We spied on our resident nutritionist, Jessica Marcus, to see just what, exactly, a registered dietitian and Joy’s sidekick snack-creator eats. Read on for some of her pro tips and favorite foods.
I don’t always find time to “work out” these days (hint: I have two boys under 2), so in addition to walking as many steps as I can, I eat strategically to avoid putting on weight. My subconscious goal in everything I eat is to keep my blood sugar stable. How? I focus on protein & fiber and pass on the starch as much as possible. This keeps me energized, focused, and non-emotional about food.
When it comes to breakfast, I’m a bit high maintenance. Breakfast is my thing. I eat eggs every morning. If I don’t, I’ll have annoying hunger pangs til lunch, so I don’t stray too far from this menu which helps keep me fueled for a busy day:
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 1 slice whole grain rye toast (I also like Rice Millet Bread from Food For Life), with 1 tsp salted Irish butter on half and 1 Tbsp peanut butter and tiny smear of strawberry jam on the other half (because I’m indecisive and have to have my salty and sweet fix)
- OR, instead of toast, I may enjoy 1 cup cooked oatmeal with ¼ chopped apple, 6 walnut halves, and a dash of cinnamon
- always 2 eggs, soft boiled or scrambled in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt
Snacking is important for me. These small snacks throughout the day keep me on track and help me to avoid overindulging, stabilize my blood sugar, and help me to maintain energy throughout the day.
- 1 small barely green banana or 1 apple (Honey Crisp – is there any other kind?)
- 20-25 almonds (or 1 bag of Nourish Snacks Cinn-sational)
- Green tea or a 2nd cup of black coffee (but I switch to Gorilla Decaf)
At lunch, I focus on greens & protein and avoid anything starchy– otherwise I’ll get sleepy at my desk an hour later.
- A big chopped green salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, broccoli, grilled chicken, feta cheese, and lemon or balsamic vinaigrette.
- 1 bottle flavored seltzer (Loving Poland Springs Ruby Red Grapefruit)
- 1 oz dark chocolate chips (Tip: I keep a little 1-oz shot glass at my desk to portion out my chocolate. #sofancy.)
- Green tea
If I’m craving something salty, I’ll go for Hot & Popular (spicy peanuts and half-popped corn kernels). The protein in the peanuts and slow-burning fiber in the corn helps tide me til dinner. And if I’m in the mood for sweet, I reach for Mocha-mazing (cocoa-dusted almonds and mocha granola). Can you tell I like chocolate? Here’s another one of my go-tos that makes me feel like I’m indulging in a peanut parfait:
- 6 oz Greek yogurt (I’m a Fage fan)
- About 15 cocktail peanuts
- Sliced strawberries
- A few dark chocolate chips
There once was a time I could spend an hour in the kitchen preparing my beloved Blue Apron meals. Now, I’m greeted by two little nuggets when I get home from work — somewhere between baths and bedtime, we manage to hit ‘send’ on a seamless.com delivery order. Thankfully where we live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn we have plenty of healthy options.
On the rare occasion I find time to cook, I keep it simple. I pair fresh fish or chicken with plenty of veggies (mostly non-starchy). All you need is 10 minutes (and the time and patience to shop with kids) to prepare:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop up 1 head cauliflower, 12 large Brussels sprouts, 1 skin-on sweet potato. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with a dash of sea salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, create a space to add the fish. Rinse two halibut fillets (4-6 oz each), add a drizzle of olive oil or butter and a sprinkle of salt & pepper, add to baking sheet, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. I use this basic method with countless combos (salmon & asparagus, chicken & spaghetti squash, etc.)
After the kids go to sleep (and me and my husband high-five), it’s “me” time. I like to sit down, put my feet up, and savor something sweet. Instead of straight-sugar popsicles, I like to freeze smoothies in popsicle molds (like this kale smoothie that my kids love too). A few nights a week, I appreciate a nice glass of red wine paired with a couple squares of dark chocolate (shocker), or sometimes I’ll have a big bowl of mixed frozen fruit (strawberries, cherries, pineapple) with a cup of peppermint tea.
For me, it’s all about moderation, not deprivation. I love food — so I eat to satisfy my cravings and keep my energy levels up to handle two kids and a full-time job!