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How does a dietitian eat from 9 to 5?


Almost half of Canadians find it challenging to eat healthy meals and snacks at the workplace. From rushed mornings to back-to-back meetings to never ending deadlines, it’s easy to fall victim to brain drain and the mid-day slump!

That’s why the Dietitians of Canada have dedicated this year’s National Nutrition Month theme as Eating 9 to 5, with a focus on strategies to help you get through the day feeling alert and productive. Here’s how this busy dietitian eats from 9 to 5!


9:00 AM – Breakfast is a Yogurt Berry Parfait that I’ve made last night. Simply layer whole grain oats, Greek yogurt and berries in a glass. I’ve sprinkled some bran and hemp hearts in between for an extra boost of fibre and protein. The oats soften overnight and require absolutely no cooking. Using Greek yogurt helps me reach the target 25-30 grams of protein.

Your strategy for rushed mornings: Make breakfast ahead of time. Design a yogurt parfait with your favourite fruit, whip up a fruit/veggie smoothie or wrap a peanut butter sandwich to go.

10:00 AM – I’m on a conference call for an hour. Thanks to my solid breakfast, I’m not hungry. My water bottle is always nearby. Plus I’m standing for most of the meeting.

Your strategy for workplace meetings: Listen to your hunger cues. It can be tempting to nibble mindlessly during meetings. Have a small snack only if you’re feeling hungry.

12:00 PM – I’ve been working on a story deadline and have been sitting for a while now. Time to get moving! Thanks to a complimentary pass to the Yoga Tree studio, I make my way to a lunchtime yoga class. With their line-up of classes throughout the day, it’s easy to find a class that fits into my schedule.

1:15 PM – Lunch is a Quinoa and Shrimp Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts. It’s actually leftovers from last night’s dinner and tastes great cold! A cup of milk and an apple round out my meal. I’m feeling energized, fuelled and ready to take on the afternoon!

Your strategy for lunchtime: Love those leftovers! Don’t be one of the 36% of Canadians who skip lunch! Pack your lunch more often instead of heading to the food court – you’ll have better control of portion sizes plus think of all the money you’ll save!

4:00 PM – I’ve been working non-stop except to take a stretch break at 3 pm. To keep me going until quitting time, I’m snacking on baby carrots and snap peas with hummus. I love pairing P+P (produce plus protein). A big bottle of water with refreshing cucumber slices keeps me quenched.

Your strategy to beat the mid-day slump: Pack your own snacks rather than taking a trip to the vending machine. Include some protein to give you staying power for the homestretch. Swap the coffee for a decaf coffee, tea or water.

For more workplace eating tips, visit Dietitians of Canada.

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