I suppose the assumption around dietitians and student dietitians is that we eat “perfectly” 100% of the time. No chocolate, or ice cream or anything else “bad” in sight. But, we are human, we enjoy the occasional dessert – I speak for myself that it keeps me sane. I don’t like to focus on being perfect and putting pressure on myself like that because food no longer becomes the enjoyable thing that it is. I’m very accepting of any “indulgences” and I don’t let it get out of control (like I used to – a story for another time).
As someone who is young, my diet is really quite variable – I like to try out new cafes and my hunger seems to fluctuate a lot, meaning I’ll eat a lot more on some days than others. I’m also very active – I go for morning walks and dance when I’m studying, and when I’m not I usually manage to get 12,500 + steps each day no matter what’s going on!
Now it’s winter time, I love to have a nice warm breakfast and porridge is the perfect start to my day. The high fibre cereal keeps me full throughout the morning – I typically add banana, cinnamon and a tad bit of honey or maple syrup to get rid of that cardboard taste. I’m not necessarily hungry when I roll out of bed, but I manage to get breakfast in pretty early in my day and get about getting ready for uni straight after. If I’m not interested in porridge, I’ll have toasted muesli with fruit and milk, an omelette or wholewheat banana, walnut and cinnamon pancakes on the weekend.
On my way to uni, I like to pick-up a coffee. I have recently switched to skim milk in my latte as I know that my diet tends to lean towards the upper range of ideal fat intake – so dairy is definitely an appropriate place for me to reduce some fats. By the time I get to class, it’s almost time to eat again and I have in hand my little low-fat Chobani yoghurt pouch. The protein keeps me full until my next break.
Morning tea is usually packed with me, this usually consists of a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts or a small packet of popcorn.
Due to my uni timetable, my eating patterns are pretty scheduled. I usually get into lunch at 12 or just before. Most of the times I bring leftovers from dinner the night before, but I’m going to make a more concerted effort to include variety (in all honesty, this wears off as assignments and exams get more intense throughout semester). Leftovers range from baked chicken drumsticks with veg or vege-packed pasta dish. Shoutout to my Mum who is a fantastic cook and is always making us a healthy meal! I learned how to put vegetables EVERYWHERE in a recipe from her! I’m usually not satisfied with just lunch, if I’m having a hungry day and either go for another hot beverage or some kind of snack like yoghurt if I didn’t have any in the morning (usually I just buy this from uni). This is what my friends and I affectionately call “second lunch”.
Afternoon tea is usually the time I’ll go for a treat, if I didn’t eat my nuts in the morning – I go for that before looking elsewhere. But as I go straight to work from uni, I often pick-up a sweet treat or something else to get me to dinner. If I’m going straight home I usually just wait it out and have a few slices of cheddar cheese with crackers and either another small piece of fruit. My activity is pretty high, so I don’t stress about the extra calories, from my in-depth assessment on myself last semester I probably need the extra energy anyway!
I do live at home, and lucky for me I usually come home to dinner waiting for me. Every night is different, lately it’s been beef and veg curry with rice, roasts (chicken or lamb usually), lentil and vege soups, fish once a week…the list really does go on. A number of different cuisines are featured but being of European descent a few family dishes make an appearance such as Greek meatballs with rice in an egg and lemon broth (sounds odd, but tastes good!). Almost every meal comes with a serve of salad, plenty of veg at dinner time, along with lunch.
If I’m still hungry after this, then I usually have a slice of toast with olive oil (I don’t really like butter, and this tastes FAR better to me) or make some hot chocolate or a small piece of fruit. I try not to eat after dinner but sometimes I just can’t sleep if I’m feeling hungry!