We chatted with our Director of Registered Dietitian Training, Becca Scofield, to gain some insight into an actual Dietitian’s diet on a typical day.
Thanks for lending us your expertise today, Becca. Can you tell me what a typical day looks like for you?
I wake up between 6-7 am and have a 15 minute walk with my dog. My workouts don’t get to happen the same time every day. Since I work from 8-5 or 6 with clients, I usually workout after the workday is done.
How did you choose this line of work?
I was actually a Psych major. I knew I wanted to be either a Psychologist or Psychiatrist- I always wanted to be in healthcare. After graduation I worked in a Physical Therapy office and wanted to go back to school for either Nutrition or Nursing. My dad loved to recommend paths for me to take, and one day he suggested Nutrition since I love food. It was a revelation! I went to Grad school two years post-Undergrad.
It sounds like you have a pretty busy schedule. When do you fit in your meals?
I make something mobile to eat on my walk! I HAVE to eat breakfast! If I have a full day, I have small things to snack on between clients. Some days I’ll have a break to eat lunch. I always have something on hand whether or not I get to eat it. I like to eat dinner sort of late, around 7 or 8 at home, so I’ll cook something quick.
Do you follow any particular “diet?”
I’m ethically Vegan. For my health, the environment, and sustainability. I became a Vegetarian when I was 13.
Walk us through what a typical day’s worth of food looks like for you.
Sure. For breakfast I have two main staples: the first is whole grain toast with avocado, hemp seed, Everything but the Bagel seasoning, and nutritional yeast. The second is a “TLT”- tempeh “bacon,” lettuce, and tomato on whole grain toast. I like sandwiches!
For a snack I’ll have a fruit that’s easy to travel with like clementines or an apple, or some kind of bar like Nugo or Orgain for protein.
I have two favorite lunches: the first is a salad of kale, baked tofu, corn, and Annie’s Goddess dressing that I can make ahead of time. The other is roasted broccoli, quinoa, and baked tofu or Field Roast sausage.
Then I have another snack- popcorn, roasted beans, or carrots with hummus.
For dinner I’m a big fan of pasta. I like Banza’s chickpea pasta with tomato sauce or olive oil plus a vegetable, or I’ll make a stir fry. After dinner I might snack on popcorn or have some seltzer. I drink lots of water and LOTS of coffee (with plant-based creamer).
Do you ever splurge on junk foods?
All foods fit! I’d say 80-90% of my diet is nutritious. I don’t limit “fun” foods- there’s always room for them. Healthy foods and foods that taste good are not mutually exclusive. I enjoy 100% of the things I eat.
So if you’re craving ice cream or french fries, what will you do?
Because I truly enjoy all of the food I eat, I really don’t get cravings. But when I WANT french fries (which are my favorite food), I feel free to enjoy them. I just don’t plan out when that will be- I listen to what I want.
Does your diet ever go off-track?
I’m more active on the weekends, so I’m more hungry. I’m also more social at that time so I may order takeout or go out to eat. I’m more routine during the week, but seriously, all foods fit in.
You mentioned that you exercise. How do you fuel your performance?
I’m a big runner and cycler (GF EDIT: Becca is a marathon runner and is training for a triathlon!). I do my long runs and rides on weekends, so breakfast includes grains. Pre-workout I’ll do toast, oatmeal, maybe some peanut butter on the toast, or a grain-based bar. I might snack an hour or so before my workout. Intra-workout I have sports foods like gels or chews. Within an hour after, I have something with grains like rice or noodles, plus protein to repair muscle, so usually a stir fry with tofu or edamame, rice, and veggies.
What are your top 3 tips for someone looking to create a healthier or more stable relationship with food?
1. Start small. Don’t overhaul everything at once: pick small, doable priorities.
2. Eat more plants! Plants boost fiber and are more nutrient dense and more filling, so add them in!
3. Understand that restricting is not going to make you want that food any less. Give yourself permission- you’re an adult! Make intentional, purposeful decisions instead of eating for convenience or habit.
Anything else you want to mention?
I am always prepared but not rigid in eating. I listen to what I want, I don’t eat out a lot, and I eat my favorite healthy foods so that I’m not wanting for anything. Also, frozen veggies are key!