With a little planning, a splash of color and a variety of nutrients, it’s easy to bring balance to your plate. No more boring or bland meals filled with processed products. It’s time to select healthy whole foods that create some contrast! Balanced meals that include a variety of healthy ingredients provide more energy, improve mental cognition, reduce illness, support weight loss and improve your overall health.
Pack in Quality Protein
Start by covering 1/4 of your plate with about 4 ounces of high-quality muscle-building protein. Protein serves as the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and is essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. Protein is great for metabolism and is also highly satiating. Good protein sources: eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, wild game, etc.
Choose Colorful Carbohydrates
Next, add nutrient-dense non-starchy veggies to cover at least 1/2 of your plate. Add starchy veggies, gluten-free grains, legumes and/or fruit to fill the rest of your plate. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, which helps you feel full longer and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
Colorful non-starchy veg: kale, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, squash, etc.
Starchy veg: sweet potato, red potato, beets, parsnips, etc.
Grains/legumes: (gluten-free & soaked) quinoa, wild rice, beans, etc.
Antioxidant-rich fruits: berries, cherries, green apples, etc.
Include some natural fats to cook with or add as a topping. Natural fats add flavor, decrease cravings, promote satiation and increase nutrient absorption. Sources: avocado, avocado oil, coconut oil, palm oil, olives, olive oil, butter, bacon, nuts, seeds, etc.
Breakfast: eggs + spinach + mushrooms + bacon
Lunch: turkey + greens + tomato + avocado + Paleo mayo
Snack: cottage cheese + raspberries + slivered almonds
Dinner: steak + asparagus + red potato + butter
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