This post shares a look at a trip I recently took that was sponsored by Mars. I was not compensated for my time but my travel and lodging expenses were paid for by the company. Opinions are my own. 

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Hope you’re having a great week so far. One thing I love about my work is that no two weeks are ever the same—”boredom” just isn’t in my vocabulary. Pros and cons, of course. Last week I was in four different states in four days—was totally wiped out come Sunday. Still, I feel lucky to be able to treat each week like a new adventure. When I was in school and used to daydream about my future as a dietitian, it never even occurred to me to think of travel, but that’s something I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to do.

Something I always try to focus on in my work is: What problems can I help someone solve? How can I help simplify someone’s life or help them meet their goals? At different times in my career, those things are going to be different than at other times, and different from what others in my field are trying to help address—that’s one reason I love meeting dietitians from other places and other walks of life. I love hearing about what others are working on and the ways that they help their clients, patients, and audiences.

Last week I attended an event hosted by Mars Foods, where I joined some other dietitians in Memphis, TN and Greenville, MS to talk about some exciting stuff they’re working on with Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change and to visit a rice farm and the factory to help connect some of the dots form farm to fork, so to speak.


Greenville, MS Rice Farm

Visiting the land where the rice is grown, learning about how it’s harvested, and seeing how it’s processed and packaged in the factory was fascinating. I also appreciated having a chance to talk with some representatives from the company about what they’re doing to make their products healthier (by gradually lowering sodium content, for example) and to make organic and sustainable products more accessible to more people. Visiting other parts of the country is a good reminder for me that NYC is not representative of real life everywhere.

A problem I’m always looking to solve is how to make healthy eating convenient, so I was especially excited to try try some of the Seeds of Change products that incorporate superfoods like ancient grains, chia seeds, and kale into microwave-ready pouches. I’m looking forward to trying out some other new products they’re coming out with this year that I think will be perfect for streamlining weekend meal prep and making healthy dinners super-simple. I’m looking to forward to sharing more with you about that.

We also talked about cooking as a multi-tasker in terms of it being an opportunity to, yes, prepare food, but also a means of learning or teaching important life skills (as with kids) and connecting with others. It got me thinking about how cooking with family members, friends, romantic partners, and even colleagues

Here’s a look at what I ate on the day we went to the factory and rice farm. Living proof that even dietitians don’t have a perfect diet. Would I usually eat beef several times in several forms in one day (or even in one week)? Nope. This was one of those cases where I just had to roll with it and make the most mindful choice in the moment.

Not pictured: about a gallon of water. It was hot and muggy out there, and we were in long pants and sleeves, and of course I had to bring my giant hat to help block the sun. Pale-girl problems!

Rice Farm Selfie

That time I took a selfie on a rice farm in Mississippi

Pre-Workout: A packet of Amazing Grass Green Superfood  (chocolate) with water

Breakfast: Buffet in the hotel—I ate the inside of this egg white & spinach wrap, a piece of chicken sausage (left the turkey bacon) and some fruit. I don’t generally think of myself as someone who doesn’t eat bread, but I only tend to have it if I’m really in the mood for it or it’s something I really want to try.

hotel buffet breakfast

Bus Snacks: a bag of Trader Joe’s crispy broccoli florets; a serving of beef jerky from EPIC

Lunch at the Uncle Ben’s factory: I assembled a salad with the veggies from a coupe sandwich pieces, chickpeas, hard boiled egg, and guac (I’d initially thought I’d eat some roast beef but changed my mind since I remembered I had jerky in my bag); fruit for dessert

Lunch Salad

Dinner at Majestic Grille: A glassand-a-half of prosecco, salad…

downtown grille salad

…and filet mignon with the veggie of the day—more broccoli. This steak came with some kind of butter on it but I scraped it off. I figured the steak (which was delicious) had been cooked in plenty of butter!

filet mignon and broccoli

My alarm was set to go off at 3:45 the next morning, so I was more than ready to crawl into bed when we finally got back to the hotel around 11 that night. What a day! I’d learned a lot, gotten a glimpse at life in another part of the US, and connected with some amazing RDs. Totally worth the lack of sleep!

What are some of your healthy-eating staples? 

To see more WIAW, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons or visit hosts Laura and Arman‘s blogs.

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