Spend a day in the life of a dietitian. See pictures of everything she ate and tell her how great—or how poorly—she ate today. Her nutrition skin is tough.


By Julie Upton, RD

After my previous "Nutrition Voyeurism" post got so many comments, I knew I should do another one to show you all a little variety. A lot of you have ragged on me about my love of Splenda and all the processed foods in my diet, so I'm curious to hear what else you've got to say. I am enrolled in cooking classes now, so if I continue this on a regular basis, you may start to see some more real cooking going on in my life. For now, here’s day two. Go ahead: Tell me how great—or how poorly—I ate today. My nutrition skin is tough.


6:30 a.m.
I woke up late today and missed swimming practice. Since I've got some extra time, I whip up two poached eggs. Check out the cool silicone poached egg containers I was given by a work colleague! They work like a charm and the eggs look perfect every time.

2 poached eggs (160 calories)
2 slices whole wheat toast (180 calories)
1 tbsp Brummel and Brown spread (45 calories)
2 cups tea with milk (45 calories)
Total: 430 Calories

10:00 a.m.
I am a little hungry, so I eat an apple. Good thing I’m photojournaling my diet today, because I would normally reach for something not so healthy.

1 large apple (115 calories)


10:30 a.m.
Now I'm thirsty, so I enjoy a tiny can of Diet Pepsi. Yes, I definitely have a diet soda weakness and have one just about every day. While I’m in the kitchen, I take a handful of granola cereal as well.

1 Diet Pepsi (0 calories)
1/4 cup granola (120 calories)

12: 30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
I work out with my trainer over lunch today. I'm a pathetic weakling, tired from a busy weekend of trail running and swimming.


2:00 p.m.
On the way home from the gym, I stop at Whole Foods and grab a salad from the salad bar. It includes mixed greens, beets, tomatoes, mushrooms, slivered almonds, crumbled feta cheese, carrots, and a topping of mayo-heavy tuna salad. This is a perfect example of how salads can wreak havoc on a calorie-controlled diet: If you add in toppings that are calorie-rich—like cheese and mayo-laden tuna or egg salads—the salad's only redeeming quality is that it helps you get some vegetables in your diet.

Salad (450 calories)
Olive oil and vinegar as dressing (120 calories)
Total: 570 calories


4:00 p.m.
I’m a little bored from work, so I head to the kitchen. I notice a bag of opened rice chips. I wolf down a bowl in no time. I like them so much, I can’t resist eating more, although I am not even hungry. This is a problem; I need to put these chips out of sight. I'm also thirsty again, and I have my second Diet Pepsi of the day.

2 oz Lundberg Rice Chips (300 calories)
1 Diet Pepsi (0 Calories)


6:00 p.m.
I pick up a roasted chicken at the supermarket because I had to work late and didn’t have time to cook anything. I pair it with a butternut squash and wild rice casserole that I made yesterday.

  • 3–4 oz roasted chicken (180 calories)
  • 1 cup squash, dried fruit, and rice casserole (200 calories)
  • 2 Le Petit Ecolier Dark Chocolate Cookies (130 calories)
  • 1 cup tea with milk (25 calories)

Total: 535

Total for day: 2,070 calories

Again, since I did a one-hour weight workout today, this is a fairly good calorie amount for me. I’m sure it is a bit of an underestimation, as my servings could have easily been more than what I’m thinking they are, and I’m not using measuring cups to be precise. What I know my day did lack was fresh fruit. What else do you think? Until next time, I look forward to your thoughts. Oh, and since it's American Heart Month, check out my 28 days of heart-healthy tips on Health.com's Healthy Living channel.