I went to my nutritionist appointment yesterday with two questions in mind:
First, I wanted to know how much protein I should be getting in my diet and how to make sure I was getting enough/what foods were the best sources.
Second, I wanted to learn some quick meal options that were easy to take to work for lunch because I really struggle in that area and usually end up with a frozen Lean Cuisine because they’re easy to transport and I lack creativity.
When I walked into her office, I wasn’t sure what to think at first. It was very small and there was a window for a receptionist that was boarded over. That struck me as a little odd. When the nutritionist came out to greet me, she was very friendly. Before going into the appointment I had to fill out a form with information about the kinds of food I eat in a typical day and what I was hoping to get out of the appointment.
She started off the appointment by reviewing the information on the forms and then answering my questions.
In regards to the protein question, I learned women ages 14 and older should get about 45 grams of protein per day. I’m probably lucky if I get half of that. The nutritionist reminded me that almost all foods have even a little bit of protein and I might be getting more than I think. Then she recommended beans, nuts and seeds as great, non-meat sources of protein, pretty basic information that I already knew. As an experiment, sometime this week I’m going to try to count the grams of protein I get in a day because I’m curious to see just how close to that 45 I get.
As far as suggestions for good meal options for lunches, she didn’t have many. She suggested taking in leftovers from meals I cook the night before. Well the problem there is that I don’t cook a lot at night. I usually eat a lighter dinner, like cereal or PBJ because it’s late at night by the time I get home from the gym. She also suggested cooking in bulk and freezing leftovers for later.
Throughout the 40-minute appointment I did pick up two tips that I thought were interesting.
First, she recommended that I think of food as fuel and that I plan how big or small a meal will be around what I have yet to accomplish that day. By that thinking, breakfast should be pretty sizeable, maybe more than my standard bowl of cereal. Lunch should also be larger since I work out in the evenings after work. And then dinner should be something small and simple. That’s pretty much the opposite of what I do now, but it seemed like interesting advice.
The other thing I picked up on was that she kept saying that candy/sweets/junk foods, were “fun” not “food” and that we have to think whether we need food to fuel our bodies or are in the mood for something fun as a small treat. I thought that was valuable advice too.
Overall though, I wasn’t impressed and I didn’t learn very much in my appointment. I took the consultation with her because it was a deal that I found and thought it could be interesting. If I ever decide to go the nutritionist route again, I will make sure to research what the person’s specialty is and look for someone who does most of their work with athletes. I think someone with that kind of background would be able to offer me more than just your basic dietary info, that’s great for a newbie, but not for me.
Have any of you been to see a nutritionist? Did you learn anything valuable?