Build a Nutrient-Dense Plate
Components of your plate should be complete to ensure your appetite is met. Leaving food groups out can lead to overeating, weight loss plateau, decreased mental function and poor performance.
Components of a Complete Plate
- Carbohydrates (whole grain pastas, barley, brown rice, quinoa)
- Fruits & vegetables (cooked/steamed vegetables, raw vegetables, fruits)
- Protein (lean protein, grilled chicken, Veggie burgers)
- Healthy fats (olive oil, chia seeds, nuts, legumes, avocado)
- Dairy and/or Nondairy Beverages (Milk of choice, water, seltzer)
Find Your Flavor
A flavor is the combination of multiple tastes since, often they can enhance and/or complement each other. There are five different flavors, sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and umami and each provide a different benefit towards your appetite and cravings. If you consume a well-balanced nutritious meal that contain all the five flavors, the better chance your nutritional goals to be achieved!
- Sweet – Foods that taste sweet help give us savor dishes more depth. Adding honey, maple syrup or fruit or a savory dish can help take the flavor to another level. Eating food that is sweet and salty, it will help achieve and maintain satiety.
- Sour – Sourness refers to the acidity in the food. Adding a sour food item like a citrus fruit or zest can additional provide you with vitamin C which can help boost your immunity and add to your antioxidant consumption.
- Umami – in Japanese, umami means “savory” or “meaty” which helps brings out those savory flavors. Adding an Umami flavor (fermented cheese, mushrooms, miso, nutritional yeast) can help crave the savory flavor.
- Bitter – Green bitter foods (argula, Brussel sprouts, endive) are packed with vitamins and minerals for overall body function. Combining a bitter food item with a sweet or salty food item can help balance the overall taste the meal.
- Spicy – Capsaicin is the molecule that provides us the spicy taste and occurs as a chemical reaction between pain receptors in the mouth. Adding spices to your foods are the great way to add seasoning without the salt. They additionally have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Start with whole grain bread
Breakfast is the Most Important Meal
Consuming breakfast in the morning will help with your daily metabolism, weight management and overall mental and physical performance.
- Plate Components - ¼ Plate Protein + ¼ Plate Complex carbs + ½ plate Fruit & vegetables
- Protein - eggs, Greek or plain yogurt, milk, chia seeds
- Complex Carbs - Oatmeal, Quinoa, Whole grain cereal, Sweet Potato
- Fruit & Vegetables - Berries, Banana, apples, oranges, leafy greens, tomato, mushrooms, peppers
Hydration is Key
- Water is essential for overall well-being. Everyone requires different amount of fluids per day, daily recommendation is about 2000 ML per day. If you are not a “water person”, adding fruit or cucumbers to your water can help you flavor your water to help!
- Being mindful of your eating (& hydration) is extremely helpful in your ability to achieve your nutritional goals.
- Bringing nutritious snacks during the day can help you maintain your blood sugar and hunger cues. Snacking throughout the day can help you not overeat during your main meals.