We’ve been in this game for a while now. That is… helping people to eat better and therefore be happier and healthier than before. And we see a common thread in most…. Actually all of our clients. We see a strong desire to want to be healthier… but a great deal of confusion about how to be healthier… particularly when it comes to healthy food.
So, we decided we needed a simple visual that could be applied to any meal really, to assist you to make a good choice with minimal stress and fuss. Enter…. The Balanced Plate. Which we moved from concept to finished product with a great deal of assistance from the lovely Deb over at The Layout Place.
Let’s walk through the key elements of The Balanced Plate now:
- Adequate protein; At each main meal, your protein should make up ¼ of the plate, be it animal protein or plant-based protein…. It needs to be there.
- Lots of green and colourful veggies; half the plate in fact.
- A dose of healthy fats; don’t overthink it folks. Cooking with good quality oil or dressing your salad… beautiful wholefood fats like avocados, nuts and seeds and even dairy… these can all count.
- Condiments, flavourings and ferments; they should be simple. Bottom line. Let the actual food sing. Use herbs, spices, krauts and a touch of minimally processed condiments only. Don’t empty the sugary sauce bottle all through your stir fry!
- Some grains or starchy vegetables (like rice or potatoes); make up the remainder of your plate. I.e. don’t make the entire meal about the pasta…. Or the bread. That’s the ‘on the side’ part. You can also enjoy whole fruits too!
Now… this graphic may not be ‘perfect’ for everyone. If you exercise lots… you may need more carbs, proteins and even more fats. If you are really insulin resistant or diabetic, you may need less carbs. If you are breastfeeding or carrying a baby… things may be different too. But GENERALLY… this is a great place to start. And an awesome graphic to consider when ‘plating up’ your lunch and dinner in particular.
What you DON’T DO when applying the Balanced Plate:
You don’t have to count or weigh or measure or overthink it. We don’t want food to be like that for you. Just… visualize it… and try to apply it when you can. Here’s a basic example applied to a family favourite…..
The Balanced Plate… and Spaghetti Bolognaise.
Say you’re cooking up a family favourite, spaghetti bolognaise. Well, you can easily apply The Balanced Plate to this meal. First, make sure you make your bolognaise sauce with HEAPS of hidden vegetables. Second, make a basic green salad to go on the side and serve this up to cover half your plate with some beautiful extra virgin olive oil as your dressing. Use a serving spoon of pasta and meat sauce over the top. You could even still add a little parmesan cheese. Eat up… chew each mouthful mindfully. Sit for a bit after you have finished your plate. Assess your appetite…take a little more if you are still hungry. Finish off the meal if you like with some fresh berries or seasonal fruit.
This is a VERY different scenario to having a big bowl or pure white pasta with lashings of meat sauce over the top with very little veggies in it.
In our Back 2 Basics course, we cover off the Balanced Plate in week 1 of stage 1. And we’ve even done a little video on how to apply it to common meals. You can find out more about the Back 2 Basics course here and get started on our 3-month course which will change your life for $99.
– Katie 🙂