August 20, 2016 12:11 pm

What a registered dietitian eats in a weekend and says about ‘cheat days’

Here's what a self-confessed foodie, who dishes out diet advice for a living, eats over a weekend and how she stays fit.

Casey Berglund, registered dietitian
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For some of us, weekends mean dining out and indulging in foods we don’t get to enjoy during the busy work week.

Calgary-based registered dietitian Casey Berglund, who gets paid to tell people what to eat, tries to be a little more mindful of her diet.

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“One can really sabotage their healthy eating efforts by binging on the weekends,” said the self-professed foodie, who doesn’t believe in cheat days.

“I think having ‘cheat days’ sets people up to have an unhealthy relationship with food,” she explained.

“It contributes to the mindset that there are ‘forbidden foods’ … When you release the judgement from food, it’s easier to make mindful choices according to your body’s needs.”

Take chocolate, for example (a favourite of hers). If it was no longer deemed “bad,” you might actually crave it less and only when you truly want it.

“My mantra is ditch the all-or-none; eat for fuel, flavour, and fun. I think food plays such a huge role in our enjoyment of life and connection with people.”

Berglund speaks from experience. When she was about 11, she developed an unhealthy relationship with her body. As she became obsessed with her weight and unnecessarily lost 25 pounds, her sports performance suffered. She realized she wasn’t nourishing herself, which led her on a journey to learn about nutrition.

“Now, I adore helping other smart and soulful women have healthy relationships with food and feel confident in their bodies using tools I’ve learned about on my own path.”

READ MORE: Top 6 weight loss mistakes, according to diet and exercise experts

Part of that is budgeting for personal wellness, which includes healthy food and fitness (something we all know doesn’t come cheap). She sees it as a necessity — the same as the roof over her head.

To keep fit (and burn off that chocolate), Berglund relies on high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, walks, and hikes in the rocky mountains. She also uses her bike to commute.

Her typical weekday routine looks like this: sprouted gain toast with natural peanut butter and banana for breakfast; salads for lunch; a home-cooked meal or leftovers for dinner.

WATCH: Here’s what a top Canadian registered dietitian eats in a day

Weekends offer more time for more variety, experimentation and  bulk meal prep. To help with the latter, she created a free Mindful Meal Planning Made Easy Toolkit you can download to save yourself some time in the kitchen.

She shared what her typical weekend looks like below, along with this disclaimer:

“I think it’s super important people don’t judge and compare their own intake to mine. Everyone has different preferences, health conditions, physical capabilities, and needs, in general.

“This is me being real and honest and eating in accordance with my personal preferences. I’m a self-proclaimed coffee-addict who preaches progress over perfection when it comes to eating and healthy lifestyles.”

SATURDAY

Pre-workout: Homemade latte

“I love a little caffeine and a little carbohydrates before a workout.”

READ MORE: What to eat before a marathon, Spartan Race, big game day

She says “a daily latte habit could be ‘dietitian approved.'”

“It depends what someone’s goals are and whether or not a latte is worth it to them. Lattes will add liquid calories, especially if sweeteners are also added. Unsweetened lattes will add some nutrition, like protein and carbohydrates, depending on the milk choice. I personally don’t drink lattes for the nutrition — I drink them because they add so much pleasure to my life and the joy that comes with each sip is totally worth it to me.

“Plus, this is like a mindful treat to start my day. I think every day should start with a little bit of pleasure.”

Workout: Orange Theory Fitness (a HIIT workout)

“I love it because it’s fun, always different, challenging.”

She does the class three to four times per week.

Post-workout: Americano

“This is a bit of a ritual.”

Post-workout breakfast: Kale, berry, hemp seed + soy milk smoothie + a few Mary’s crackers

READ MORE: Health benefits of soy

Morning snack: Trail mix

Lunch: Big salad

“I love salads for lunch as there are so many ways to make them and they always satisfy. This one had lettuce, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, goat cheese, and a homemade salad dressing.”

Afternoon Snacks: Toast with natural peanut butter and banana + watermelon

Dinner: Fast fish (trout) and fresh herbed veggies

The meal was inspired by cookspiration.com, the Dietitians of Canada recipe site and app.

Dessert: Dark chocolate

“I have this almost every day if I want it.”

SUNDAY

Morning: Latte, Orange Theory Fitness Workout, Americano

Post-workout breakfast: Fruit “ice cream,” one whole wheat English Muffin, veggie frittata (one slice)

The protein-packed “ice cream” was made in the blender with frozen fruit and Greek yogurt.

READ MORE: What to look for when buying Greek yogurt

Lunch: Veggie + trout quesadilla with watermelon

Afternoon Snack: Mary’s Crackers with natural peanut butter + banana

Dinner: Veggie stir fry with tofu and brown Basmati rice

Dessert: Dark chocolate

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