A day on a plate
What does a nutrition expert really eat? We take a peek at what Accredited Practising Dietitian Sanchia Parker is dishing up this summer.
I love my morning coffee; I start every day with a coffee and skim milk. Some of my clients feel guilty for having coffees, thinking it’s bad for them, but enjoying a latte or two a day is fine.
Breakfast lately has been Bircher muesli – perfect for summer! I make a big batch every few days and keep it in the fridge to grab in the mornings. I just mix in what I have in the cupboards; it’s normally a mix of oats, bran for extra fibre, fresh or dried fruit and some good fats like nuts or seeds. Once topped with skim milk it can be left overnight to become creamy and thick. Some recipes call for juice instead of milk, but I find the juice adds too much sugar and sweetness. Plus, I get a serve of protein and calcium from the milk.
On weekends I avoid ordering Bircher muesli if eating out as it’s generally heavy on the sugar and normally a huge serve, so I will go for wholemeal toast and a poached egg with some tomatoes or spinach.
Like clockwork, hunger strikes around 10.30am – just in time for morning tea. In the fridge at the moment I have some different flavoured Greek yoghurts, so I have one of those and might mix in some fresh fruit or a handful of nuts.
Sometimes I bring in popcorn kernels to work and pop them in the microwave for a minute or two – delicious topped with paprika and dried herbs!
I don’t spend a lot of time making lunch – it’s normally leftovers from dinner the night before, or I keep a range of vegetables in the fridge at work (things like carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes) to chop up and mix with a tin of tuna or some beans or legumes. As lunch is quite simple, I like to use a lot of flavour with spices and herbs to keep it interesting. Chili features quite regularly!
As a rule of thumb, I aim for at least three different kinds of vegetables at lunch – I find loading up on vegetables fills me up well into the afternoon.
I used to get sweet cravings after lunch and desperately wanted a piece of chocolate or something similar, but I found that sipping on peppermint tea throughout the afternoon has helped abate the cravings. Although, having said that, every once in a while I might treat myself to a few pieces of chocolate!
Dinner is time to be a little more creative, as I am in my own kitchen and have more time to experiment. I like to try new things and like having lots of variety in my diet, so I am always looking up new recipes or trying out foods I haven’t tasted before.
My dinners are heavily plant-based, with some meat or fish featuring once or twice a week, and will generally be vegetables with some kind of grain or carbohydrate and some protein.
Last night was a Mexican bean stew and tonight will be rice paper rolls – a favourite for summer dinners. Again, lots of herbs and spices are used to flavour the foods.
I normally like something a little later in the evening – and it’s typically something sweet! I might make a little chocolate mug cake (it’s portion controlled so it’s less likely I will overindulge!) or have a Milo with milk.