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Garden Fresh: What’s On Your Plate?


Today I want to share with you some thoughts on portion control and on what we should all include on our plates to create a balanced and healthy environment inside of our bodies.

As you may know if you’ve been following my blog, The Trendy Smoothie, I have a dairy sensitivity, and I’ve also eliminated meat from my plate. Every single body is different, and we should all learn to connect to ours and give it whatever it needs.

This is why I don’t like getting too specific with this topic because what works for me may not work for you, but there are some general things that we can all do to stay energized and avoid feeling bloated and sluggish.

We should include all the different food groups in our meals—think protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables/fruits (these have carbs and protein), and healthy fats. Here are some tips so you can design your ideal plate:

  1. Fill ¼ of your plate with complex carbohydrates. These can come in the form of brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, sprouted grain breads, etc. Don’t be afraid of them—this food group will give you all the necessary energy you need to carry your daily activities. If you are trying to lose weight, you can include them on your breakfast and lunch plates and avoid them at night.
  2. Fill ¼ of your plate with protein. When we think protein, we think beef, chicken, pork, or fish. Since I stopped eating meat, I’ve been experimenting with different plant proteins, like legumes, beans, tofu, and quinoa. They all bring many different benefits, so maybe you can consider doing a meatless day a week. You’ll be introducing new nutrients into your body while giving your digestive system a little rest.
  3. Fill ½ your plate with tons of fruits and vegetables. I always say that we should eat a rainbow every meal! You can include a big raw salad and/or tons of fruits. Think avocados, berries, mangos, bananas, oranges, and kiwis for breakfast and leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and cucumbers for lunch. Get as many of your produce organic and seasonal. Farmer’s markets are a great option to get fresh fruits and veggies for a lower price.
  4. Add healthy fats. The word fat has garnered a bad reputation, but we all need it! The right amounts of healthy fats are necessary for our organs to work properly. Try adding a handful of raw nuts into your salads or eat them as a snack, eating ½ avocado as part of your greens, pouring a tbsp. of olive oil into your pasta, or cooking with a touch of coconut oil. There are many delicious options to choose from; just stick to one portion, and pick the right kind!

Now is the time to put these tips into action. The more you do it, the faster it will become second nature!

Claudia Deen - Founder, The Trendy Smoothie Claudia Deen is a Certified Health Coach based in Savannah, GA, and the founder of The Trendy Smoothie. Claudia is a brown belt in karate, thirteen-time half-marathon finisher, seven-time marathon finisher, and two-time Ironman 70.3 finisher. After a career in advertising, her passion for fitness and fresh eating led to a career centered on helping others achieve a healthier lifestyle. In 2013, Claudia married Paula’s son, Bobby. You can follow Claudia on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.