Double blog post this week! Although this one will be sort and sweet. One of the things I hear time and time again is "What the heck should I eat?" and "What should my plate look like?" While "Paleo" (see previous post here) isn't necessarily a diet or model I try to form fit my clients to (there's really no one perfect diet, guys), I DO like the illustration!
It doesn't work out this way at every meal, and I realize that not everyone can sit and cook a home-cooked meal for every meal, every day. BUT SINCE YOU ASKED....we're talking about visuals. Not macronutrients, not 6 oz of protein or how many sugars. Just - visually. What does your plate look like?
I'd like to see 30-50% of your plate full of veggies. Not corn, not peas, not black beans, not rice. Those are grains and legumes. VEGGIES. Asparagus, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potato, SWEET potato, squash, eggplant, onions -- VEGGIES.
Now the picture above shows a place for fats. Healthy fats. And if you are eating a healthy fat food like an avocado, then by all means! It gets a spot on the plate! But a lot of great fats like coconut oil and EVOO are going to be what you cook your food IN. Or how you make your dressing, etc. Don't be afraid to cook those brussel sprouts in some bacon grease - just try to keep the sprouts organic and make sure the bacon is pastured!
Ah, the center of the dish. PROTEIN. Some wild caught salmon, some pasture raised eggs, pastured chicken, grass finished cow, wild bison - protein is my FAVORITE. And can also be cooked in that delicious fat we just talked about... VISUALLY. Protein should take up 25-50% of your plate. Yep - I said 50%. When we cook up chicken thighs bone-in, I've got two (or maybe three) chicken thighs on one side of my plate, and veggies on the other.
Lastly, don't forget the SPICES. Use that salt! Use a good natural salt like Redmond's Sea Salt or a solidly sourced Pink Himalayan Salt. And then add whatever you want! Some cayenne, coriander, garlic, onion, cumin, black peppercorn. OR. If you aren't a big fan of just winging it with spices, go check out my pals over at Primal Palate (#notsponsored). Bill and Hayley have made some AMAZING blends. Their Seafood, Steak, and Barbecue are household staples for us.
Here's an added tip - if you're looking at your plate full of delicious well seasoned veggies and protein, wondering how on earth this will fill you up, the secret is those fats you cooked with. If you are still hungry, try adding more fat when you are cooking next time! And never be afraid to have a very, very full plate. With healthy proteins and veggies, your body will stop when it's full. Just listen to it!