I Took the WIAWRD Challenge!!!

The WIAWRD Challenge

What the hell is that???  Sounds a lot worse than it is!!  This challenge was started by Nichola Whitehead of Nic’s Nutrition – a Dietitian and well-known blogger.  WIAWRD stands for What I Ate Wednesday Registered Dietitian and a little bit like RD Perryn Carroll’s interview series ‘What Dietitian’s Eat’ – this challenge asks Dietitians to photo-record what they eat on a given Wednesday and write it up as a blog.  When they’re done, they tag three more Dietitians to carry it on. It’s a fun idea!!

On Tuesday evening this week, the lovely Sian Riley, AKA The Internet Dietitian, tagged me to complete WIAWRD.  Not one to turn down a challenge, I accepted and recorded my food intake the following day – Wednesday 19th March 2014.  As a mum of 3, I find it hard to write about my food intake without mentioning my kids too. Their food preferences along with their busy after-school schedules determine to a good extent  what and when we eat!!  I am lucky in that my eldest daughter Eve (now 10!) was a really adventurous eater from very early on and she has served as the most amazing role model for her two younger siblings.  The girls pretty much eat everything and anything.  My youngest, Max, is a little less adventurous – very slowly but surely he is finding his way to trying new things and I know will get there in the end.

What I Ate Wednesday 19th March 2014:


8am Breakfast

Before I do ANYTHING in the morning, I have to have a cup of coffee!!  It is ESSENTIAL for the sake of everyone in our house that I get my coffee – my day just seems instantly better the minute I have my first sip!!  So that’s how Wednesday started……

Breakfast is my FAVOURITE meal of the day.   I just love breakfast foods – poached eggs on toast, pancakes served with berries, a dollop of natural yogurt & a drizzle of maple syrup, mixed berries with natural yogurt and a sprinkling of seeds or homemade granola.  It’s all good whether you’re having it at 8am on a weekday or a bit later on a weekend morning.

During the week though, breakfast is pretty standard for me for the entire Winter.  It’s porridge, porridge and more porridge.  Love the stuff!! I’m always trying new ways of making my porridge zing or taste just a little bit more interesting.  We’re a porridge loving family with the exception of Eve who really can’t bear to be in the same room as porridge!! She’s more a wholegrain-bagel-with-peanut-butter-kind-of-girl.  Max (4 years) adores porridge and wouldn’t consider breakfast to be breakfast without it.  Isobel (8yrs) sometimes has porridge, sometimes a fruit salad with natural yogurt or a bowl of mango or sometimes a wholegrain bagel with peanut butter and raspberry jam (must be raspberry).  Today, she had a fresh fruit salad (mandarin orange slices, chopped apple, strawberries) with some natural yogurt.  Dad is usually gone to work by the time us lot make our way to the kitchen but we do sit down, albeit briefly and have a bit of banter before the madness of getting dressed and out the door.

I make my porridge on low fat milk – half a cup of porridge to 1 cup of milk.  Today I had a dollop of peanut butter and a small banana sliced on top.  The peanut butter I use is a no-added-sugar brand and is good enough to eat from the jar!!

Other favourite porridge combinations in our house include:

  • Sliced banana, topped with hot porridge (so the bananas kind of melt underneath) and a sprinkling of dessicated coconut on top. This idea was given to me by fellow RD tweep Jo Mc (@Jo_RDPT) (YUM!)
  • Raspberries or blueberries – the blueberries literally pop in your pop giving you a delicious burst of flavour.  (Nom Nom)
  • A simple drizzle of honey and cinnamon (Can I have some MORE?)

With my porridge, I had my second cup of coffee!  Now I’m buzzing for the day!!

11am – Mid-Morning Snack


I had  a tall glass of iced sparkling water along with a deliciously sweet plum and a handful of mixed nuts (Brazils, Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts) at my desk.

2pm – Lunch

IMG_2609Today I was working out of my home office all day so was able to make my lunch and not have to worry about packing it up to go.  I had two Emmental and Pumpkin Seed crackers which I adore and always have some in the larder.  I had hummus on one and soft goats cheese with some chutney on the other.  Along with this I had a little plate with some chilli olives, baby tomatoes and black grapes.  I had another tall glass of iced sparkling water with lunch, followed by a large mug of tea.  This is my ideal kind of lunch – a bit of everything.  If I wasn’t having this, I might have homemade soup which is another staple in our house.  Often I make soup for their after-school snack when I pick them up from school (in Winter) and on those days I would have it for my lunch.  I don’t usually make it on Wednesday’s though as the kids go to after-school until 5.30pm every Wednesday and they eat there.  When they get home, we are straight into dinner.

 4.30pm – Snack

Today, my afternoon snack was another cup of coffee and a homemade flapjack.  I absolutely adore flapjacks and most weeks I make a batch to have to hand.  They are so handy for a snack after-school, on-the-hoof or after-running.  They’re full of porridge oats, seeds (Pumpkin, Sunflower, Linseed) and chopped, mixed nuts.  They are a treat but are also bursting with goodness from some great quality ingredients. They also satisfy my sweet tooth!

7pm – Dinner

IMG_2622Usually we would eat a little earlier but we delayed it by half an hour so Dad could join us.  He doesn’t get to join us for dinner every day during the week but he always makes at least two during the week and always at the weekend.  If we can wait for him, we do.

Tonight we had Chicken Provencale with Roasted Potato Cubes and a Side Salad.  This is something we all love and I would nearly always have these ingredients in stock- Chicken, Lemon, Red Onion, Olives, Garlic, Garlic, Garlic, Capers (rinsed in water), Tomatoes, White Wine and herbs.  Max not keen on the olives but he just removes them 😉 I find if there’s a selection of dishes on the table including sides etc, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.  We generally drink water with meals and I always have a large pitcher of iced water on the table.

We always sit down at the table for dinner.  This is sacrosanct in our house and I use this time to catch up on everyone’s day.  We don’t do a lot of talking about food at the dinner table but rather focus on other bits and pieces of news and chatter.  For me this social aspect of food is so, incredibly important for children.  I always remember a Child Psychiatrist colleague, many years ago, talking about the importance of making memories with your children.  For me, food is such an incredible way of doing this as it touches so many senses – what you see, what you smell, what you taste, how you feel when you eat a delicious meal surrounded by those closest to you.  This is my philosophy and I hope I am imbedding great memories of warmth and family for my children by holding tight to the tradition of family meals.

10pm – Supper

IMG_2633I’m a bit of a late-night owl at the best of times (not by nature but because I need down-time after the kids go to bed IYKWIM) and I usually always have something to nibble on in the evening.  Tonight, I just had a bowl of pineapple with a dollop of natural yogurt as I had lots of chopped pineapple left over in the fridge from making Ham and Pineapple Pizza on Monday.  I could literally have anything to eat at this time of night from crackers,cheese and grapes to fruit, yogurt and granola or some Chimicurri Olives but it’s usually something munchy.  Sometimes, I have a glass of wine.

So how did I do and was this a Typical Day?

This was a fairly typical week-day of eating for me.  I am definitely a bit of a grazer and prefer little and often to big meals less often.  I have always eaten this way and it suits me. I rarely skip meals.

Today, I ate 3+ servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables and met my 3 servings of the milk group of foods for calcium.  I have to consciously think about my calcium intake as I don’t like to drink milk so am relying on eating cheese and milk in tea/coffee/porridge or yogurt on fruit etc.  My protein intake was spread throughout the day in meals and snacks and I find this helps me feel full throughout the day.  I had a good mix of monounsaturated fats (olives, peanut butter, mixed nuts and salad dressing) and polyunsaturated fats (peanut butter, mixed nuts, flapjack, sunflower oil) – in fact, likely too much fat in terms of the percentage of energy!  However, I think it all balances out from day to day, if you focus on choosing nutritious foods overall, versus worrying about counting quantities/grams of specific macro-nutrient every day.

One area I need to be conscious of is my salt intake!  Although I don’t add salt to anything once it’s on the table, added salt is found in so many foods and many of larder ingredients such as chutney, capers, jars of olives, stock cubes which I regularly use and I do season my food when cooking.

ToIMG_2630day I didn’t have any chocolate but it would be pretty usual for me to have some chocolate on about 4 days of the week.  I am a self-confessed chocoholic.  I absolutely LOVE the stuff and unfortunately, I am NOT one of these lucky people who can have just a little chocolate.  If it’s there, I will feel it’s only right and proper that I eat every last piece of a chocolate bar but I have developed ways of keeping it under control.  For example, when I want some chocolate, I will either have some dark chocolate, of which I can only eat 2-4 squares or I will buy myself a child-sized bar (the thin one) of Cadbury’s chocolate which I adore!!!  That way, I don’t deny myself but it doesn’t get crazy!





The WIAW Dietitian Tag! #WIAWRD

This blog post is a part of a ‘dietitian tag’ to see what other registered dietitians from around the world really eat!

To carry on this tag all you need to do is:

1) Copy and paste this orange section (marked within the ******) to the bottom of your WIAW blog post.

2) Tweet/Facebook the link using the hashtag #WIAWRD (What I Ate Wednesday Registered Dietitian).

3) Add your blog post link into the section below.

4) ‘Tag’ 2-3 other dietitians to carry on the tag via email! – I tag Orla Walsh (@OrlaCWalsh), Eimear Walsh (@eims_walsh) and Chris Cashin (@CardiffNC)

Previous WIAW Blog Posts (add yours here along with where you’re from!):

Nic’s Nutrition – Weekend Edition (West Yorkshire, UK)

Dietitian UK (Priya Tew) A day in the life of a dietitian’s tummy (Southampton, UK)

The Internet Dietitian (Sian Riley) What this dietitian’s son eats (Cheshire, UK)

Morgan Nutrition (Dara Morgan) The WIAWRD Challenge (Ireland)



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