We at Byrdie HQ know just how invaluable a trained nutritionist’s advice can be. We talk to food experts on the regular, using their perspective to negotiate the latest superfood trends (bulletproof coffee, anyone?) and a more reasonable approach to scaling back on vices like caffeine and sugar. (Spoiler alert: Going cold turkey isn’t helping anyone.) In a landscape of overcomplicated wellness trends and advice, these are the experts we rely on to take a step back and serve as the voice of reason.
Which begs the question: While nutritionists are in the business of giving advice, how do they practice what they preach? We went ahead and reached out to three of our favorite dietitians to find out exactly what they eat every day, and why—and the answers are eye-opening, to say the least.
Below, they share a typical day of healthy eats, with some expert context behind their menus, of course. And while all three boast slightly different skill sets, you might be surprised to know that the way they eat is actually pretty similar: You’ll notice an emphasis on variety, plant-based foods, and chocolate. Yes—chocolate.
Meet the Expert
Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. is a certified holistic cannabis practitioner, a nationally recognized nutrition expert and a best-selling author. It’s no wonder this multi-hyphenate is a member of Byrdie’s advisory board.
Philosophy: “I think it’s really important to listen to what my body tells me.”
Breakfast: Coffee, CBD, and a slice of grain-free bread
“I always start my day with coffee. I use Grady’s cold brew coffee and add a heaping scoop of my CBD powder, Daily Habit ($69). I find the CBD helps to balance the reaction I get from caffeine, so it’s more subtle and I get the energy without the jitters.
“I go through phases of skipping breakfast and then loving it again. I think it’s really important to listen to what my body tells me and sometimes it says to eat first thing so I do. This morning I had a slice of grain-free bread that I made for my kids but I love it as much as they do. It’s inspired by Lilsipper and it’s basically made from cashew butter and eggs with chocolate chips on top.”
Lunch: Salad to go
“Lunch is often at my desk at work—I’ll take some time to listen to a podcast while I eat or read something on my kindle to take a break from work and be mindful of eating. It’s often a salad from Chopt, I’m loving their cauliflower rice as a base. The Mediterranean bowl is always a sure thing—I always have chicken on it and then something a little spicy, like their spicy peppers. I find a bit of heat in my meals makes it much more satisfying.
Afternoon snack: Tea and chocolate-covered almonds
“Lunch is often early, so most of the time I have a small snack and possibly a tea in the afternoon. I was sent samples of Skinny Dipped almonds ($4) with chocolate and they’ve been a big hit with both my sweet tooth and my need for fat and protein. Having some of those with a matcha tea is honestly a piece of heaven.”
Dinner: Fish and veggies
“I eat dinner early as I like to give myself at least 14 hours between dinner and breakfast—but it works for me and it’s a bonus that I get to eat with my kids. My oldest one has now decided she loves fish, so I’ve been cooking arctic char a lot and I’ll have that with air-fried asparagus or sautéed broccoli or whatever vegetable my kids are willing to eat that night.”
Dessert: Tea and chocolate
“It’s rare that I don’t have a piece of chocolate after dinner—I have a serious sweet tooth but Hu Kitchen Hazelnut Butter chocolates ($45 for 8 bars) do the trick with a square or two. I’ll wind down while I get my kids ready for bed with a cup of herbal tea and a scoop of Daily Habit CBD Powder ($69). My sleep is so much better when I take it regularly.”
Meet the Expert
Sharma is a celebrity holistic nutritionist, health educator, and the founder of Xicama, an LA-based superfood startup.
Philosophy: "Eat the rainbow and always add quality protein, colorful carb (fiber) and good quality fat to fuel your brain, your heart and your gut microbiome.”
Breakfast: Smoothie and collagen-infused coffee
“I have some lemon water upon rising. I love having a mega dose of water right away so I get it in for the day, and love the vitamin C and gentle liver support from the lemon after all the repair my body does overnight.
“Next up: Organic coffee with Primal Kitchen Collagen ($31). I’ve tried waiting to have coffee until after breakfast, but I have two kids under 5…so it’s a ritual I’m happy to keep! I notice the difference collagen makes for my nails and hope it’s supporting my gut lining. I also feel adding collagen takes the jolt out of the coffee—I’m caffeine sensitive but love the taste of coffee. I’m all about boosting coffee benefits, so if it’s not collagen, it’s a teaspoon of raw cocoa for a boost of antioxidants.
“A green protein smoothie (recipe below) is my fuel for the day. I don’t always love drinking my meal but I consider smoothies like “food therapy”—they’re so nutrient-rich and regardless of what my day brings, I know I started it off right. Protein, good-quality carbs from fruits and veggies and good-quality fats for overall health benefits and sustainable energy. Here’s a recipe I made for Will Smith to boost energy, reduce inflammation and to fuel the gut and brain. I’ll often chop some extra veggies on the side, so I get something to crunch on too.”
- ½ cup wild frozen blueberries
- ½ cup chopped Jicama (this is a prebiotic for gut health, use Acacia fiber if jicama isn't available)
- 1 cup organic spinach
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp organic Spirulina powder
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp MCT oil
- ½ cup unsweetened almond mylk
- ½ cup coconut water
Lunch: Egg and Veggie tortillas
“This is a common go-to for me because it’s fast and keeps me full for the afternoon. Again, you’ll see protein, lots of greens and good quality fats—this is a golden ratio for keeping hormones happy and building meals this way takes some guesswork out of what to eat. It also makes meals feel satiating and fuels the body without energy dips from fast acting carbohydrates and sugar. I’ll heat two Siete Cassava Tortillas ($55 for six packs) and top them with two organic scrambled eggs, 1 cup of arugula massaged with olive oil, half a sliced avocado, and some sea salt and one teaspoon nutritional yeast sprinkled on top for a cheesy flavor and some vitamin B.
“On the side, I’ll have a sliced cucumber with half a cup of Wildbrine Sauerkraut ($10). It’s common for me to start a meal with a few bites of sauerkraut, kimchi or fermented veggie for some probiotics. The bitter taste also stops my sugar cravings.”
Dinner: Wild salmon and a rainbow of veggies
“I love this meal because it’s a one-pan, super-fast and easy meal for the whole family. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, a variety of color (phytochemicals) and fiber to fuel gut microbiome health. Always aim to ‘eat the rainbow’ with whole foods if you want to optimize your health and energy.
“I bake a wild salmon fillet, top it with lemon juice, and serve it on top of 1-2 cups of chopped sautéed rainbow chard with organic ghee. I’ll serve it with a side of roasted broccolini, beets slices, and heirloom carrots—all drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and some mustard seed powder on the broccolini to boost its sulforaphane benefits.”
“A square of Hu Hazelnut Butter Chocolate ($45 for 8 bars)—you can never go wrong with some dark chocolate. I’m so impressed with this brand because there are no refined ingredients, emulsifiers or inflammatory oils or fake sugars. The secret to not devouring the whole bar is to really savor the rich taste. It hits the spot perfectly.”
Meet the Expert
On top of her expertise as a sports nutritionist and personal fitness chef, Wilson-Phillips is a group fitness instructor and coach based in Toronto.
Philosophy: “It’s very important for me to fuel my body with foods that will not only keep me healthy, but also give me energy—and it helps when the food tastes good too.”
“I’ll usually blend some plant-based protein powder with oat milk, frozen banana, strawberries, spinach, flaxseed oil, sunflower seed butter, and some crushed ice. I also make sure to take my vitamins daily—especially B12.”
Morning Snack: Oatmeal or avocado toast
“I’ll either have oats packed with hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, nut butter, and sometimes a bit of raisins—or two slices of high-protein toast with avocado or another topping. I follow more of a plant-based diet, so I try to add a lot of variety when putting together my meals and snacks.”
Lunch: Rainbow salad
“I like to make a large green and red leafy salad, with red and orange peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas, hemp seeds, and dressing. When I have more time, I really enjoy capturing different colors and textures to make my food even more interesting.”
Afternoon Snack: Fruit or protein bar
“I keep it simple—I’ll have a large bowl of fruit with 20 almonds, or a plant protein bar.”
Dinner: Rice and veggie bowl, or a burrito
“For dinner, it might be a bowl with brown rice, sweet potato, purple cabbage, black beans, lentils, lettuce, avocado, shredded carrots, plantain, and tahini sauce over top. Or, a veggie “meat” wholegrain flatbread burrito with quinoa, stuffed with as many veggies I can find—and some salsa.”