What a Registered Dietitian Really Eats in the Summer

What a Registered Dietitian Really Eats in the Summer

  • Healthy Eating

  • By Desiree Nielsen, Registered Dietitian

    Eating well in the summer is, oh, about a hundred times easier, and more fun.

    My own garden is starting to explode with produce! The pumpkin plants I sowed too many of – rookie mistake – are threatening to take over the garden, and my tomato plant has grown more than a meter across! With an abundance of fresh and flavorful local produce, it’s enough to make even the vegetables want to run out and make a big salad!

    This is the perfect time to embrace simplicity. Think about a tomato: in the winter, they can be meaty and rather lackluster, so we cook them into hearty sauces and stews. In the summer, however, all they need is a tiny bit of salt and pepper, and they taste like heaven on a plate! When food is at the peak of flavor and nutrition, all it needs is simple preparation…which means you can eat well and still have time to make the most out of the season!

    Because I develop recipes as part of my work, my daily diet is ever-evolving. Right now, my routine feels like it’s on overdrive. I am currently beginning work on a cookbook and each day is about seeking out new flavors, products, and inspiration.

    Here’s what a day on my plate looked like this week:

    A rare treat! Breakfast out with a friend at the new Gastown plant-based cafe, Hey Kokomo. I love hearty breakfasts and these coconut curry lentils did not disappoint! They were just the early morning fuel I needed to tackle a hike at Cypress Falls, which always helps to get the creative juices flowing.

    Buddha bowls are such a great way to beat those eating ruts, but it may seem like they are too complicated to pull off for breakfast. The solution? Cook up grains and beans once a week, pre-chop veggies, and make a sauce. In an hour, you can make a whole week’s worth of breakfasts and not to have lift a finger in the morning!

    With all of the recipe testing happening right now, I have been doing a lot of tasting and grazing throughout the day. And of course, I can’t hold back when it comes to summer berries…they are my favorite treat!


    Even though my creations are all plant-based and nutrient-dense, sometimes eating a bunch of different foods can take its toll because I have a sensitive gut. Watching portions and taking my daily Bio-K+ has really been helping me stay balanced.

    After a full day of cooking, I am craving something exceedingly simple and light. My summer “zoodle” salad is the ultimate un-cooked dinner, where fresh and flavorful produce is the star! The lycopene in tomatoes even helps protect skin against summer sun damage. As an added bonus, it will help you use up the veggies that tend to take over your garden patch! You can find the recipe here

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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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