Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Balancing Your Plate

Like so many things in life that we do automatically, dishing our meal plates up usually has its own routine, which we probably never think about.  Most meals consist of a meat or protein, a starch or carbohydrate (potatoes, rice etc.) and are finished out with some vegetables.  My regular routine is meat first, starch and then vegetables.

If we are health conscious and work toward making healthy food choices, we learn to adapt some.  We may look for leaner meats, whole grains and a greater variety of vegetables,  But as we are trying to improve our eating, one little habit may be holding us back. By arranging food without thought or out of habit, it may cause you to accidentally pack on too much of some foods and too little of others.  When you plate your carbohydrate and protein first, by the time you get to the veggies, there’s little room left on the plate. In a well-rounded meal,  veggies should be the main focus. So you don’t want to plop them on the plate like an afterthought.

Changing the way you view your meal to make the vegetable section your primary focus is so important because they contain all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water your body needs.  So what’s the best way to plate your food? Veggies first, then protein, then grains. Making it a mealtime habit is easy. When you dish your plate, you’ll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates. If you plate the classic way (carbs, protein, vegetables) you’re more likely to end up with 50 percent carbs and 25 percent vegetables. To strike the right balance, start by filling about half your plate with vegetables, then add protein and carbohydrates in about equal portions.

This is a great new healthy habit to begin and after some practice at home, eating out, especially at buffets, wont totally derail your healthy eating. Using this trick forces you to look at your meal in a different way. It will be easy to spot the vegetables once we actively look for them and balance portions better.  Every good choice is working toward making good habits!

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