evidence-based, integrative approach to her dietetics work, with a focus on anti-inflammatory, plant-centredcentered nutrition and digestive health.
    View all articles by Desiree Nielsen
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