Enjoying healthy balanced meals is a must if you want to manage your health, maximise your energy levels and maybe lose some weight too. These four steps ensure that your meal, be it breakfast, lunch or a light dinner, is made up of various food groups and various nutrients too.
Preparing a balanced meal in four easy steps:
Step 1 Half-fill your plate or bowl with colour from nature’s colour palette in the form of fruit or vegetables such as roasted vegetables, cooked vegetables or salad vegetables. Adding more colour through fresh produce to your meals is probably the best thing you could do for your overall health and wellbeing. Bring on the salads and eat your greens – your mum will be proud too!
Step 2 Choose one fistful of starch (keep this to a slice or a fistful at most unless you are VERY active) in the form of low-GI starches (rice, baby potatoes, sweet potatoes, mealies, corn, and so on) in the case of dinner, and perhaps low-GI breads or rolls, or cold cooked starches for packed lunches. If you are using more than 1 piece of fresh fruit then the fruit would contribute towards this step as fruit provides more carbohydrate than vegetables.
Step 3 Choose one portion (the size of the palm of your hand or small fistful) of low-fat dairy or lean protein such as low-fat cheese, boiled egg, fish, chicken, lean red meat or soya product.
Step 4 Have a small portion of healthy fat such as one teaspoon of olive oil in salad dressings, a small handful of nuts or seeds, two tablespoons of peanut butter, or a quarter of an avocado. Alternatively, a small amount of good quality oil could be used to prepare the protein of the meal.
Most of the recipe ideas on my blog (look under the RECIPES category) and those in my book (Fast Food For Sustained Energy) are based on these 4 steps so take a look if you need some inspiration!
With this practical information, you will be able to make better choices and meal combinations so that good nutrition can once again be an easily achievable goal not only for yourself, but your family too.