Food Diaries: How Dietitian Melissa Musiker Eats for a Day

With back-to-back meetings, can the food policy expert manage to stay on track with her diet?

As the vice president of food and nutrition policy at APCO Worldwide, registered dietitian Melissa Musiker lives and breathes healthy foods. But the food and policy expert’s day is filled with meetings with clients from the agriculture, food, beverage, and restaurant businesses, so how does she manage to eat nutritious meals while on the go?

On a particularly busy day this September, Musiker dutifully logged her food intake, despite back-to-back meetings and looming deadlines. Let’s see how she managed to keep up her energy.

Breakfast: “This is pretty typical of how I eat in the morning. Around 8:30 I had a grande Starbucks café misto with skim milk and Quaker instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal. I’ll sip the coffee all morning. I had the banana as a mid-morning snack around 11:30.”

Drink: “Around noon, I had my first iced tea of the day—I’m a big iced tea drinker. This one lasted me through early afternoon, and then I made another identical one that I sipped until I left for a meeting around 5:30.

Lunch: “I didn’t get to run out for lunch until almost 2. There is an Au Bon Pain across the street that is my go-to for a fast lunch. I have been challenging myself to do 500-ish-calorie lunches. The key to that is lots of veggies, so the 12-vegetable soup at ABP is a favorite of mine. I had the soup and a Fiber One bar around 2 and saved the container of hummus with cucumbers for a break I had between meetings at 3:30.”

Drink: “I got home from my meeting around 8:30 and immediately made another iced tea to drink for the evening.”

Dinner: “We just finished an extensive renovation of our kitchen, and we really enjoy cooking. Our goal is to make a nice dinner on nights we are both home. I seared and then roasted a small rack of lamb—really simple, with just a little salt and pepper on it. I sautéed some yellow squash, leeks, garlic, and mushrooms that I picked up at the farmers market in a little bit of butter and olive oil and then mixed in some Pedon 10-Minute Italian 5 Grains that I found randomly at Costco. Pedon 5 Grains is really tasty, quick, and easy, plus it has a lot of fiber. I tossed it all together with some sea salt, pepper, Penzey’s Sunny Paris seasoning mix, and some Parmesan cheese. I love Sunny Paris, since it has lots of great herbs and tons of flavor, and it’s salt-free—I put it on pretty much everything. It looks like an elaborate meal, but it took barely 30 minutes to make.”

Late-night snack: “My dad is an amateur pawpaw grower. They’re in season now, and I brought back several after spending the weekend in western New York with my parents. They have the consistency of a very ripe banana but taste like a cross between an apple and a melon. When they are ripe, they are soft and fragrant. Unfortunately, most people have never heard of them or tried them. They are native to the area, and I’ve heard of people foraging for them in Rock Creek Park. Around 10, I had a pawpaw and some cheese and crackers.” 

To find out how other health experts eat, visit Well+Being’s Food Diaries page.

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