Nutrition can feel very overwhelming. Information appears to change all the time.
Take the egg debate. (Not the one about which came first.) Are eggs good for you? Should we only eat the egg whites and ditch the yolks? Can I eat them everyday?
Or maybe you’ve heard that carbs are “bad”? (What did they ever do to you??) And what about fat? Shouldn’t we just eat a low fat diet? Or should we go completely carb free? Keto, anyone?
Yeah, nutrition seems super complex, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
Let’s talk about the Plate Method.
Rather than walking into a meal without a plan, plan your meals with this simple method in mind.
Half of your plate (or more) should be made up of veggies. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, celery. You know, the stuff we avoided as kids because they weren’t our favorites. Raw or cooked doesn’t matter so much. Just don’t cook the veggies with lots of oil or butter.
About a quarter of your plate should be made up of starches. This is what we usually fill our plates with and call them veggies. Potatoes, white or brown rice, sweet potatoes, breads, bagels, muffins, noodles, and did I mention potatoes? We LOVE the starchy foods, but our guts and waistlines will thank us for leaning into veggies more than starches.
The other quarter of your plate should be made up of protein. Your protein can be plant-based or meat-based. We are looking for high quality, low processed protein sources. Chicken nuggets are “technically” a protein source, but they are not a better choice than a grilled chicken breast. Meat substitutes are not terrible for protein, but you need to watch out for sodium levels and other added preservatives.
Avoid lots of fat. You’ll notice in the graphic the fat is to the side. If you eat fattier protein sources, like red meat, then you’ll want to pay more attention to eating your mashed potatoes without so much (or any) gravy. Dial back the butter and oil on the veggies you cook.
The best thing about the Plate Method? You can take it with you anywhere. If you’re eating out, you’re at a party or family gathering or the work potluck, you can follow these principles and have a great meal without being the “weirdo” who refuses to eat anything.
Probably the hardest part about eating this way is being consistent. If you eat like this 18-20 meals a week (out of 21 meals per week) for 4-6 weeks, you will start to notice some changes in your energy levels and sleep quality.
If you would like to learn more about nutrition, schedule a free consultation with our head nutritionist.