Quinoa, Dark Chocolate, and Cherries: What a Weight Loss Coach Eats in a Day

Photograph of David Franklin by Chris Langford Photography. All other photographs courtesy Franklin.

Not only is David L. Franklin a certified personal trainer in DC, but he also specializes in helping people on their weight loss journey through his online nutrition course. Personally, Franklin keeps to a vegan diet, but he works with vegans and non-vegans alike.

To maintain his weight, Franklin aims to eat 1800 calories a day, split between three meals—with no snacks. In addition to being a vegan, Franklin limits sugar in his diet and only drinks water and unsweetened green tea.

My philosophy when it comes to food and exercise is: Keep it simple!” says Franklin. “As you can see in the photos my meals are simple and nutritious. For me it’s all about quality.”

To see how Franklin eats on a typical day, take a look through his food diary below.  


A half-cup of cereal, two cups of fruit and a cup of almond milk.

“For breakfast I had cold low-sugar cereal and fruit,” says Franklin. “Strawberries and kiwi were on sale, so that was the reason behind those fruit choices.”


A cup of fresh cherries, a cup of mixed veggies with quinoa, and a cup of chamomile and lavender tea.

“For lunch I had cherries, a mixture of mixed veggies, and quinoa,” says Franklin. “Quinoa is one of the many seeds that I keep on hand. Quinoa is a good protein source. The vegetables were from my freezer. I use frozen vegetables because they save time and money.”


One cup of lentil soup, one cup of steamed vegetables, a glass of water and a piece of chocolate.

“For dinner I had lentil soup, mixed veggies, and dark chocolate.  The lentil soup was canned,” says Franklin. “The veggies were from my freezer. I experiment with different spices and seasonings to add variety. The ones in the picture were plain. I allow myself the occasional piece of dark chocolate.”

Have a Food Diary you’d like to share? Email

Consult with your doctor before beginning a new diet. Washingtonian does not endorse any diet without the supervision of a medical professional. 

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.