Like with most professions, working as a dietitian has its pros and cons. Sure there’s upside, I help people for a living. Job satisfaction…tick. I also apply much that I have learned over the years to my own eating pattern. But if you’re thinking I’m a clean eating, rabbit food only kind of guy, you’re sorely mistaken.
One thing about working as a dietitian is that you’re always on the job.
People are always watching. Whether I’m walking down the street with a work colleague to grab some lunch, or I’m out for dinner with friends, my food and drink related decisions are under the spotlight. I know you’re watching.
I’m asked what I eat almost daily, so I’ve decided to share with you a typical day in the life of a dietitian. As you will see, my eating pattern is by no means perfect, but it’s certainly sustainable.
Every morning I wake up around 6.30 am, change a nappy or two, and sit down to a bowl of porridge with my son. I usually add some cinnamon and chia seeds. I have this with full-cream milk. Sometimes if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll add some banana. I usually wash this down with a cup of English Breakfast tea.
By around 8.30am – where’s the coffee? Usually it’s a small Long Mac. More than this and I feel dizzy. Just the one per day.
I almost always eat something between my coffee and lunch.
Usually a snack like a piece of fruit, handful of nuts, muesli bar, or some full fat Greek yoghurt.
Lunch is a mixed bag. Really depends on what I’m doing. If I’m organised I’ll bring leftovers from last night’s dinner. If not, I’ll walk to the supermarket and grab some tomato, spinach, avocado, cheese and ham, and make a couple of small rolls (cape seed) with French Mustard. I grab a Vietnamese salad with fried spring rolls from the local café once per week.
Every afternoon around 3pm I’ll eat a pink grapefruit. They’re so good at the moment. I’m obsessed. Get involved. After the two rolls for lunch, this is normally enough to get me through to dinner.
When I get home from work
I’ve been known to get stuck into the cheese and waterthin crackers. Bree or Camembert are my favourites. Not ideal, but I have small portions. Other times I’m happy to wait for dinner.
Dinner during the week is amazing at the moment. Always served at 6 pm on the dot. The family almost always sits at the table. No TV or any other distractions - house rules. My wife is on maternity leave and cooking up a storm. We’re definitely eating tastier and healthier meals than we normally would with both of us working. It’s usually meat and three vegetables. Sometimes we have spaghetti Bolognese or lasagne, perhaps a curry here and there, but no matter what the meal is, it’s always accompanied by half a plate of mixed veggies.
We don’t usually eat anything for dessert. Too busy putting the kids down to bed. Then out comes the dark chocolate! I don’t have a stop button. My wife project manages the packet. So annoying at the time, but I’m always grateful afterwards. I probably have one beer, or red wine most weeknights. Just depends. Some weeks I have a drink every night, other weeks nothing at all. I usually wash all of this down with a herbal tea before bed.
The weekends are a mixed bag. Not a whole lot of structure. I usually eat out once or twice. Almost always a breakfast somewhere. My go-to brekkie is eggs Benedict. There’s usually a couple of beers somewhere, some nibbles, a BBQ, and/or a kids birthday party.
So, as you can see, my eating pattern is by no means perfect, nor is it unhealthy. It’s normal, and the best thing is, there’s no deprivation, no following of strict dieting rules, and no guilt associated with eating foods considered ‘bad’ because I eat them in moderation. It’s win win.