Why I Love Breakfast

Everyone who knows me well knows that I love breakfast. Yes, I believe that it is important to eat a morning meal to get your metabolism up and running for the day. Yes, I love most breakfast foods, like Greek yogurt, fruit, whole grain toast, eggs and smoked salmon. But really, it's the ritual of breakfast that I love the most.

I'm sort of a morning person, but I will fully admit I'm not a people person in the morning. I relish the hour or so I get to myself before the rest of the house gets up (the dog included). Breakfast is me time. A time to wake up. A time to relax and simply enjoy before the day really gets started. Some people have meditation; I have breakfast.

Nourishing foods, freshly ground Hamptons Coffee and a New York Times crossword: it might sound simple, even silly, but I have so much value for my morning routine. We live in such a fast-paced world, so many people rush through the day without taking some time for themselves. It doesn't have to be breakfast, but I encourage you to find a few moments when you too can simply enjoy. Take a 15-minute afternoon stroll, get away from your desk during lunch, or head to bed a few minutes earlier and read a new book. Find time for yourself no matter how stressful the day. You will learn to look forward and cherish the few moments for you.

How to Build the Perfect Salad

Salads are my go-to lunch. They pack a ton of vegetables into one dish, they're super filling, and they can be eaten at home or on-the-go. There are so many possibilities for delicious salad combinations, but I generally stick to this formula when crafting my lunch:

Step 1: Pick a Green Base

Generally, the darker the green the healthier it is, but you don't always need to opt for spinach or kale. Romaine works well if you’re in a crunchy and crisp mood and there may be some days when you're just craving iceberg---and that's fine. You can also use chopped salad mixes that incorporate cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts and more.

Step 2: Add More Color

Pile on the color: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, summer squash...seriously anything goes. I love to add leftover roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower from dinner the night before. Go to town here.

Step 3: Choose a Protein

You need a protein to help keep you satisfied. Leftover grilled chicken or steak, canned tuna or salmon, or hard boiled eggs are go-to options if you like a little meat. For vegetarian protein sources, try quinoa, beans, hummus, seeds, chickpeas or lentils. Remember, a serving of animal protein is about the size of a smart phone; for vegetarian sources the standard is half a cup.

Step 4: Dress it Up with Healthy Fat

Adding some healthy fat to your salad will bring flavor, promote satiety, and aid in absorption of all the nutrients in those vegetables. Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of vinegar is the simplest way to go. If you buy a dressing, pick one with simple ingredients, preferably organic, and stick to just about one tablespoon of dressing. You can also add avocado, cheese like feta, or nuts. If you add a fat source go easy on the dressing.

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)

Why I Became an RD

Lots of people get intimidated, even turned off, when they hear I'm a dietitian. I think the word "dietitian" sounds a little strict, and people often interpret the word to mean "food police."

I'll be the first one to admit I'm a healthy eater. I eat a ton of vegetables. I eat whole grains and beans. I eat fruit every day and I eat fish a few times a week. But I also eat dessert. And pizza. And the occasional burger.

Everyone has their own interpretation of what "healthy" means. My philosophy is about eating wholesome foods and using food to nourish your body, mind and soul. Good health is about so much more than nutrients (though nutrients are super important too). 

I became a dietitian because I love food. I love to eat good foods to nourish my body, but I also respect the power food has as a part of culture, the ability it has to bring joy, and the role it plays in our families and communities.

Yes, I start my day with Greek yogurt and fruit and eat salads most days for lunch, but I also go out for ice cream. I drink wine and eat cheese. When I travel, I eat the local specialties and on holidays, I eat the traditional dishes.

As a dietitian my goal is to help clients find the balance that works for them. I strive to help others learn to love and appreciate how eating well makes them feel and understand the connection good food has to health. I help clients develop a healthy relationship with their food, and emphasize that their is a place for food that is indulgent and fun.

I became a dietitian so that I could help other learn to love food, not fear it or agonize over it. I became a dietitian to help create a healthier, happier and well-fed world.

 

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