How to Build a Plate

This is just a quick peek into how I eat, and what I think about when constructing my plate. It basically goes something like this:

1/ Protein:  a nice quality egg is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Get a farm raised chicken egg and take a good look at how different the color and integrity of the yolk is vs. commercial eggs. Much deeper orange aka more nutrition and higher standing yolk, a sign of a healthy/fresh egg. I also really like grass-fed beef right now in the colder months. If you’re unable to get organic or grass-fed animal products, choose leaner cuts. Doing this will limit your toxin exposure as toxicity is stored in the fat of the animal. In winter I find myself needing more grounding foods, and animal products are in that category. Protein (and even more so-volume of veggies in your diet, i.e. fiber) is important for satiety, maintaining lean muscle tissue, hormone regulation, amongst many other reasons. Not everyone’s protein requirements are the same, so listen to your body and eat the quantity that feels right to you. More protein is not necessarily better and  too much (like anything in excess) can be damaging for the body (particularly the kidneys). Everyone’s digestive capacity is different too and more protein than your body can absorb and utilize is futile. Sometimes I might not feel like eating any animal products at all and will stick to a raw salad built up with healthy fat and hearty veggies.
farm egg
2/ Where my veggies at? I am always looking for an opportunity to incorporate greens-I have the tendency to pile on whatever protein or carbohydrate source I’m eating on TOP of a bed of greens. I think of it as my leafy plate, there to catch all the other good stuff i.e. egg yolk and other crumbly or creamy bits. Vegetables are important for their micronutrients (vitamin & mineral content) as well as fiber and water content.  Roast them, fine chop them for easier digestion, get creative with salads, stiry fry, the options are endless. Starchy vegetables like squashes, potatoes, carrots, beets, onion, parsnips, etc. are good sources of complex carbohydrates too.
lunch sample 2
Post workout (so starchy carbs are included!): 2 over easy eggs, steamed brussel sprouts & yam, and avocado slices over greens with cilantro and raw jalapeno-garlic sauerkraut

3/ Fat: Consider the fat source on your plate as the cherry on top. Healthy fats (be it saturated fat from healthy animals products or coconut oil or monounsaturated from avocado, nut & seed oils) promote satiety and are good for hormone/endocrine system health, including your ghrelin & leptin hormones which are enzymes that control the stimulation of appetite. High insulin levels, consumption of simple carbs, and  stress (lack of sleep, too much exercise) negatively impact your hormones. Getting in quality protein & fat (particularly great first thing in the morning to set up the building blocks for hormones) and lessening your intake of processed foods, sugar, and simple carbohydrates overtime help you attain the body composition you desire as well as help diminish cravings and snacking. Eating some fat (like avocado slices or in an olive oil dressing) also greatly enhances the absorption (and conversion) of certain nutrients, such as beta carotene into Vitamin A (crucial for healthy bone tissue, vision, hormone function).
lunch sample 1
4 oz beef topped with dijon mustard and raw sauerkraut (assists digestion, particularly helpful to breakdown proteins), mushrooms, broccoli and onion sauteed in coconut oil over greens and a few cubes of avocado.

Just Eat Real Food.

🙂

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Filed under Advice, Entree, Nutrition

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