A Simple Guide to a Balanced Meal

Balanced Meal

 

 

For people who share this problem with me, I think there are two factors at play. One is time and the other is just not knowing what to make! It’s important to remember food is our fuel and time must be taken to prepare and eat it. Simple enough, right?!

 

So, what is a well-balanced meal anyway?

Great question! Depending on your age, weight, gender and activity level, your needs will vary. Just to be clear here, I AM NOT claiming to be a dietitian who can tell you exactly what a person, like you, should be eating. Maintaining a healthy diet is something I have always struggles with and if you’re reading this, you’re probably just like me.  Through my own experiences, here’s what I’ve learned:

I’e learned what a balanced meal actually means. For each meal, you want your plate to have a little bit of each of the following categories; protein, dairy, grain, veggies and fruit. Simple enough. Preparing fruits and veggies different ways will add new flavors and textures. By switching out a refined grain for a whole grain, you’re giving your body more of the nutrients it needs. Small adjustments like these will aid in giving you that (tasty!)  balanced meal you are looking for!

 

Let’s Get Right Down to It 

Over the years, the discussion of how much of each of these you should eat has changed. Below are images of MyPlate, the current standard, and The Food Pyramid, which is now a part of history. Below are links to a great site to find an assortment of healthy, balanced meals.

 

An image of My Pyramid from 2005
Food Pyramid 2005

 

An image of My Plate
MyPlate 2017

 

With the recipes, I post on this blog, I will always list variations to make it a complete meal. Below are some examples of each category on My Plate. Mix and match and begin creating your own, healthy and balanced dishes! Good Luck!

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ProteinGrains (Two Types)VegetableFruitDairy
Chicken BreastWhole Grains:BroccoliApplesMilk
Ground BeefOatmealSpinachOrangesYogurt
SteakWhole Wheat BreadAsparagusMangoGreek Yogurt
Pork ChopsBrown RiceLettuceCantelopeButter
Whole EggsCornmealZucchiniWatermelonButtermilk
CheeseBulgarYellow SquashHoneydewCheese
TunaWhole Grain PastaAny Squash!NectorinesSour Cream
QuinoaTomatoApricotsHeavy Cream
LentilsRefined Grains:CarrotPlumsCheese
Seeds; Pumpkin, Sunflower, ChiaWhile FlourOnionBlueberries
TroutWhile BreadBroccoli RabeBlackberries
Pop CornWhite RicePotatoesRaspberries
Rolled OatsPastaGrapes
Pasta Grapefruit
Cous Cous

 

 

Balanced Meal

 

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