Monday, September 7, 2015

You won't believe what this nutritionist had for breakfast.

And more importantly, what you can eat for breakfast, too.

I started to do a food record of sorts two weeks ago. "Why put yourself through the misery?" you might wonder? Well I wanted to send some positive messages about food, about eating, about what constitutes a normal, healthy diet, both physically and mentally. And I wanted to do it visually. Instead of fighting the diet myths—the must-eat low sugar, low carb, low fat, high protein—with words, I figured I'd show you snippets of real meals and snacks that I eat, that a nutritionist eats, on a regular basis.

I planned to do it like a food log, including everything I ate, and I mean everything. But it got tedious. And then it started to annoy me. Do I need to include the bites of sourdough bread I grabbed before dinner? Will I be sending the wrong message by showing all that I eat, as if to say "this is fine for you too in these amounts" when really our needs are so variable?  It started to get complicated.

My compromise? A brief, photo-filled post, a conversation starter I hope, to discuss what you can eat. Each of you. All of you. But brace yourself. My eating is neither light nor low anything.  I include plenty of fats, my fair share of baked goods, and plenty of pleasure from food.

My oh-so-honest patients tell me that readers won't believe me. “Sure there are pictures of foods, but how do I know that you actually ate what's shown? Or didn’t over exercise, or purge, or restrict after eating?”

You simply can't know for sure. This relationship we have, virtual or live for those who meet with me in person, is built on trust. And trust takes time to build. Send me a question, start the conversation, and let me help allay your fears about what’s okay to eat. Lunch and dinner to follow if the interest is there.

Note: If you have a medical condition that requires adherence to particular nutrition guidelines, please follow those!  If you have celiac, do not consume gluten. And if you have diabetes, seek professional guidance on an appropriate budget of carbohydrate to control your blood sugars. But if you are looking to eat, feel and be healthy, try to release yourself from the unnecessary diet rules.

Peach pancakes, topped with real maple syrup and berries. And
yes, there's always coffee with my breakfasts!

Okay, I did have seconds. Just a couple more.

Challah bread (all white flour) with cottage cheese and farm 
fresh tomatoes.

2 eggs fried in a little butter, with my homemade sourdough
bread--my recent baking obsession.

Rolled oats, raisins, apples and Maine blueberries--with
some maple syrup and milk.

There's nothing like cold cereal for a quick breakfast, eaten
with low fat milk (not skim, not almond).

I don't get to make these crepes too often, but I do love
them, filled with vanilla yogurt and fruit.

Chocolate croissants are rich, but sometimes there's nothing
I'd rather eat. So I have it as breakfast, instead of as a snack.

Tempted to lick the plate, but I didn't.


  1. Great stuff! I have 100% lost my cooking/food prep mojo after refeeding my daughter. You make me want to want to cook, lol.

  2. I'd be interested in seeing lunches and dinners (and in getting some of your recipes)!

  3. I would love to see more. This reminds me that as I try to wean myself from dieting, I need to focus more on satisfaction and diversity. You're a great power of example!

    1. Lunches and dinners to come! Meanwhile, check out Drop the Diet at, which has 25 recipes including 20 of my favorites. There's a discount coupon on the right side of this blog.

  4. Lori - It's so hard to trust that I won't get fat if I eat these items. They are all fear foods for me - carbs and fat in all. I'm not sure I can even put them to my lips. I want to believe it because my entire treatment team tells me that I can eat these foods and maintain my weight.

    1. Consider working with an RD that has this approach to help to take that leap of faith and built the trust. Start by swapping just one item in your meal--a calorically equal swap--to see that all will be okay. Then you can built from there.

  5. Wow, your breakfasts look amazing. I've been eating the same thing for breakfast for 15 years. How boring and sad. Occasionally, I have something different, but only because my dad makes me something when I'm home visiting. Too bad you can't come cook for me!

    Now you see how tedious and annoying food logs are. I've tried to explain this to my therapist but she thinks it's just an excuse. I tell her how annoying they are because I don't want to write down when I've had 2 bites of this, or picked at that. Thank God I don't have to do those anymore.

    1. There'a a time and a place for food records--I think I've written plenty about them on this blog. But that said, they are annoying to keep. It might help to get rid of calorie counting apps and food recording and focus instead on thoughts and hunger level.

    2. I don't use any of those things. I just eat when I'm hungry, which means I'm going to eat breakfast now.

  6. This morning I wanted waffles, but I usually talk myself out of them, too much grain, need more protein, you know the typical script. But today I thought of this post and said "Lori would have it, actually she'd have something even more delicious (these frozen waffles are not what I imagine you 'making'), so I'll just have them". Your pancakes look better than my waffles but I did enjoy them...and some blueberries...and coffee. Thanks for sharing your food with us - especially since YOU know everything I eat!! - 'Thursday's Patient'

    1. Be careful what you ask for-I just might show up with some pancakes in my office to share! So glad the post motivated you to step out of your comfort zone and try something (somewhat) more enjoyable.

  7. I guess I don't understand this. Only maintaining weight is addressed here, but that's not a good measure of health. This really isn't healthy food, even if it doesn't impact your weight.

    1. How wise of you to call that out! Yes, the focus needs to be not on weight, but on health, and what supports health. So share with me what your perceptions are about these breakfasts--what makes them unhealthy in your view--as I see them as very appropriate. I do believe we should focus less on individual foods being "perfect", and even on individual meals. But rather, strive to consume a balanced intake over the day or days. I don't recommend croissants as a daily breakfast--they are rather high in saturated fat-- besides their benefit of providing the necessary calories some of my readers desperately need, and great flavor and texture. These meals otherwise provide a nice balance of nutrients, and are incredibly satisfying. Personally, I'd rather enjoy great tasting foods than deny myself or others foods that truly satisfy. Avoidance is not the answer, for bith physical and mental health.

    2. Thanks for asking my thoughts. I think all of the meals are high in sugar. Oats, sour dough bread and fruit are sugar just as the maple syrup is. Yes, they have other good properties as well, but that doesn't "cancel out" the sugar. Pancakes leave me hungry and scrounging for more sweets later- a cycle I don't like to get caught up in.

      There is heart disease and Alzheimer's disease in my family- both of which sugar is implicated in beyond mere correlation. That worries me, so I wouldn't eat a chocolate croissant or berries and cereal. And it would set me up for sugar cravings later, compounding the problem.

      I think you should post other meals so your readers get a better idea of how to balance meals like these if they are going to eat pancakes and syrup. I'm curious to see if you put thought into what you eat based on what you did eat earlier in the day. If you don't and you end up eating fruit salad and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I think the readers would like to know that, too.

      I don't really think food is all that great. I guess I don't care much what food tastes like so long as it's not making me gag. So in a way, I don't really relate to the need to eat only delicious food, I'd rather eat something that's healthier than what tastes better because I don't want to get sick.