SLB Spotlight: Lindsey DeCaro, RDN, LDN
Lindsey is a dietitian, wife, mom and lover of tasty eats! She enjoys cooking nutritious and delicious food in her kitchen and sharing it with anyone she can. Keeping nutrition and wellness approachable, realistic and practical are important to her. You’ll often find her spending time outside, reading, exercising, baking or carpooling her kids around town!
What do you eat for breakfast? Lunch and dinner on a typical day?
I love to vary my meals—it keeps things interesting and gives you different nutrients. Breakfast could include oatmeal, cereal, eggs or homemade waffles/French toast with some type of fruit (dried or fresh). Lunches are usually items that I can pack—a main entrée salad; good ‘ol PB&J on whole wheat bread, egg salad, yogurt parfait, tuna fish sandwich or even a combo of heavier snacks, like veggies with hummus, a cheese stick and nuts. I’ll round out the meal with fruit/veggies and maybe the occasional piece of dark chocolate for an afternoon snack. Dinner can be just about anything! Lots of veggies, we love any and all kinds: salads, roasted/sautéed/grilled veggies, then some type of whole grain—like brown rice or quinoa and any kind of protein (fish, red meat, chicken, pork-you name it, we eat it!).
Are you an omnivore? vegetarian? vegan? If you happen to be passionate about a particular diet, please explain why.
I love all foods and appreciate the breadth and depth of different cultures’ foods, too. I’m married to an Italian, but am 50% Lebanese myself, so we’re partial to Mediterranean foods! I’m an omnivore but am passionate about good, home-cooked food. One thing I can’t handle is heat! I’m a wimp when it comes to that—but just about everything else, I’m game!
What’s your favorite junk food, and how much of it is currently stashed in your freezer/pantry?
If it’s my birthday, you can buy me some Reese’s Pieces (not the cups!), but I don’t have any in my pantry right now! Ice cream would be next—and we almost always have some—it’s a family favorite.
Do you have any rituals you use to try to resist binging on too much sugar and/or fat, such as hiding them or simply not buying them?
Like I said about my Reese’s Pieces, I just don’t even keep them in the house! But yes, I also try to be realistic and enjoy celebrations—like birthdays and holidays and indulge in special treats but be mindful of my intake the rest of the day/week or try to move more, too. Other times I’m mindful about how I’m feeling and pause to ask myself if I’m really hungry or actually just thirsty. It’s all about balance—incorporating all foods (including foods with sugar) and savoring the moments!
How do you usually get your exercise? Do you have a favorite workout routine?
I do love to exercise— I love to be outdoors, so that’s my first choice for any type of exercising. Maybe it’s while my kids are at their own sports practice, or I’m walking with my neighbor around my development or I’m in my basement doing a YouTube video. All kinds of physical activity count—so I’ll run, run/walk, do HIIT workouts, yoga, bike, hike etc.
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to food trends?
My biggest frustration is when people are expecting an instant fix without any investment. I want people to be engaged in their health—not perfect, but actively involved and taking steps towards better health. Living a healthy lifestyle takes effort and it’s so worth every bit of it!
If someone is trying to get their diet back on track and live a healthier life, what advice would you give them?
Aim to eat regular meals, full of fruits and veggies, have fun with food—try new tastes and flavors, move more, manage stress and get adequate sleep!
Do you have a family? and if so, how do you get them to eat healthy, too?
Yes, I’m married with two kids. I love to cook, bake and experiment with new recipes. I’m always trying to keep things interesting—both for myself and my family. I think healthy eating starts in the womb and when you’re introducing solid foods to your kids. From the get-go, I gave them a variety of food—different textures, flavors, smells and colors. I’ve always encouraged whole foods and for our kids to try new foods. I make sure to keep healthy options readily available and easy to access/find. Whether that’s out on the counter top (think fruit bowl), in the pantry (think nuts, dried fruit, whole grain cereals) or in the fridge (perishable produce, low fat dairy, infused waters etc)—it all sets a ton as to what’s “normal” for your family. I’ve tried to engage the kids whenever possible, too—having them choose a new type of fruit at the store, or help prep a salad, help make their lunch etc.
I also look for ways to boost nutrition in meals/snacks: in homemade baked goods (it’s not like I never eat sweets!), swapping out/in ingredients (low sodium broth for regular, adding additional veggies/beans to a soup or adding oatmeal to meatloaf). It all counts and helps towards achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Check out Lindsey’s latest article on smartlifebites.com: Hydration Station