We know that between work, family, and social demands, it’s hard to carve out time to eat clean on a daily basis. To gain inspiration, we were curious what a registered dietitian eats on an average day.
We asked Amaris Bradley, a registered dietitian and Director of Partnerships at PHA, how she keeps it healthy amid the chaos. As a nutrition pro, she knows eating on the go is a reality for most (including herself!), and has plenty of tips for nutritious meals and snacks that are easy to throw together. For even more nutritional insights, follow Amaris on Twitter @AmarisBradley.
“Oatmeal is my ultimate go-to breakfast as it hits all my markers for convenience, cost, taste and nutrition. In general, Americans typically only eat half the amount of fiber that experts recommend consuming every day. We should aim for 30 grams of dietary fiber each day, and a one-cup bowl of cooked oats provides 4 grams – nearly 13% of your needs for the day! On Sunday evenings it takes me 15 minutes to make a big batch that lasts us all week long, which means my husband and I just portion out a bowl each morning and zap it in the microwave. (It’s easy to toss in a container and take with you on-the-go, too!) I don’t skimp on ingredients, either, which is the key to turning bland oatmeal into a craveable breakfast. Our oatmeal is typically loaded with ground flaxseed, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, all-natural peanut butter, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut, soymilk and fresh sliced banana. And because I need a cup each morning, these oats conveniently pair well with black coffee, which also doubles as a rich source of antioxidants.”
“I nearly always have a snack in the late morning hours so my stomach grumbling doesn’t disturb my workmates. I tend to go for low-fat yogurt and a handful of roasted almonds, which is a deliciously satiating snack pair chock full of protein (18 grams!). I always keep a stash of snacks in my desk drawer – from whole grain crackers and granola bars to dark chocolate squares and apples. You just never know when you’re going to need an energy pick-me-up.”
“Sundays are my meal prep days, which means my husband and I set aside an hour or less to assemble all of our lunches for the week – which in our case is usually salad. This week we made a Greek-inspired batch with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, fluffy quinoa, black olives, chickpeas, chopped red onion, and reduced fat feta cheese on a bed of spinach, all drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Aside from boiling the 15-minute quinoa, these ingredients are a breeze to throw together … and definitely take less time than standing in line to pick up lunch anywhere in downtown Washington, DC.”
“As the end of the day nears, I reach for a reduced-fat cheddar cheese stick and apple for a sweet and salty snack that will hold me over through my workout.”
“You’ll see a theme here with my meals … After hitting the gym, I run home to make a batch of baked pasta. I sauté a red onion and a few minced garlic cloves in olive oil, add two big cans of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste, and let simmer while I generously stir in salt, pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano and basil. As that stews and thickens, I boil a box of whole wheat rotini noodles. While the water boils and the tomato sauce stews, I chop four fresh zucchinis and toss them in the sauce to cook. The final steps are draining the cooked pasta, tossing it in a baking dish, mixing in the tomato sauce and topping with shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese while it’s still hot so it melts. The fiber from the pasta and zucchini and the protein from the cheese make this meal perfectly filling in no time at all. Bonus: it pairs well with an antioxidant-packed glass of Pinot Noir!”