As silly as it may sound, brainstorming daily and weekly meals used to be a huge source of stress for me. There were nights I’d come home, stand in front of the refrigerator – exhausted – and get so frustrated I’d leave the house to grab takeout – just to avoid the agony of having to prepare something.
Today, food is no longer a stressor for me. And it doesn't have to be one for you either! What changed? I plan my meals, shop with intention and prepare what I need for the entire week. Now, food (and mealtime in general) is something I look forward to!
Here's an example of what I eat in a day as a plant-based dietitian, which includes my prep and thought process behind each dish. Hopefully these meals will inspire you to create your own and to ultimately discover a routine that works for you!
What a Dietitian Eats in a Day
My morning starts with an early workout followed by walking my dogs, getting dressed and preparing for clients. Needless to say, they're quite rushed. I don’t have time to cook, let alone sit down to enjoy my breakfast.
This is why I normally opt for overnight oats. I make it the night before to simplify my A.M. routine. This meal is a great blend of macronutrients. The oats and berries provide complex carbohydrates, the soymilk and peanut powder provide protein (which is especially important after my early-morning workout!) and the chia seeds provide essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Another reason why this is a great option is that it's easy to switch up the flavors. Swap blueberries and cinnamon with pumpkin and all spice for a delicious fall-inspired twist. In the mood for something more tropical? Add pineapple, mango and coconut milk. The possibilities are endless!
Lunch: Burrito bowl with black beans, cauliflower rice, peppers and avocado.
For lunches, I’m all about combining leftovers from other meals. This practice often results in having burrito bowls midday. I like to combine leftover black beans, which provide a healthy combination of carbs and protein, with cauliflower rice. I also like to toss in whatever greens I have on hand, such as kale or romaine, plus broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, peppers and sliced avocado. Sprinkle on some taco seasoning or a few dashes of cumin and you've got yourself quite the meal!
Dinner: Plant-based crab cakes with cashew sauce and chickpea salad.
When I first went plant-based, seafood was definitely the most difficult food group to remove from my diet. But now, after learning the flavors and spices, I can once again enjoy my old favorites!
This version is made with hearts of palm, a delicious veggie you can easily find in the canned foods department at Vitacost.com.
Although full of flavor, these crab cakes are not rich in protein like their crustacean-based counterparts. To make up for the lack of protein and lower carb count, I pair these savory cakes with a chickpea salad consisting of lemon juice, parsley, red onion and cucumber.
For dipping, I like to whip up a creamy cashew-based sauce, which contains nutritional yeast and a splash of lemon juice.
In additional to preparing nutritious meals on the daily, I'm also super mindful of my water intake. My daily goal is roughly 100 ounces. When I get bored of drinking water, I’ll add some pops of flavor like lime, cucumber or mint!