This week’s wellness diary comes from Leah McGee, a registered dietitian and co-founder of Nourished Routes, a company providing interactive nutrition workshops and seminars in the community.

Leah McGee is a registered dietitian and co-founder of Nourished Routes.

SUNDAY

On Sundays I usually wake up to the sound of my 1-year-old Australian shepherd whining to go outside rather than an alarm clock. Slow mornings are one way we make wellness fun in our house, and the simple idea of avoiding setting your alarm clock for the next morning gives you a sense of rest and recovery. We make some banana pancakes with whipped honey yogurt-based butter, and take off for the Nashville Farmers Market. Although we make it a priority on Sundays to slow down, grocery shopping is a mandated life chore that needs to be done, and the farmers markets are so fun in Nashville, it’s no chore at all. We walk there, which is about a mile each way. We generally walk everywhere (within reason) in Nashville to stay as active as possible and because time outside is therapeutic. We are sure to grab one dessert treat from a local vendor before heading home, which we’ll enjoy with a movie later that night. We head home to wash and prep our produce and meals for the next few days.

MONDAY

Monday mornings we hit the gym to set the tone for the rest of the week. I head to TruMav gym, a cross-training gym in The Gulch that we partner with, to get in a 45-minute workout. Next I take Shep, the aforementioned shepherd, on an hour walk at Centennial Park, whole grain bread from the farmers market and almond butter in hand.

By 8:30, we’re home and I have a few client calls to discuss the upcoming cooking classes we’re hosting.

Whenever we talk about food and menu building with clients or friends, I gather menu ideas for my next grocery list. I ask them what they’ve recently had that they’ve enjoyed, or if they have a great recipe for a meal I’m making. This is a great way to meal plan while incorporating variety.

Next I make breakfast — yogurt, seasonal fresh-cut fruit, and homemade cashew granola.

TUESDAY

5:30 a.m. — Training for a half-marathon in Chicago this September — something I’ve never done before. Setting a long-term goal, like signing up for a race or trying something new, can keep you motivated with exercise. For example, sign up for the SantaCon 5k with friends!

Alli, my business partner at Nourished Routes, and I are meeting at East Park Donuts and Coffee at 9 a.m. Alli orders avocado toast, and I order a donut, an egg white breakfast sandwich on toast and coffee … I eat half of the sandwich and one whole donut. Specialty donuts are the dessert I’m passionate about. I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I make it count and get my favorite choice.

10 a.m. — I’m going to Clean Juice in the Gulch to talk about our nutritionist office hours the following day. I grab a juice from the fridge and head back out. Alli is heading into East Nashville where she’ll meet Hiep, co-founder of Main Street Fitness, to talk about new recipes coming out for their member meal plans.

Leah is pictured here with her business partner, Alli.

WEDNESDAY

6:30 a.m. — Client calls

8 a.m. — Shep and I take an active rest day and walk for 2 hours.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Office hours once a month at Clean Juice in The Gulch where we talk about nutrition with clients over a juice or smoothie. (Come say hi at our next one — every third Wednesday of the month!)

1 p.m. — I take calls for nutrition coaching throughout the day and try to take them while walking to stay moving.

5 p.m. — It’s time to grocery shop again as we only shop for a few days at a time in order to use up all of our produce and allocate leftovers for lunches or recipes. I fill in the gaps of our family meal plan with some of the recipes from our 2000-calorie meal plans for Main Street Fitness. These plans make grocery shopping and meal planning thoughtless AND healthy, and yes, even we use them all the time! I make my meals proportionate to my needs, and my fiancé does the same.
I hit a farmers market, Trader Joe’s and head home to start dinner, which is an Instant Pot, pulled pork taco recipe.

THURSDAY

After working out in the morning at Pure Barre in Brentwood, another partnering gym we do nutrition lectures at, I take coaching appointments.

Alli and I have a call to go over a lecture with Sweat Net on September 11th at Whiskey Row.

It’s the Gulch Night Market tonight, so we decide to hit the food trucks with friends and grab a glass of wine, then it’s off to bed early in order to listen to my body.

FRIDAY

5:30 a.m. — I wake up and run. Then I head to a chiropractic office to sit down with clients. Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle helps immensely to manage back and joint pain. One client wishes to manage arthritis joint pain and has a sedentary work environment coupled with a high-sodium diet. We build recommendations for them, set goals, and provide them with education pieces to read.

SATURDAY

Morning class at CycleBar in The Gulch with Alli, and it’s Backstreet Boys-themed! Themed workouts gets everyone out of bed, so the class was full and a lot of fun!

I have calls that begin around 3 p.m., so I meet Alli at Milk and Honey for breakfast to go over updates within Nourished Routes before then. We’re launching a recipe blog soon and are building vegan recipes for our Trumav coaches. We absolutely love taking on culinary challenges, helping our partners with their nutrition plans. We discuss sports nutrition education updates before calling it quits for the day.

Apparently The New York Times Magazine has a recipe for a cherry almond tart Alli loved … I put it on my grocery list so I can make it this week with guests in town, and walk home.

7 p.m. — It’s a beautiful night so we grill outside and share a have a bottle of wine before calling it a night.

Seize grilling season. Leah does!

Everyday at Nourished Routes, we aim to make nutrition education interactive and fun. We love the booming culinary and fitness cultures developing all over the country that are both of these things, and we wish to create the same sense of excitement over nutrition. As a dietitian, I see the value in “walking the walk” that I preach, and that doesn’t mean that I follow a boring, donut-free life! From reading my diary, I hope you find some useful tips on how to eat for enjoyability and health, then check us out at nourishedroutes.com to make one of our recipes, attend an event, or schedule an appointment!

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