This is a guest blog post by Wendy Kaplan, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in oncology. She is the Nutrition Consultant/Educator for Mondays at Racine Cancer Care Foundation, a 501c3. Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and read more of her posts on the Mondays At Racine Blog.
People often wonder, and I know this because they outrightly ask, what do I eat? Well, I’m about to unravel the mystery! I’m a big foodie and love anything to do with food, cooking and eating. Here’s what a typical day of meals and snacks look like in my universe.
Variety is key and my meals are never boring, I’m always creating something. In fact, a good friend who is an expert makeup artist always says we’re both amazing artists, her with makeup and me with food.
I’m not really a creature of habit, except maybe with my favorite breakfast smoothie! I blend together 1% milk, banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter and ice. I put it in a to-go cup because I usually make more than I want for breakfast and wind up thanking myself later when it double as a mid-morning snack! I sometimes swap the peanut butter with other nut butters to change things up a bit. Not only does it serve that purpose, but I’ll also be getting different nutrients because different nuts contain different star nutrients. Yes, I do think this way, remember I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!
Also in the morning mix, I squeeze in a 1/2 of Starbucks grande blonde roast leftover from the day before. Since I never consume the whole thing, my cup is always 1/2 full!
Next up is lunch. I make these crazy, creative, delicious salads meals. The base is a mix of two lettuces, arugula (my fav) and whatever came in my CSA share that week. (Do you know what a CSA is? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture and by joining one you get a weekly box of locally grown produce.) Today was red leaf! Then I added in english peas, riced cauliflower, red pepper, mango, sunflower seeds and organic rotisserie chicken. Adding just a few ounces of chicken really ups the protein and makes for a more satisfying meal. I also decided to splurge on some Shaved Cheese Blend which added a significant amount of calcium and protein, but also undesirable saturated fat. The dressing pick of the day was lemon honey vinaigrette. Other days it could be cilantro lime ranch or balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t do fat free salad dressing, or fat free anything, except Greek yogurt. I don’t like the taste and it typically has other undesirable ingredient fillers to take the place of the fat. Remember, we need fat for satiation and absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Later on that afternoon, I ate the most delicious watermelon (CSA bonus) and slices and 5 whole grain Triscuits lightly cream cheesed and overdosed with fresh scallions. I really love my organic vegetable CSA!
I didn’t really have a plan for dinner, but was craving tomatoes and cabbage (don’t you?) so I took out a large pot and sautéed some onion in extra virgin olive oil and then started throwing in other various foods. I added low sodium vegetable broth, 1 pound can of unsalted tomatoes, fresh tomato chucks, red kidney beans, zucchini, sweet potato, whole wheat elbow macaroni and the cabbage. Then I added a little Kosher salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, fresh basil, a drop of tomato paste, chili powder and 2 tbsp brown sugar. I brought that to a boil and then let simmer for awhile. It made a ton and was absolutely delicious! My hubby concurred! I froze some because it is a great base for so many other meals…I can add meatballs, tortellini, chicken sausage or eat as a stand alone soup.
Oh, I think it’s also important to mention that in between all the above, I consciously try to hydrate as much as possible. I add fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices to water, seltzer or unsweetened green tea. As for combinations, anything goes, but today was ginger and apple in unsweetened green tea.
I try and meal prep for the week. Sometimes that plan goes well and other weeks not so much! It depends. On a good week I wash and cut up fruits and vegetables and maybe cook up some grains. This way I have lots of healthy choices that I can quickly grab from the refrigerator. If I’m not making my favorite smoothie for breakfast, I probably make an egg scramble with lots of veggies. I’m always experimenting with different flavor combinations. Sometimes I wind up with a very happy accident! I really believe that anything goes and even if something doesn’t look as nice as you had hoped, all you have to do is throw it in a bowl and use the word “deconstructed” in the title! So my runner up breakfast is actually a deconstructed egg scramble!
I would love to hear some of your favorite meals, snacks and hacks and if you feel you want some tips on how to make them healthier comment and I’ll respond!
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