Hello, wedding season! In case I have any brides (or even bridesmaids!) who are thinking about making a few healthy changes to their diet to look good in the dress, I have a few tips to share with you today. Although, I didn’t share much on my blog, I am a recent bride myself! When Helen from the Borrowed and Blue reached out to me to do an interview, I was excited for the opportunity to chat about wedding wellness.
“I came across Dietitian Debbie Dishes when I was looking to learn more about pre-wedding health and wellness. Her site offers a plethora of resources for folks in all walks of life, whether you’re looking to learn more about the staples of a healthy vegetarian diet or more focused on solutions to overall stress relief. One thing that I love about Debbie’s site as a resource is that she’s a Registered Dietitian, meaning that she’s a practicing wellness expert with lots of practical and academic experience to back up her methods. Borrowed & Blue readers will love Debbie’s focus on food for people looking to eat healthily without too much extra effort, plus her ability to make healthy cooking and eating so fun! Pair that with her Chicago knowledge and you’ve got a recipe for blog success. Enjoy!”
– Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Chicago Market Specialist
Everyone is always wondering what dietitians really eat. Break down a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
First thing: A cup of hot green ginger tea
Breakfast: Green smoothie (plain yogurt, almond milk, banana, grapefruit, fresh ginger, spinach = current fave!), toasted Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter, lots of coffee(!)
Lunch: Large salad with beans, veggies, cheese, and homemade ranch dressing (my husband’s ranch is the best!), sliced apple with peanut butter, yogurt, water
Dinner: Vegan sausage (love Field Roast brand), pan roasted brussels sprouts, baked sweet potato with butter, water or occasionally a beer
Snacks: Popcorn, dried apricots, almonds, dark chocolate
You’re a registered Dietitian Nutritionist. How did you get started on your wellness journey, and how did you end up starting your blog?
Growing up, my family ate out a lot and I had my fair share of Little Debbie cakes and cheetos as a teenager. During my senior year of high school, I started to think a little more about what I was putting in my body since I was playing sports and poured over healthy cooking magazines. Since I was also a science nerd, I was fascinated by how different nutrients worked in our bodies. When I headed off to college, I knew I wanted to study nutrition and I continued to love it through my internship and grad school! I started my blog as a creative outlet after starting my first job. I wanted to share nutrition advice with more people than just those who I saw in the hospital. I also loved reading blogs so I decided to start my own!
I love your focus on overall health and wellness on the blog. Do you have any advice you’d give to a person who would like to develop some wellness goals before his or her wedding?
Instead of overhauling your diet to drop a few pounds for your wedding, I would focus on making small changes to improve your diet before your wedding and beyond! Here are a few of my go-to tips:
- Make it a habit to eat at least 3 servings of both fruits and vegetables a day. Start your day off with a green smoothie and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your goal.
- Cut sugar sweetened beverages out of your diet. Sugary beverages are high in calories and offer no nutritional value. Soda isn’t the only one to blame, fruit juice counts as a sugar sweetened beverage too, just eat an orange or apple instead of the juice! In place of sugary drinks, have water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
- Pack your lunch for work. When you take the time to pack a healthy lunch for work, you’ll be much less tempted to order take-out or grab a burger and fries down the street from the office. Prep salad ingredients or batch cook some grains and protein on the weekend so that you can pack your lunch in a few minutes.
- Batch cook on the weekend. Make a large pot of healthy soup or a casserole on the weekend so you can easily reheat them for a healthy meal on busy weeknights. You can also make up a big pot of whole grains like quinoa or brown rice to add to salads or incorporate into meals throughout the week.
What is one way that you create balance in your life that you think would be helpful to share with others?
Everyone is so busy these days, it can be hard to balance it all! Prioritize taking care of your body over everything else. When you aren’t taking care of yourself you won’t have enough energy to keep up with everything. One thing I’ve learned to do is to schedule time for working out into my week just like I would any other meeting or appointment. Not only is exercise great for your health, but it also helps relieve stress and often leaves me feeling more motivated to get back to whatever tasks I was working on.
What suggestions do you have for folks who are just beginning to learn how to cook healthily at home?
Keep it simple! Start by learning to make a handful of simple, healthy meals so you always have something to turn to on a busy weeknight. Also, try to stock your pantry with healthy staples at all times so you aren’t running to the grocery store almost every night. A few of my favorite go-to meals are:
In addition to being a health expert and a happily wedded lady, you’re also a Chicago local! Describe your dream day in the city.
My dream day in the city would include a morning workout at either Studio Three or Cross Town Fitness, sipping a military latte at Sawada Coffee, lunch at home, a long bike ride with my husband on the lakeshore trail, and dinner and margaritas at Antique Taco.
What are some of your favorite area restaurants?
Chicago has endless options for great food! We’ve lived here almost 3 years now and we are always discovering new restaurants. Some of our stand out favorites include: Antique Taco, Roots Pizza, The Chicago Diner, Handlebar, and Sawada Coffee (pictured above).
What’s something that sets Chicago apart from other places you’ve lived?
My husband and I have moved around a bit over the last few years from Cleveland to Memphis and now Chicago. In the 3 years we’ve been here, we have fallen hard for Chicago despite its harsh winters! Besides the great food scene, Chicago also has a lively comedy as well! One of our favorite date night activities is heading to an improv or stand up show.
That’s a wrap! Make sure you check out Borrowed & Blue, the guide to finding Chicago wedding catering and more!