A healthy meal begins with assembling a healthy plate. And before you bring anything to that plate, it might be worthwhile to buy a set of smaller dinner plates cups and glasses. Interestingly, many hardware stores sell these very inexpensively, but they’re harder to find in fancy kitchen stores. Mostly because small plates have gone out of style. One of the reasons we like to obsess about nutrients, and the industry likes us to obsess about nutrients, is a way of distracting us from the quantities of food.
We are eating more. Thus, this supersizing has made plate sizes bigger. Soda sizes are bigger and the portions have been doubled. The bigger the portion, the more you will eat! So, size matters when it comes to your plate. But once you’ve found a reasonably sized plate, the first step in constructing the meal should be deciding what is my vegetable component of this meal going to be? We tend to start by thinking about the protein when we’re planning a meal. If we can think of the vegetables as the feature then the entire meal will likely end up being healthier.
The plate itself should consist of about one half plant based food, ideally with a mix of different colored vegetables. Different colored vegetables contain different micro nutrients. So, eating a variety of them maximizes our nutrient coverage. In general, eating a variety of foods is also beneficial because it minimizes the chances of getting sick from potential contaminants in any one food. The remaining one half of the plate should be equally divided into whole grains and lean protein rich foods. These foods can come from animal sources or from plant sources, but again variety is good. Eating chicken every night of the week is almost certainly not the best way to stay healthy or excited about your next meal. Next comes thirst.
Most of the time the best drink to quench thirst and keep us hydrated and healthy is plain, clean water. The human body is made up of more than 50% water so don’t forget to replace it during mealtime. Drinking water before each meal may even be helpful for weight management. The variations are endless. But getting into the habit of creating a healthy plate, sitting down for mealtimes, and taking time to enjoy our meals are priceless.
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