Simple Solutions

We are continuing our segment on “Biting into a Healthy Lifestyle” in honor of National Nutrition Month. This week we highlight a very simple method of portion and calorie control, The Plate Method.

Eating healthy foods in proper portions can be challenging and overwhelming at times. The Plate Method makes meal planning easy by using a simple pie chart. This method allocates 25% of your plate to lean proteins, 25% to a high fiber starch, and 50% to non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

Examples of lean proteins include chicken, turkey, fish, tenderloin, sirloin, tofu, reduced fat dairy and eggs. Examples of high fiber starches include dried beans and peas, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, whole wheat pasta, wild rice, and brown rice. And, non-starchy vegetables include all vegetables except potatoes, corn and peas.

Even if you dine out or prepare combined meals, this system can still be applied. Below are examples of Plate Method meals:

4oz sirloin, chicken, or fish; ½ medium baked potato, and 2 vegetable sides
Open faced turkey melt: 1 slice bread, 2 oz turkey, 1 slice reduced fat cheese melted; sides of carrots, celery and apples; or steamed vegetables
Small bowl of chili with lean meat and beans, plus a large vegetable salad
2 eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms, plus 1/2 grapefruit
Grilled chicken nuggets, a side salad with lite dressing, and a medium fruit cup.

Making healthy lifestyle changes doesn’t have to be difficult. Why don’t you try to apply The Plate Method to most of your meals this week just for fun? If you have children, share the formula with them, and see if they too can make it work. Before you know it, you’ll be eating healthier, feeling better, and enjoying the process without much effort at all!

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