Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Ellie Krieger
In honor of American Heart Month, we sat down with dietitian Ellie Krieger, in partnership with Campbell Soup Company, to discuss the importance of leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. The cookbook author gave us a peek into her daily eating and fitness routine.
For someone who is constantly around food, Ellie knows the importance of not overindulging, “I’ll try to plan recipe testing around lunch, and I do try to just have a few tastes if I’m making multiple recipes and try not to have full servings of food,” she says. “Fortunately, I’m cooking my food so it lends itself to not weighing you down. If I was testing cookies all day, it would be hard.” But it’s not just about nutrition, she notes: “Being active, working out, is my ticket to physical well-being and sanity. You know how people are hardcore? I’m softcore. But I like to sweat and push myself. I love vinyasa yoga, and I love to be outside, biking around Central Park or hiking. I’m much more of a jogger than a runner, but I’m getting my heart rate up and I’m feeling good.”
Ellie likes to work out in the morning but can’t eat too much before exercising, so she has a piece of whole-grain toast or a whole-grain bagel and coffee. “God bless coffee,” she says. After she works out she starts her day with “a Greek yogurt bowl and some fruit, or I’ll make a smoothie with a banana and low-fat milk and a scoop of peanut butter. Or an egg and a piece of fruit. Breakfast is where I’m eating my protein.”
Her midday meal varies depending on if she’s recipe testing or not. “If I’m not testing I might have an arugula and fennel salad with olive oiled-cured tuna and lemon. That’s my go-to favorite lunch. I’d probably have whole-grain bread with that.”
Ellie definitely snacks. Her preferred pick-me-up? "Peanut butter and apple, a bit of soup or whole-grain cereal, or granola with milk in a small cup."
During the winter months it’s all about comfort food. “I’ll make chili and a big salad or roasted vegetables. Sometimes we’ll have roasted salmon or steak; filet mignon is our family-favorite meat. My husband is a bow-hunter, and so he brings home a lot of venison and I use it a lot, depending on the cut, either in a stew or as a steak. I’ve been cooking a lot from my latest book, Weeknight Wonders, which is all healthy dinners in 30 minutes or less (including prep time), so I know I’ll have dinner on the table quickly.”
Of course, even dietitians have their unhealthy splurges. In the cold months, Ellie often craves a big bowl of ramen or french fries. “I’ll save up if I know I’m going to have something like that during the day,” she says. “I account for it.”