WIAW: Eating out of Habit

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  Glad we are back again for another round of my daily eats.  Thanks so much for your feedback on my “Breaking up with Perfect” post last week.  You guys are seriously the best.  I would have never thought I would be making an impact on people’s lives.  Crazy how the internet works right?  It takes guts to be transparent with my eating habits, my mentality around food, and my struggles but I am treating this blog as a progress journal for myself so I am trying to be completely honest.

I made a fun little collage of my eats this week!  Let me know what you think.

WIAW 1.28

1. 1/2 cup cream of wheat and  1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (ProZero vegan brown rice and pea protein) cooked in water, 1 sliced banana, 2 Tbsp Artisana coconut butter

2. Lightly salted rice cake with 2 tbsp Wild Friends peanut butter that I won from a giveaway! 1 Tbsp Sesame Cranberry peanut butter and 1 Tbsp Honey sunflower seed butter. So good.

3. 1 egg + 3 egg whites scrambled in coconut oil with spinach, broccoli slaw, nutritional yeast, and salsa.

4. Quest bar S’mores flavor cut into 8 pieces and molded into teeny tiny cookies and then microwaved for 16 seconds.

5. Banana with 1 Tbsp Sesame Cranberry peanut butter.

6. 1 egg + 3 egg white omelet, roasted zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli slaw, mountain of cinnamon roasted kabocha squash.

7. A protein fudge brownie made with 1/2 scoop MTS vanilla whey protein, 2 T Hershey’s cocoa powder, 1/4 cup almond milk, and a sprinkle of baking soda and then cooked in microwave for 30 seconds (thats IT! Don’t overcook!). Topped with Arctic Zero vanilla maple ice cream, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, and natural organic salted peanut butter.

You know what’s funny?  I honestly didn’t realize until putting all these pictures into a collage how similar my eats were all day long yesterday.  I guess I really like eggs, bananas, and peanut butter?!

Do you find yourself eating out of habit?  And eating the same things over and over again?  Why do I find comfort in the same foods day after day?

I think I eat this way because I am a creature of habit.  I don’t like messing up my routine.  I know I am getting in a good amount of nutrients with the amount of fruits and vegetables.  I also know I am continuing to increase my metabolism.  I know I am not undereating but I am finally fueling my body.  I know that I am eating a good mix of macronutrients with protein, carbs, and healthy fats at each meal.

BUT can I challenge myself to eat outside of my comfort zone?  In the upcoming weeks I hope to try out some new fruits, cook vegetables in different ways, and not stick to the same foods I love ‘just because’ they are habit and routine.  Bananas, eggs, and peanut butter will always be there.

20 Quick and Easy High Protein Snack Ideas

I absolutely love getting new ideas for healthy small meal and snack options so I thought I would share some of my top favorites.  I usually don’t consider any of my meals “snacks” as I usually aim to get a good ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fats every time I eat.  Sometimes, when people think of ‘snacks’ they think of a chips, or a granola bar, or a handful of nuts.  And while some of these are good choices, they are only supplying a main source of ONE macronutrient vs having a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  The chips and granola bar are mostly carbohydrates and the nuts are mainly fats.  I am not saying you MUST eat all 3 macronutrients at each meal, but I aim to do this and always feel fuller for longer.  Meals around my workouts I aim to eat slightly less fat than the rest of my meals to ensure my energy is going towards my muscles, not my digestive system!

You can check out my Grocery Shopping staples to ensure you have everything on hand!

1. Fat free or low fat plain greek yogurt, stevia, blueberries, cereal (I prefer Chex or Cheerios varieties, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Cinnamon Life, and Kashi)



2. Quest protein bars


3. Rice cakes with protein frosting (vanilla protein powder mixed with water or greek yogurt), banana

4. Low fat cottage cheese, cinnamon, apple slices, walnuts

5. Peanut butter banana protein smoothie: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1 frozen banana, 1 Tbsp natural PB or 2 Tbsp PB2, 1 cup ice

6. Extra thin corn tortillas or brown rice cakes, tuna, avocado

7. Trail mix: 1 oz almonds, high fiber cereal, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 Tbsp chocolate chips

8. Hard-boiled eggs (2) with veggies

9. Protein shake, 1 banana, 16 almonds

10. Fiber One brownie, peanut butter, greek yogurt


11. ThinkThin protein bars

12. Pumpkin protein oatmeal: oats and vanilla protein powder cooked with water, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice swirled in, almond butter

13. Whole wheat waffles with peanut butter and low sugar raspberry jam, 1 scoop protein

14. Medjool dates filled with almond butter and chocolate/carob chips, protein sludge (protein powder mixed with water)

15. Homemade protein pancakes 


16. Egg white muffins (1 egg and 3-4 egg whites, mixed veggies, baked in muffin cups)

17.  Homemade high protein chocolate chip cookies


18. Homemade pumpkin bars (may try to add protein to this recipe)

19. Sweet potato topped with cottage cheese and cashew or almond butter

20. Low fat string cheese, grapes, almonds


Question: What are your favorite quick and easy snack ideas?

Friday Favorites #1

Happy Friday Friends!!!  My busy work week has come to an end and I am actually really excited to NOT be traveling this weekend and just be able to run errands, enjoy some ME time, and relax.  And maybe watch the latest episode of The Bachelor that I missed :)  After switching time zones TWICE and having some serious jet-leg this past week, I need a low-key weekend.

I’m linking up with Heather to show off what I have been loving this past week.  Go check out her blog -she actually relocated to my hometown!- and I love her mix of workout ideas, healthy eating, and fashion!  Every time I leave her site I tell myself I am going to sign up for StitchFix!

My Weekly Favorites:

  • Restaurants that actually accommodate your order



I went to LazyDog in Temecula, California this past weekend and highly recommend it.  You can order anything a la carte and our waitress accommodated all of the substitutions and changes I made to the menu items.  I ordered blackened mahi mahi with no butter or oil, steamed broccoli, and a side or brown rice and she didn’t mind at all.  She actually told me the side of mahi would be a perfect portion.  A lot of restaurants can make you feel bad for being picky but if you are paying for the food, they should be able to accommodate.  Just ask nicely!

  • The new fanny pack I ordered myself for the gym



These are kind of cute right?  I hate working out with the iPhone arm band and have gotten to the point where my iPhone just doesn’t cooperate when I place it in my sports bra!  I actually saw this idea on Instagram and justified buying it since I had an Amazon gift card from Christmas.

  • A chance to experience the southern California wine country with my sister and cousins

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  • This meme is my life currently…with Brownie Brittle I found at HEB. You know those crispy leftover edges of brownies that you pick at?  Yes…they made those into an actual grocery store product called Brownie Brittle…




  • Brand new grocery finds



The Special K cereal is a tad too sweet for me!  The Moroccan style whole grains are amazing (barley and kamut with spinach, lentials, raisins and seasoning).  I found these in the freezer aisle next to the organic veggies.  Arctic Zero is pretty good if you need something sweet with basically no nutrition/calories/carbs/fats/protein/anything haha! but don’t think it will taste exactly like ice cream.  The rest of the groceries are pretty much staples!

  • Hiking in California with old friends


The fresh air, the California hills, good conversation, meeting new people, and getting a workout in that doesn’t feel like a workout.  FAVORITE.

So those are some of my FAVORITE things of the week.  Some were experiences, most were food, some was things I learned over this past week about myself.

Any of the above match your favorite items of the week?

What I Ate Wednesday: Breaking Up with Perfect

Do you ever feel like your diet has to be PERFECT?

Do you ever feel like people think your diet is perfect because that is how you make it out to be?  Do you ever feel anxious if your diet isn’t perfect?


my absolutely perfect breakfast// 1/2 cup cream of wheat, 1/2 scoop ProZero vegan organic protein powder, cooked in water, topped with 1 sliced banana and crunchy natural peanut butter

I’ve been working hard over the past several months to overcome my instinct to want a ‘perfect’ diet.  This entails eating the perfect amount of macronutrients, the perfect portions, the perfect amount of calories, and taking perfect pictures of my meals.  I am continuing to work on building my metabolism and eating enough for my activity levels.  I do not need a perfect diet.


my perfect lunch//3-4 oz roasted swai, steamed broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes with a side of peanut butter + plain brown rice cake

I am trying to leave ‘perfect’ behind and go with how I feel.  Am I full? Time to stop eating. Am I hungry? Let’s find something else to eat.  Seems like a simple process but something I think EVERY human struggles with.  Some may struggle daily with eating out at lunch with coworkers and consuming too much.  Some may struggle with this and restrict their foods thinking they must eat a perfect 1000 calories (arbitrary number).  Others may find their struggles in eating the same meals day in and day out because these are ‘perfect’ to them.

I am a perfectionist by nature, so this is HARD.  I am in no way perfect with my diet or with my choices but that’s why I share them.  To hope my struggles along with my knowledge as an RD can help inspire others to realize you CAN make a change.


preworkout meal//1 cup plain Fage 0% greek yogurt, sprinkle of ProZero vegan protein powder (to help give it vanilla flavor), 1 FiberOne Chocolate Peanut Butter brownie, drizzle of Walden Farms sugar free caramel sauce, handful of almonds

For a perfectionist, the anxiety comes whenever you can’t live up to your perfect tendencies.  You ate a FiberOne bar instead of an apple?  You ate 2 servings of almonds instead of 1?  You think you undid all your hard work and get anxious.  I have been there.


postworkout dinner//4 oz shrimp cooked in coconut oil, basil, and oregano, 1 cup brown rice, roasted green beans and brussels sprouts

I am continuing to push back against my perfectionist.  Not only to be able to worry less, but be able to put less stress on others around me.  It takes time and patience to work on your perfectionism.  I am also currently re-reading Intuitive Eating on my Kindle.  To remind myself what mindful, normal eating is.



bedtime meal: pumpkin protein pancakes (1/2 cup oats ground up, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup egg whites, and stevia) cooked in coconut oil spray and topped with PB2 and Walden Farms sugar free pancake syrup with a side of gluten-free cinnamon raisin toast and almond butter.

We are all a work in progress but perfectionism is my current habit I need to break up with.

Thanks Jenn for the link-up to share my eats and thoughts.

Do you struggle with perfectionism?




Grocery Shopping 101

Even though I practice moderation and believe in a “balanced intake” with my eating, I know I still get lots of questions regarding what my meals look like and what I purchase at the grocery store.  So I wanted to give you all a run down of my favorite healthy choices at the grocery store!

No, I do not eat just Quest bars, cookies, and cereal.  Although those are fun to photograph!  The key to eating in moderation is still PORTION CONTROL.  So the best thing you can do is center your meals around nutrient-dense, high fiber foods that will fill you up.  Then, you have a little extra wiggle room for some fun treats.  This is really what moderation looks like, 80% healthy, whole foods and 20% fun foods!

If you need help getting started, look back at my How to Calculate your Macronutrients Series (Part 1).  I should have Part 2 up this week!  Part 2 will cover how to calculate how many calories you need in a day.

Below, you will see staples that I buy at the grocery store and also what I keep in my pantry.  I mostly eat fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy for my protein sources but included meat as well in the protein section.  I also broke down carbohydrates, protein, and fats into further categories to help with making it easier on you to find in a grocery store!

Dietitian Deanna’s Grocery Shopping List



  • Quaker rice cakes (all flavors)
  • Ezekiel brand bread-usually buy plain or Cinnamon Raisin (found in freezer)
  • Alvarado Street Bakery brand breads (they have a great 50 calorie flax seed variety)
  • Ezekiel wraps/tortillas
  • La Tortilla Factory low carb whole wheat wraps
  • Joseph’s oat bran pitas (Walmart)
  • Other whole wheat, high fiber wraps/pitas
  • Whole grain English muffins
  • Corn tortillas
  • Brown Rice (I buy in bulk bags and cook a lot and freeze portions)
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat or whole grain (like brown rice) pasta
  • Black bean pasta (found at Sprouts)
  • Other whole grains such as barley, whole-wheat couscous, etc
  • Beans- black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, lentils, etc (especially for cookies)
  • Oats- Just the plain kind and I add my own fruit! I use quick cook steel cut oats (Trader Joe’s) or old-fashioned rolled oats or instant plain oats
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Kashi or Nutri-grain whole-wheat waffles
  • Pre-portioned, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt (ie Skinny cow, Artic Zero)
  • Cereal (I enjoy Chex, Kashi, and Quaker Oatmeal Squares)
  • Fiber One desserts/bars

Tips: Look for the first ingredient to be “whole wheat” or ‘whole wheat flour’.  Enriched wheat flour is actually white flour!


  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale/Chard/Collard greens
  • Bell Peppers in any color
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kabocha squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Delicata squash

Tip: Buy fresh or frozen instead of canned vegetables to cut back on preservatives!


  • Bananas
  • Apples (pink lady are my favorite)
  • Oranges
  • Berries of all kinds (usually  buy organic and frozen)
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Fresh lemons and limes
  • Frozen Fruit (mangoes, pineapple, peaches for baking and making smoothies)
  • Dried fruit (small portions are OK)
  • Dates


Dairy & Non-Dairy:

  • Eggs
  • Egg white cartons
  • Greek yogurt – I use Fage or Chobani plain and mix in frozen fruit, PB2, stevia, cinnamon, etc!
  • String-cheese snacks
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk (not really a protein but fits here!)

Tip: If you like whole-fat cheeses and butter, you don’t have to deprive yourself. Just use smaller portions.  I personally don’t enjoy the taste of cheese!

Meat & Seafood & Meat Substitutes:

  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Trout
  • Tilapia/Swai fish
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Tuna (in pouches or fresh)
  • Wild-caught cod
  • Halibut
  • Tempeh
  • Vegetarian meat crumbles
  • Chicken breasts-boneless and skinless or whole
  • Turkey– breasts and/or lean ground
  • Low sodium lunch meats 
  • Beef- Choose the leanest cuts – ones with very little visible marbling.
  • Pork

Tip: Learn what a portion size (3-4 oz) of meat is by measuring on a food scale.  It can be eye opening!


Healthy Fats:

  • Nuts- Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios (I buy unsalted or raw varieties)
  • Avocado
  • Pre-made guacamole
  • Almond Butter
  • All-natural peanut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Ground flax seed
  • Chia seeds
  • Other seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut butter


Condiments, Spices, Natural Sweeteners/Extras

  • Fresh herbs (I love cilantro and basil)
  • Sriracha and other hot sauce varieties
  • Canned pumpkin puree
  • Hummus
  • Mustard (I love jalapeno mustard and other fun varieties
  • Salsa
  • Braggs liquid aminos (similar to soy sauce)
  • Braggs apple cider vinegar
  • Honey/Agave Nectar (I also enjoy using the sugar-free honey from Target)
  • Pure Maple Syrup – The real stuff.
  • Spices (ie Mrs. Dash without added salt)
  • Reduced-sodium soups
  • Bottled minced garlic
  • Pickles
  • Dark chocolate pieces (containing more than 70% cocoa)


  • Oat flour (can also make your own by blending rolled oats)
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Whole wheat flour

Hope this can help the next time you find yourself at your local grocery store.  I know I am there 2-3 times a week so I basically consider it a hobby 😉



Thinking Out Loud: Revelations over Christmas Break


Over Christmas break, I worked really hard on my inner confidence.  I worked on being confident in my portion sizes and not weighing them out on a scale, being confident in my body, and being confident in allowing my body to have more food than usual and not become anxious.  This was a time of healing.  I don’t need to have deep visible lines in my abs in December and January.  I need to relax with family and enjoy the laughs and memories I am creating with them.  I need to see friends, make important career choices, focus on others.  I do not need to be 10% body fat anymore.  I don’t need to be the tiniest girl in the gym.  I need to love my body and be confident for what it is.  I need to continue to work on balance.  I am the happiest I have ever been with my relationship with food and it can only continue to get better.

I wanted to touch base on some of my revelations I had over Christmas after focusing less on food and more on family.  I am tying in my Thinking Out Loud thoughts as this is totally random and just what I wanted to talk about today at the same time.

1. I have amazing people in my life and I need to cherish the relationships I have and build them stronger.


my boyfriend and I on NYE in Tampa


We went out with my brother and his girlfriend and I loved spending time out with my brother! I hardly ever get to do it since he’s still in school.

2. I survived the Annual Christmas Cookie competition.

My family does a Christmas Cookie competition every year.  This year, I wanting to enjoy the experience but I know I always feel like crap after eating a plate full of cookies.  My technique this year?  Eat 1/2 the cookie. Eat more if I want it.  Don’t beat myself up over it. Work out around the Cookie competition so I didn’t go into a sugar coma. And I had to taste 7 cookies!!  Which were all amazing by the way.  I only got 3rd place and there was some tough competition…


clockwise from the top left: vanilla and chocolate cake pops, creamcheese oreo balls, funfetti oreo cookies, triple chocolate coconut cookies, gingerbread cookie cups with a pumpkin mousse and caramel apple cider sauce, healthy grinch cookies, and my Nutella baklava




3. I really enjoy making beautiful oatmeal creations.  You can see even more on my Instagram.  Food is beautiful, right?

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4. Miami is crazy.  I loved the gorgeous weather but just don’t party that hard anymore to enjoy all the nightclubs. Grandma status!  I still went to an amazing dinner though and had the BEST Cuban food ever and saw all I wanted to in South Beach.  I even picked up some cigars for my Dad and Grandpa.


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5. I didn’t wear makeup for about 2 weeks over Christmas break and it was AMAZING.  It was so freeing!  I know there have been a lot of “Makeup Free” campaigns out there and now I understand.  It feels good to feel ‘naturally’ beautiful.  I wear makeup daily at my job because I believe it is more professional but I think I am going to continue the make-up free look on the weekends.





Thank you again for stopping by.  I love to hear your feedback.  See you soon! XOXO



What I Ate Wednesday: The Perfect Body and Fear of Food


Happy Wednesday folks.  I was seriously MIA over the holidays and want to jump back in with a full day of eats.


Goofing off in South Beach during a 2 day trip to Miami when home in Florida for the holidays.

I seriously missed blogging, journaling my thoughts, and all of you!  This blog helps me just as much as I hope to help others.  I think by telling my story, I hope I can inspire others to live a full life.  A full life to me means having goals, working hard, working out hard, and investing in yourself NOT because you want a perfect body, but because you are WORTH it.  Because strength and growth in the gym and kitchen can translate into strength and confidence in other areas of your life.


breakfast//old-fashioned oats cooked in water, mixed in 1/2 scoop vanilla MTS whey after cooking and then topped with 1/4 of a banana, 1-2 T pumpkin puree, plain Fage greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon coconut butter and 1 tablespoon 365 peanut butter. OH and SPRINKLES.

And gaining confidence and balance in food choices can empower you.  Empower you to realize working for a perfect body will not get you where you want to be.


lunch//4 oz tilapia with my favorite Chef Paul “Magic” salmon seasoning with dill and fennel seeds, broccoli slaw, and fresh grape tomatoes. Un-pictured brown rice cake with Earth Balance coconut peanut butter.

Don’t destroy your body for a peace of mind.  If you are trying to lose weight to finally accept yourself, you are doing it wrong.  Because you might never get that peace of mind.  Be happy with your body at the stage it is now.  Work on your inner self, your confidence, your strength.



pre-workout meal// 1 cup Fage 0% greek yogurt, 1 serving Special K cereal, 70 grams blueberries

It’s a shame to be scared of food.  I used to fear eating around my workouts because I didn’t want to be bloated in the gym.  THAT WAS SO STUPID.  Eating around your workouts is so crucial to gaining muscle, leaning out, “toning up” (not a real thing, you need to build muscle to tone up), etc etc.  I always aim to have a good serving of carbohydrates and protein around my workouts.  I had read this for YEARS but somehow thought it didn’t apply to me because I had a “slow metabolism”. Well, HI DEANNA, you’re metabolism is ridiculous and food is there to fuel you, not be feared.  The more you fear food, the more control you give it over your life and the more you are likely to restrict and binge, overeat, or emotionally eat which are the exact patterns I have pulled myself out of with my flexible eating now.


post-workout dinner//fish tacos made with already prepared garlic tilapia, 3 Mission Extra Thin Corn tortillas, cabbage slaw made from broccoli slaw and Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (LOVED this crunch), fresh salsa from the fridge area (not jarred), and a side of broccoli roasted in coconut oil topped with nutritional yeast and a heavy dose of Cholula after the photo.


bedtime meal//chocolate protein lava cake (or a beltsander brownie from Instagram, eaten on the regular) made with 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk and microwaved for 30 seconds. Topped with Sunspire dark chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon Whole Foods Brand 365 peanut butter. Un-pictured was 2 Oreo’s dipped in another tablespoon of peanut butter because I knew I hadn’t eaten enough carbs and fat today.

To overcome fear foods, you must face your fears.  I ate 2 Oreo’s daily over the past 2 weeks. Most people would call me unhealthy. Most dietitians would point out the trans fats. Most ‘nutritionists’ would say you need to cut out gluten to eat optimally.  Those 2 Oreo’s along with all the other foods I ate over the holidays while maintaining my weight and size make me realize ALL foods really can fit.  No more clean eating for me.  No more cutting out food groups.  No more restricting.  Food is meant as fuel, not to be feared.  And the more you can gain strength and power in your food choices and what you put in your body, the more you will realize how amazing your body is. And that it doesn’t need to be “perfect”.