Often as dietitians, we get the question, “What do you do?” in reference to our eating and exercise habits. I think the hope is that we will share some great secret to health. The truth is, everyone is different (and has different goals) so what works for me might not work for you. By sharing a day in my life, however, I’m hoping it will perhaps spark a little creativity in yours and give you insight into how this nutrition professional plans her day.
To start, I think it’s important for you to know what my personal goals are for eating and exercise. It may help frame why I do what I do. Many years ago, I started to shift my thinking from weight based goals to performance based goals. That thinking has only solidified as I’ve progressed into heavy weight training. I’m now more focused on what my body can do rather than what number I see on the scale. Can I carry my stand up paddle board down the cliff to the ocean and then back up to the car after 3 hours of surfing? Can I make it up that rock wall? Do I have the endurance to make it through a strenuous hike with my friends? Can I carry all 6 grocery bags into the house at one time (I’m about 50/50 on this one)? I also consider the effect of my habits on my mental wellbeing. Am I eating and moving in a way that supports my focus, energy and mood? Most of the time, the answer is yes! And when the answer is no, my body and mind will let me know!
So lets take a look at my day…
MorningThat, my friends, is my alarm. I know it seems ungodly early, because it is. Here’s the thing, I like to workout in the morning. Everything is better when I do – my mood, my energy, my focus, everything! Because I can not just jump right out of bed and head out the door (I’ve tried, I end up cranky and usually forget things like socks or my lunch), I build time in so I can ease into the day.
Just as my favorite mug suggests, I have a deep love for my morning coffee. The first thing I do is make a cup (I limit it to 2/day), then crawl back into bed, snuggle my husband and watch an episode of The Golden Girls. Having a morning ritual helps my anxiety, makes me happier and gets me ready to face the day. Some people meditate, I watch the Golden Girls!
Off to the gym around 6am. I do strength training 4 days/week, interval cardio 1 day/week, surfing or rock climbing on the weekends and a LOT of walking throughout the day. Because I have an issue that delays how quickly my stomach empties, I use a liquid carb and protein supplement to fuel my morning workouts. I’ve found that this type of fueling works for me. Fueling your workouts is essential so you’ll get the most out of the session. Check out this post for more ideas on how to fuel pre and post workout.
I also don’t go anywhere without my trusty 40oz water bottle!
After the gym on my way to work I eat my breakfast. Because I’m eating on the go, I need something portable so sandwiches work well! I can also make them in batches on the weekend for grab and go all week long. This week is egg, labne and pickles on sprouted wheat!
Through the rest of the morning, I sip on a smoothie. I switch up my recipe every few weeks (when I get tired of it). This week was frozen pineapple, banana, almond milk, hemp seed and broccoli sprouts.
AfternoonBatch cooking and prepping my lunches ahead of time is essential. I prep lunches for 4 weekdays which allows for 1 lunch out per week. I enjoy the social aspect of going out to eat but limiting to 1 day each week saves me money and calories! This week I prepped a salad with spinach, whole wheat couscous, mandarins oranges, toasted almond, cilantro and air fried tofu. I made the dressing using teriyaki sauce, vinegar, and olive oil. It was filling and delicious. When meal prepping for the week, I pull recipes from multiple places including Facebook, Pinterest, a variety of websites (including my fav www.eatingwell.com) as well as a few handy cookbooks. I follow up lunch with an short 20 minute walk.
I usually have an afternoon snack on my commute home because by 5pm, I’m usually pretty hungry. My go to is a portable fruit (this week it’s cherries) and sometimes a protein bar (I like RX bars). This helps so that I’m not starving by dinner time.