How a Registered Dietitian Personalizes Their Plate
The theme of this year's National Nutrition Month is "Personalize your plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes! In the spirit of the theme, we have asked four University of Utah registered dietitians to show us how they approach balanced nutrition by sharing what they eat in a day.
Hello everyone, my name is Amy Reeder and I am a registered dietitian with Wellness and Integrative Health at the University of Utah. I love one-bowl, one-pot, one-pan meals that incorporate veggies, protein, and carbs in one place, so you'll notice that theme — especially with my lunch and dinner meals. Another theme you will see revolves around beans. I love to cook beans, add beans to salads, and use lots of different kinds of beans (canned or dried). Part of the reason for so many beans is that I follow a mostly vegetarian diet and beans are a source of protein (and fiber!). Here is a typical day of eating for me:
Breakfast - Granola, Yogurt, and Berries
A one-bowl meal of granola, berries and yogurt. I like to make granola at home and when I do, I make a really big batch because it lasts a long time in an air-tight container. While the granola may stay the same for weeks at a time, I switch up the berries and yogurt for variety. Lately I've been trying some non-dairy yogurts and I try to keep them plain, with the added sweetener coming from the berries and granola. You might be surprised by how much "added sugar" is in flavored yogurt - sometimes more than a soda!
Lunch - Pasta With Beans
My preferred lunch involves leftovers, even though I also like a peanut butter and jam on whole grain bread every now and then too! This lunch of tomato, pasta, and big beans was also my one-pot dinner the night before. I visualize the Healthy Plate when I am prepping most meals and it reminds me to add a fruit or veggie to each meal. Here, I've grabbed a small bunch of carrots from the fridge to accompany my lunch. Remember, when you are adding veggies to meals it doesn't have to be a big production - adding carrots or cherry tomatoes or microwaving a bag of frozen veggies or opening a can of green beans are all as beneficial as a salad or other veggie dish!
Dinner - Salad With Chickpeas
Another one-bowl meal, in the form of a salad. More beans here, too. I used chickpeas that are sturdy and stand up to salad tossing and are high in protein. While I had a recipe for this meal, I like salads because you can toss in whatever sounds good to you! When I had this for dinner I put the greens and beans on the pita and ate it like a pizza. If you use sturdy greens like kale, along with beans, salads like this hold up in the fridge and are good the next day. If we broke this meal apart, we'd see parts of the Healthy Plate represented - greens and veggies in the veggie section, chickpeas in the protein section, and pita bread in the grain/starch section.