What A Nutritionist Eats In A Day | Brandy Buro, RD, LD

By Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff
March 29, 2022

We are back with the next episode of our very popular “what a nutritionist eats” series! We love getting those real-life tips from food lovers who know how to eat a balanced meal plan while being a busy human with a full life. Today, we are lucky enough to take a peek into licensed dietitian Brandy’s food world to see how she plans and preps to nourish her active lifestyle and keep her energy and focus for teaching classes, cohosting the Dishing Up Nutrition show, and seeing clients. Bonus for us: she has professional experience as a personal chef! Let’s see what tricks of the trade she can share with us to not only eat healthy but deliciously too.

Tips for Food Prep

Brandy, how do you plan for a week of real food?

lunch - salad batch prep.JPG

  1. First, I think about what type of cuisine I’m in the mood for to inspire two recipes to make for dinner during the week. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to lunch (big salads!), so it’s just a matter of restocking my favorite ingredients.
  2. Next, I take inventory of my fridge and pantry to see what ingredients I need for my recipes, salads, and snacks.
  3. Once I know what I already have on hand, I make a shopping list that includes specialty ingredients and staples that I need to restock
  4. Time to go shopping! I usually go on Sundays when I have more time to take my time.
  5. On Sunday night, I batch prep three salads and three smoothies for lunch and snacks over the next few days, so I have an easy transition into my week. This usually frees up an evening to make a more involved recipe Monday night for dinner. I’ll make a big batch of that too on Monday night and eat leftovers for a couple of days.
  6. I make sure to stock my office and office fridge with a lot of ready-to-eat items for quick snacks in between appointments. Can’t forgot about those snacks!

What are your top five items used in the kitchen?

  • Microplane – I use my microplane to mince garlic and fresh ginger. It makes what could be a tedious task with a knife really quick and simple. It’s a big time-saver for me, since I’m a bit of a garlic freak and use a lot of it!
  • Sheet pan – I’m a fan of sheet pan meals. They are a big time-saver. Not only do I have just one pan to wash at the end of dinner, but the cooking process doesn’t require a lot of hands-on attention. That way, I can clean up the kitchen while everything is cooking.
  • Sharp chef’s knife – I get my knives sharpened regularly. Preparing vegetables is much more enjoyable when you’re working with a sharp knife, and it’s safer too! You’re a lot less likely to cut yourself using sharp knives. Getting your knives sharpened professionally is quite affordable, usually only a few dollars per knife. Even some grocery stores offer this service, so check with the meat department at your regular store.
  • Blender – I couldn’t make my smoothies without it!
  • Salad dressing mixing container – I make a lot of my own salad dressings, but sometimes the ingredients separate. The salad dressing container I use has a built-in mixer so you can give it a quick stir to blend the ingredients again before topping your salad. I love it!

What tricks do you use that make meal prep easier?

  • I think the hardest part of meal prep is setting up the kitchen and cleaning up afterwards. That seems to be the biggest time commitment. So, when I make the effort to cook, I make it worth my time! Instead of preparing ingredients for just one recipe, I will wash and chop extra vegetables to use in snacks, salads, or smoothies later in the week. Even if I don’t have a crystal-clear plan for those ingredients yet, it makes throwing something together later so much easier. All I have to do is look in the fridge and assemble. I don’t have to clear the countertop, get out all my kitchen gadgets, and do a bunch of dishes…again!
  • I also use this time to batch cook. I will double or triple a recipe, then portion out several meals to either eat for lunch that week or stash in the freezer for another day, especially the busy weeks when I know I don’t have a lot of time to cook. I’ll even make a big batch of roasted sweet potatoes and roast a head of cauliflower just to have on hand to pair with breakfast or dinner.
  • Using the same ingredients for multiple recipes is another way to save time. I buy my produce in bulk, so I often have weeks where I’m thinking of ways prepare peppers that is not just cut up in the salad. Stuffed peppers? Fajitas? Or maybe stir-fry.

What do you always keep on hand?

  • Eggs
  • Salad greens
  • Onions and garlic
  • Grass-fed beef in the freezer
  • Canned, wild-caught salmon
  • Canned organic tomatoes
  • Canned full-fat coconut milk
  • Butter and olive oil
  • Balsamic and apple cider vinegars
  • Frozen berries
  • Protein powder
  • 2-3 different varieties of frozen vegetables, so I always have vegetables on hand, even if I didn’t make to the store to get fresh. Green beans and broccoli are my go-tos.

Get a customized eating plan with ideas for meal planning in a nutrition counseling appointment with Brandy or one of our other nutritionists and dietitians.

What To Eat

Now that we have some excellent ideas on how to be efficient in the kitchen, here’s a look at how these different components of a plan come together over the course of a day to make up nutrient dense meals and snacks:

Breakfast - scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, salad.JPG

Breakfast: My usual go to is eggs with ham and either some greens or sweet potatoes. Or both if I’m feeling it!

 snack - smoothie batch prep 1.JPG

Morning Snack:  Smoothie mid-morning OR first thing in the morning if I work out (then I’ll have the eggs breakfast a little later).

lunch - salad.JPG 

Lunch: I pretty much always have a giant salad… a great way to get in veggies!

 snack - orange, cheese, nuts no label.JPG

Afternoon Snack: I’m usually seeing clients in the afternoons, so my snacks are ready-to-eat items while I’m at work. Here are some of my typical go-to office snacks:

  • Grass-fed beef jerky, carrots or ½ apple with nut butter
  • Hard-boiled egg, ½ c. berries, serving of nuts
  • nitrate-free deli meat, pepper slices, guacamole or olives
  • tuna packet with mayo and cucumber slices
  • Rx bar

dinner - BBQ chicken.JPGdinner - chicken and veggie stir fry.JPGdinner - z'tar chicken.JPG

Dinner: Here are a couple examples of how I use chicken thighs I bought in bulk. I always pair them with some sort of healthy side but use different flavorings to keep it interesting. BBQ with green beans and coleslaw for one dinner, stir fry with quinoa for another, and a Mediterranean vibe with lots of veggies for the last dinner.

And there you have it! Brandy shares great examples of how you can get into a routine with eating healthy. Being a creature of habit can be a good thing because it gives you staples that you can rely on each week for fueling your body. Try big salads for lunch, shopping in bulk for your proteins or vegetables, mixing up the flavor profiles on your typical go-to foods, and prepare more than enough to freeze or eat later. And don’t forget to think about your snacks when you work in an office! Your future self will thank you.

For more information on eating real food and meal prepping, check out these additional resources:

Brandy sees clients at our St. Paul location, check out her bio here.

About the author

This blog content was written by a staff member at Nutritional Weight & Wellness who is passionate about eating real food.

View all posts by Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff

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