Daily Digestive: Gaby Dalkin

Learn what it is like to live a day in the food life of an author and chef

Chef Food Diaries

Gaby's Food Log

7:00 a.m. ― I’m a smoothie kinda gal so I start every morning with this spinach and banana smoothie with chia seeds and mango! It’s my favorite way to start the day. Plus a big mug of ginger tea from Trader Joes.

10:00 a.m. ― Granola and yogurt. Post-pilates I am always famished so I need a little pick me up before I get into the craziness of my day. I have the world’s best Pilates instructor, Beth, at the Brentwood, California location of Pilates Platinum! She whips me into shape on a daily basis. I’ll try and down a few glasses of water too!

12:30 p.m. ― Lunch! Usually it’s whatever I’m recipe testing. Most recently I’ve been working on a new quinoa salad recipe so it’s been making an appearance quite frequently.

4:00 p.m. ― Avocado toast! It’s my go-to snack for any time of the day. Just a bit of avocado slated on a piece of toasted whole grain bread with a bit of lemon juice and a tomato or two! Keeps me going until dinner!

5:00 p.m. ― Happy hour! A handful of my favorite people and fellow food bloggers live in Los Angeles so I love rounding up the girls and grabbing some drinks at the end of the day! JoyAida, and Catherine are some of my closest friends so I’ll meet them for a margarita or a glass of bubbly at any number of restaurants!

Petty Cash in L.A. has great margaritas as does Oscars in Venice, Ca.

7:00 p.m. ― After a day of recipe testing I’m wiped! Dinner tonight is at my favorite little Mexican restaurant in West L.A., Don Antonio’s! It’s nothing crazy fancy, but they have the most epic vegetarian burritos that are stuffed to the brim with cheese, guacamole, beans, and lettuce and then topped with a mole sauce. I could eat these every day! Oh, and a skinny margarita too!

9:00 p.m. ― I end the day with a little something sweet :) Today I had a handful of bittersweet chocolate stuffed with caramel. It’s sinfully delish!

Elyse’s thoughts: Since Gaby is officially absolutely ‘obsessed’ with avocados; I wanted to share some basic facts about this superfood. One serving size is ~1/5 of an avocado (one ounce or two tablespoons mashed) which works out to be about 50 calories. Avocado provides fiber, folate, potassium, vitamins B6, C, and K as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Avocados are a wonderful source of the good fats — mono- and poly-unsaturated. Fat contributes to satiety and enhances the flavor of the foods you eat. Additionally, avocados can be beneficial for heart-health.

Gaby has an appealing and varied diet, it’s somewhat high in fat, but as we mentioned above, this is predominantly coming from good fats. Beans lead the list of high-fiber foods. Gaby’s cholesterol intake from food is low since avocado does not have cholesterol and she does not eat a large amount of animal products.

My recommendations:

  • Gaby gets off to a good start in the morning with a banana and spinach smoothie made with a mix of different fruit, spinach, chia seeds, and unsweetened almond milk. The smoothie contains potassium, vitamins A, C, and a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids from the chia seeds.
  • Gaby is fan of Pilates which, when practiced regularly, produces numerous benefits including body awareness, core strengthening and flexibility, an increased range of motion, enhanced balance, and better posture.
  • She next eats three hours later after her intense Pilates class. The ingredients listed in her granola will provide a mix of soluble fiber, some calcium and good fats, potassium, and vitamin A. She’s getting additional calcium and protein from the yogurt.  
  • Her quinoa salad recipe for lunch is a good mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. She’s also getting calcium from cheese and lycopene from the tomato, which may help to prevent certain cancers. Quinoa is a whole grain that is primarily carbohydrate, but does contain protein, more than many other starches, as well as fiber. Additionally, quinoa is gluten- and cholesterol-free since it is not an animal product. She enhances her salad with intense flavors such as red pepper flakes, basil leaves, garlic, and a shallot.
  • Avocado-time for Gaby begins at 4:00pm on this day with her favorite avocado toast recipe. This makes for a filling and healthy snack. She’s getting in good fats (as described above) from the avocados. The toast and tomatoes will provide her with carbohydrates.
  • Like most young women, Gaby enjoys a round of drinks with her friend(s) on this particular day. The RDA is one drink a day for women as per U.S. Department of Agriculture: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.
  • Mexican food is an obvious choice for Gaby’s dinners as she’ll easily be able to (and does) get her avocado fix from the guacamole in the burrito. Dinner will offer her a fiber, calcium, fat, and protein. Unlike the avocados, cheese contains mostly saturated fat, but is a good source of protein and calcium.
  • She ends the day with a small amount of dessert with bittersweet chocolate and caramel. The dark chocolate made from 70 percent cocoa will have some anti-oxidant benefits. Its fine for Gaby to have a treat like this but it’s important to limit the amount of chocolate you consume since it is still high in fat and calories.

Disclaimer – Elyse Sosin, Nutritionist, is not engaged in rendering medical advice that should be obtained from a qualified health professional. Acting on any information provided without consulting a healthcare provider is at the reader’s own risk.