Find Your Happy Plate

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Happy PlateWe all know how we feel when we overeat the wrong foods. Feeling full, sluggish and gaining zero nutritional value is no good. Ever over eaten a bag of grapes? Probably not. But those chips sure are easy to shovel into our mouths with reckless abandon. When’s the last time you ate an entire pint of tofu? Never. Why are the crap-filled foods so easy to over eat? Find your happy plate with these tips to ensure that you get the proper nutrients and portion sizes to stay satisfied and not reaching for those unhealthy snacks.

To properly fuel yourself, you need a healthy combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates at every meal. Think of your plate as a pie. Your plate should be divided as such:

30 percent protein

30 percent fat          

40 percent complex carbohydrates

Protein:

Your protein serving should be around 4-5 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards. A 12-ounce ribeye – or anything for that matter! – is much too much meat. Fish, chicken, turkey and lean red meats, like buffalo and filet mignon, are the smartest choices. Vegetarians may enjoy a vast array of leafy greens, beans and tofu to pump up their protein portions.

Tip: By eating your protein first, you will feel fuller faster.

Fat:

Healthy fats include avocados, raw nuts, cold-pressed olive oil, eggs and coconut oil. A small salad with 1/4 of an avocado with a slight drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice is a great way to get your healthy fats with some extra roughage. A small handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg is a great addition to any meal. They also make a fantastic snack when you need a little midday pick-me-up.

Tip: To speed up ripening an avocado, place it in a paper bag with an apple or a banana for a few days.

Complex Carbohydrates:

Peas, beans, lentils, vegetables and whole grains make up this category. Quinoa, brown rice and brown rice pastas can easily be used in any dish. Eating only breads made with barley, rye, oats or whole wheat is best. Avoid refined white flour.

Tip: Before you boil quinoa, toast it in a warm skillet with a little olive oil to bring out a nuttier flavor. 

Photo Credit:  PicJumbo 

Sarah Blackman is a native Atlantan writer who also works as an actress and model. Throughout her career she has played a variety of roles that have highlighted both her elegant demeanor and comedic timing. She maintains a personal blog at www.fatgirlatheart.me – Because nothing is sexier than a big-hearted gal. As you get to know Sarah, we think you’ll agree she’s like Swan Lake on three espressos.

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