Creating the perfect plate sounds fairly straightforward, that is if it is just ourselves we have to think about! But it can be more difficult when we are cooking for family and friend. Especially if the others are not as keen on the healthy choices as we are. Some of us still tend to stick to old habits and routines and need convincing of the benefits of a more healthy way of eating.
Quality -vs- Quantity
One way to change that perspective is if we try to focus on quality rather than quantity and aim to “eat the rainbow.” Some experts suggest we should try to eat at least 10 portions of fruit or veg each and every day, rather than the often prescribed 5 portions.
A good way to start is to make vegetables the main event on your plate, with protein the next in size, finishing up with fat as the smallest contributor. And also think about eating fermented food whenever you can, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and even things like pickled gherkins. It also helps to reduce your meat intake, (especially processed meat including bacon, sausages, ham etc) and look towards other healthy protein based foods such as nuts, seeds and pulses.
Some experts say that if you have an unhealthy weight in relation to your size, that it can be a sign of bad nutrition. Perhaps this could be that there has been too much sugar, and too many starchy type foods in your daily diet. Many people are overweight but undernourished. It is also important to think about what supplements are essential for good health. For example in winter we need a boost of Vitamin D. Many of us are also deficient in Vitamin B12, especially as we get older. It is important to take these things into consideration.
There is so much advice around regarding the type of foods to eat, and sometimes it feels very difficult to take it all in. And to try to make all these major changes at once. It helps if you think about taking small steps one at a time, and begin with just one change, one new idea. Obviously if you are on a special diet, like the Keto diet, Bright Line, Paleo, or many others you would stock your pantry and refrigerator accordingly.
Tips to help you get started:
- Write down a list of all the foodstuff you want to include on a 7 day plan, such as specific vegetables, meats, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds etc
- Prepare a weekly plan to include all 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as well as snacks and drinks
- To start with focus on whichever meal of the day causes you the most difficulties. For me it is always dinner
- Prepare a list of all the meal choices you want to include in your weekly plan.
- Gather the store cupboard ingredients you need, and get rid of any unhealthy items in your cupboards that you want to discard
- Make a commitment to yourself about your perfect plate, tell your friends and family and decide on a date you want to start.
- Go for it!
With this in mind I have already prepared my weekly plan, I have written out my list of meal selections, and cupboard ingredients and now all I have to do is to make a start. Keeping a food diary will also help you to track your progress and notice which foods make you feel better, worse, lose weight, gain weight, etc.
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