What A Nutritionist Eats in a Day |Leah Kleinschrodt, MS, RD, LD

By Jackie Cartier
January 31, 2018

One of the more popular blog series we have running on our site is the “What a Nutritionist Eats” where we’ve gotten glimpses into our nutritionist’s and dietician’s kitchens, lunch boxes and more. Through it we’ve seen simple roasts to throw in the crockpot, an easy salad for lunches in a hurry, the delicious egg roll in a bowl recipe and so much more.

Today we’re following along with Leah as she shares some smart ways to save time and keep real food fueling the most hectic of days.


Cubed chicken breast with a variety of veggies and spices, plus mashed sweet potatoes on the side.

Lately, this has been a normal breakfast for me, but I admit that this breakfast comes together when I have a little bit more time in the morning and not rushing out the door. This day, it was cubed chicken breast sautéed in coconut oil, paired with a variety of veggies I had in the refrigerator, threw on some salt, pepper, garlic powder and turmeric with some leftover mashed sweet potatoes on the side. Also, not pictured, but just as important, my coffee made creamy with full-fat canned coconut milk. But like I said, I don’t have the time for this every day, which is where an egg bake, with whatever veggies are available thrown in, comes in handy! My husband and I can reheat it throughout the week for fast, delicious, balanced breakfasts.

Morning Snack

Two oatmeal almond balls.

I almost always have these quick Oatmeal Almond Balls ready to go in our freezer. They are the perfect grab and go snack when we’re busy and I can easily eat two between my client consultations. I make them a couple times a month, but I switch up the recipe a bit, using gluten free oats, French Vanilla Paleo Protein powder and some added cinnamon. I also usually double this recipe to make a bunch at one time, since they freeze so well. If I’m not feeling fancy or motivated to spend time shaping the mixture into balls, I just dump and press it into a parchment-lined pan or dish, and cut the mixture into bars once chilled. Since we keep these in the freezer, I’ll take them out the night before my husband and I are going to need them, throw them in our lunch bags and we’re set.

I choose the Paleo Protein powder because I’m dairy-free. I found that dairy and gluten caused a lot of inflammation in my joints. I have had surgery on each knee so my knees are weak spots. If I have inflammation in my body, that’s where it’ll show up, and I’ll notice it the most.   


Homemade crockpot BBQ chili and guacamole for topping.

This is actually a recipe I’ve adapted over the years. I found this recipe online and love the smoke and barbeque flavor that is perfect for chili. I also add either butternut squash or sweet potatoes in this recipe, depending on what we have. Our garden often produces tons of butternut squash – last year we had squash through March, and this year it’s looking like that too!

No sour cream for me being dairy-free, but the guacamole is a perfect addition. I spooned half of the amount pictured in the photo and took the rest back home.

Afternoon Snack

Nitrate-free cranberry chicken sausage, assorted raw veggies, Mary's Gone Crackers and roasted red pepper hummus.

I should say this isn’t an everyday snack for me! This was a weekend snack at home, where I had a lot of veggies available to me in the refrigerator. Had I packed this for work, it would likely be just one type of veggie, hummus, sausage and call it good.

These raw veggies looked good, plus I love bell peppers and can eat them all day long. We always have some kind of nitrate-free chicken sausage pre-cooked in the fridge. They make a great snack or dinner in a hurry, since it’s pre-cooked you can eat it cold if you’re really in a pinch.  


Grilled pork chop, rice and broccoli and carrot slaw.

This was a walk in the door, dinner is on the table 20 minutes later kind of meal! I got home from the gym and we didn’t have anything prepared, so I looked in the fridge to see what I could come up with.

There must have been some forethought because we had thawed out pork chops in the fridge. I threw those on the grill topped with a general all-purpose seasoning we like, got the rice going on the stovetop and took out a bag of broccoli/carrot slaw from the grocery store. I mixed the slaw with apple cider vinegar and mayo, done. Added some butter to the top of the rice and by then the pork chops were off the grill. Done, balanced and not bad at all!

Bedtime Snack

Thawed frozen fruit with chilled full-fat canned coconut milk.

This was an easy snack to pull together, the frozen fruit was in the freezer and then I just spooned out the creamy part of the coconut milk (the part that separates when chilled). I typically have a bedtime snack, usually fruit and some kind of fat.

Your meals sound delicious! How do you plan for a week of real food?

In my head I have ten to 15 go-to recipes that my husband and I both like and have discovered over the years. Basically, I have those recipes memorized so we tend to keep those ingredients on hand at all times so that when I’m planning meals I (hopefully) only need to pick up two things as opposed to picking up ten things to get cooking. I tend to prefer meals that come together quickly, so if for some reason it doesn’t get made on the weekend then it can still come together fairly quickly on a weeknight.

I always make double or triple a batches of so we have tons of leftovers. We’ll eat some and freeze some. I love knowing we have meals ready to go in the freezer for really busy days.  

Great idea, what are those favorite meals you often find yourself turning to?

The Spicy Coconut Stew from Nutritional Weight & Wellness is a favorite for sure. We also like a big pasta primavera, with a twist. Typically those recipes are heavy on the pasta and light on the veggies, but I reverse that, so it’s just a sprinkling of pasta. We use a gluten-free pasta made with either quinoa, brown rice or red lentils.

Then, as pictured above, chili is also a constant go-to for me. I make a huge batch probably once a month. Lastly, stir fry is an easy go-to and it’s a great way to use veggies that are starting to go bad.

We’ve asked some of the other nutritionists this as well, what are your top five used items in your kitchen?

Number one would be our deep freezer downstairs. My husband is a hunter so we can keep the extra meat in the freezer.  Plus, we order at least a half a cow every year, so that also goes in the freezer as do the bags of frozen fruit or veggies. Number two is a funny option, but I’d have to say the ground turkey from Ferndale Market, we always have that on hand.

Let’s see, I’m going to count our cast iron pans as number three. I use those all the time! Then a good knife set for sure is number four. Ours isn’t super expensive, but we try to keep them sharp and in working order.

And for number five I’d say RXBars because my husband and I are both really active in sports, and I love to keep these on hand to eat before games. Snacks like this bar and the Oatmeal Almond Balls are a three-for-one because the protein, carb and fat are already there. That’s what I tell my clients, you don’t have to even think it through because you know you’ve covered all your bases.

About the author

Jackie Cartier is Content Strategy Manager for Nutritional Weight & Wellness. She was once a client, seeking natural solutions to her achy runner knees and hormonal imbalances. From then she was hooked and eventually ended up on their team, spreading the real food message on the blog and through social media. 

View all posts by Jackie Cartier


Cindy Ashley
I've just started listening to your podcast and getting your newsletter. Looking at this post and the others like it, where is the dairy? I've heard that women need 1000-1200 mg of calcium a day.
July 30, 2018 at 8:13 pm


Hi there! I am sensitive to most dairy products (causes acne breakouts around my mouth, and used to cause knee pain), so I have eliminated dairy from my diet with the exception of a little butter.

Pre-pregnancy, I relied on vegetables, nuts/seeds, and bone broth for my calcium. Now in my third trimester of pregnancy, I supplement with about 500mg of quality calcium as a part of my prenatal multivitamin.

The recommendation that women consume 1,000-1,200mg of calcium per day has come under scrutiny over the last several years. This is in recognition that Americans tend to be deficient in Vitamin D and magnesium, which help with calcium absorption, as well as research about the poor health of our guts, which means that absorption of minerals for many people is impaired. In short, it’s likely we don’t need 1,000-1,200mg of calcium per day (especially if it’s coming from a poor source like a calcium carbonate supplement), and we help clients eat a balanced diet that includes calcium even if they aren’t eating dairy.

Mary Spielvogel
Hello, When my daughter and her husband took his deer in for processing, they asked for no added nitrates. They were told the substitute is celery powder which turns into nitrates eventually. Is this true?
December 13, 2018 at 10:50 pm


Research shows there is indeed a radical difference between the nitrates that are added to foods as preservatives and those that occur naturally in produce such as spinach and celery. The naturally occurring nitrates in food come with vitamin C and other compounds that inhibit conversion into nitrosamines. There is no data to suggest that naturally occurring nitrates are harmful.

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