Happy What I Ate Wednesday. How’s your week going?  After a really busy weekend (a work event Friday, the ALSA Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, and a hospital shift Sunday), I’ve been playing catch-up on projects before jumping in to some mid-week crazy and a wedding on Saturday. I also want to make time for family/social stuff on Sunday, so it’s a juggling act over here.

Stay tuned-tomorrow I’ll be announcing a winner for the Chia Warrior Bar giveaway. It’s not too late to enter!

Since I get a lot of questions about how to make room for more indulgent meals at fancy events and the like, I thought that for this week’s WIAW post, it  would be good to share an example of how I navigate that stuff.

Out of concern for patient privacy, I don’t talk a lot of specifics about my clinical job on here. I’ve been a dietitian for an ALS clinic at my hospital for almost 2 years. It’s not at all what I thought I would be doing when I started as a per diem here in 2014, but I like to believe that things happen for a reason. It’s been an eye-opening and humbling experience. What’s difficult about ALS is that there is still so much we don’t know about what causes it, and there’s no known cure right now. Yes, it’s sad that you watch your patients and their families deal with this disease, but it also teaches you a lot about what’s really important. Research is so important and is making a huge impact in how ALS is diagnosed and treated. It’s also amazing what an impact nutrition has on overall patient outcome at various stages, whether someone is still eating by mouth or primarily tubefeed dependent.

This is a big part of why I consider myself a wellness dietitian as opposed to a “skinny”-focused one. I mean, we can talk Skinny, but my approach is much more about how being a healthy weight for your body supports overall health. From my standpoint, it’s all about quality of life and developing sustainable good habits.

Anyway, to get back to the “why” of this post…nutritional “budgeting” for events!

Last Friday, I attended a fundraising gala for my hospital’s neurology department. I took my own advice by getting in a good workout first thing in the morning and then front-loaded my day with veggies and lean protein. I also made sure to have a snack before I went so I wouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach. Here’s what was on the menu:

Desk Breakfast: Chocolate Zucchini Bread Oats with peanut butter-The jar I’m working through right now is this Earth Balance coconut peanut butter. I accidentally bought crunchy instead of creamy but am actually loving it.

chocolate zucchini oatmeal desk breakfast

Desk Lunch: Arugula salad with white beans, lots of random veggies from my fridge, goat cheese, and vinegar to dress it.

desk lunch salad white beans

Snacks: (unpictured) Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, coconut flour and berries

After a quick shower and a little other-work email catch-up, it was time to head to the gala. But first, a token cheesy mirror selfie obviously had to happen. Proof that sometimes I do clean up nice! And that I seriously need to do something about my thumbs-up habit.

mirror selfie

Dinner: At the gala, I had a bourbon on the rocks during the cocktail hour. When we sat down, the appetizer at each setting was this gorgeous heirloom tomato & burrata salad:

burrata tomato salad

I chose fish for my entree-it was absolutely perfect:

gala fish entree

I had a few sips of a glass of white wine with dinner but didn’t want to get a headache, especially since I had to be up for the next morning’s walk. Plus, I was wiped from my early shift at the hospital. I ended up skipping dessert since I was too tired to play, “I have a tree-nut allergy so can I have something else” so I had some decaf coffee and waited until I got home to eat something before bed. That something was a sliced banana with PB2 sauce, nothing fancy or worth photographing.

So there you have it.

If you’re interested in making a donation to support ALS treatment and research, you can visit the ALS Association website for more details. Every little bit helps, even small contributions.

What’s your pre-event pregame like? Beef, fish, or vegetarian alternative?  

To see more WIAW, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY NEW BUTTON PEAS AND CRAYONS - What I Ate Wednesday #266: Dress-Up to Defeat ALS 

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