This story was developed in collaboration with DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Nora Minno. To find more workouts and healthy recipes head to DailyBurn.com.
Wish you could take a peek at the real eating habits of the people around you? We looked into what DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Nora Minno eats in a day — and let’s just say she definitely practices what she preaches.
It turns out the secret to eating super healthy isn’t crazy hard, either. For Minno, a registered dietitian, it’s all about consciously making an effort to squeeze tons of nutrients into her daily meal plan. “I want to make sure I’m getting a variety of fruits and vegetables, and most importantly, vitamins and minerals that I know will help my body function properly not only in the short term, but in the long term,” she says.
Just as important: Making sure her choices are budget friendly — not an easy feat in New York City, where $1 pizza joints abound. “If you want to spend all your money on health foods, you can, but you shouldn’t have to in order to eat well.” Buying food in bulk and prepping it early in the week helps keep her spending on track.
And guess what: Even dietitians need to pay attention to portion control. “What I did for myself and often recommend to clients is in the beginning being really strict with measuring, getting out measuring cups, knowing what a quarter cup looks like, what an ounce looks like,” Minno says. “And after just a couple weeks of doing it, you can start to eyeball it and know what your body needs.”
For some serious food inspiration, here’s what Minno eats in a typical day. Feel free to unleash your inner copycat.
What a Dietitian Eats in a Day
Breakfast: Matcha Berry Smoothie
Make it: Blend 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries, 1/2 banana, 8 oz. unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 1 teaspoon matcha powder, 1 serving Fuel-6 protein powder.
Quick tip: “I was always against smoothies as a meal because I believed they wouldn’t fill me up,” Minno says. But by packing her blender full of superfoods like matcha and berries, she found a shake that’s both tasty and filling. “I chose coconut milk as a base because you can buy it unsweetened and it’s very low-calorie.
Snack: Greek Yogurt and Apple
Quick tip: We hate to break it to you, but yogurt can be a secret sugar bomb. “I tend to choose Greek yogurt because it is higher in protein and lower in sugar,” Minno says. “Look for yogurts with less than 10 grams of sugar,” she advises.
Lunch: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Make it: Combine 1 1/2 cups shredded kale and Brussels sprouts, 1/4 cup garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup quinoa, 1/4 cup multi-colored chopped peppers, 1/4 cup shaved red cabbage.
Quick tip: Portion control doesn’t have to be boring. Mix it up by blending your food groups together in a brightly colored salad. “It doesn’t have to look like a perfect plate cut into portions,” Minno says. “For me this is a balanced meal.” Plus, kale and Brussels don’t wilt as easily as some of the more watery lettuces, so you can prep a bunch and eat them for the entire week, she says.
Snack: Tomato and Mozzarella
Quick tip: This simple snack is low in sugar and high in protein and vitamins — not to mention that it’s super refreshing. “The tomatoes and cheese come from a local farm in New Jersey and the basil was grown right in my back yard!” Minno says.
Dinner: Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Health Slaw
For the salmon:
2 6 oz. filets of wild salmon
4 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the health slaw:
1/4 cup shredded white cabbage
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup shredded broccoli
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped Shitake mushrooms
1 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons Sesame Ginger Dressing (brand of your choice)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place filets skin side down on baking sheet. For marinade whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle marinade over fish and let sit for at least 30 min (can be done up to 2 hours ahead of time). When fish is finished marinating, using fingers, cover top of filets in black sesame seeds. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 min or until opaque in center. While the salmon bakes, combine all health slaw ingredients (white cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, almonds) in large mixing bowl. Toss with dressing and lemon juice.
Quick tip: Though she doesn’t eat any meat, Minno gets protein from fresh fish and plant-based sources. After all, she needs it to fuel her through her favorite high-intensity interval training workouts. “I used black sesame seeds for fun flavor and texture, but they also have fiber and healthy fats,” she says.
Quick tip: This sweet fruit is the ideal dessert for after-dinner snackers, Minno says. “Cherries you have to work for and think about,” she says. “You have to take off the stems, work around the pits and you know how much you’ve eaten because you can see the pits in the bowl.”