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Friday, November 4, 2011

Guest Blogger - Healthy Meal Plans: Good for You, Good for Your Taste Buds

Today I'm stepping away from my usual Photo Friday post - instead, I am featuring a new guest blogger.  Say hello to Sean.  Sean contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in featuring a post from him.  He talked about healthy eating and how important it is and how "not so boring" it can truly be.  Because I believe in a lot of what he is writing about, and because I think this is a reminder we all need... I immediately agreed to post his writings.  So, without further ado, Sean - take it away:

Healthy Meal Plans: Good for You, Good for Your Taste Buds

Often, it's hard to shake a first impression.  For many people, their first introduction to health food was something like a wilted celery stick, a bland rice cake, or an unappetizing iceberg lettuce salad.  So, for them, healthy meal plans conjure up the simple "do not want," a completely understandable instinct.  But you can alter your first impression.  Eating well does not require a diet devoid of flavor.  Once you decide to try healthy eating, you'll soon realize that "delicious" and "healthful" can coexist.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

1.  Share, Share, Share

One simple way to start on the road to healthy meal plans is to eat less.  You do not have to worry about adding or subtracting foods from your diet, just notice how much you are eating.  Divide dessert with a friend.  Share you entree with your date.  Split popcorn with your movie companion.  As you do this, you begin to appreciate that you don't need to eat as much as you thought you did.  Where before you'd finish that entire dessert, now you get the same enjoyment from the smaller portion.

2.  Monitor Portion Sizes

You have proven to yourself that you can survive on less food.  Now it is time to get more specific about portion size.  The best way to monitor portion size is a food scale.  But sometimes it is not feasible to measure your food that way.  It is helpful to learn some quick comparisons for portion size: a serving of meat is equivalent to a deck of cards, a serving of pasta is like a tennis ball, and a tablespoon is about a poker chip.

3.  Fill up the Extra Space on your Plate with Healthy Foods

As you implement these changes, you will start to notice that your plate is beginning to change.  Where before a large slab of fatty meat took up the entire space, now you have an appropriate portion and plenty of blank space.  Great!  Fill that blank space up the right way.  Add some vegetables, a scoop of rice or potatoes, and a fruit salad.

Look at your new plate - so many colors and textures and tastes!  Without really trying to, you have managed to create a meal that includes various nutrients and vitamins.  Just by trying out these three tips, you are well on your way to a lifetime of healthy eating.  You've learned to be more mindful of how much you eat and about the importance of variety.  Use these lessons as a foundation as you explore the delicious world of healthy meal plans.
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Thanks so much to Sean - Hope you all enjoyed the little tid bits about healthy eating!  I know we can all use the reminders every now and again!

Oh.. and speaking of not so healthy :) - don't forget to check out what's cookin' over at Fire Day Friday - It's another spin on my favorite sandwich:


One Year Ago:  Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread

10 comments:

Big Dude said...

Good advice on healthy eating and your not quite as healthy sammy looks outstsnding.

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Great tips.
I guess it's more mindful eating we should be aiming for.

Yenta Mary said...

Ya know, I'm not much for oatmeal and such for breakfast; I want that chicken BLT!!! That looks so, so good ... :) Throw in a side of chipotle meatballs, and I would be such a happy camper!

Cranberry Morning said...

I'm hoping that I can remember about the 'eating less' part. There is such an abundance in this country, and such amazing availability of all sorts of foods, that it's easy to forget that most of the world does not eat like we do.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Excellent tips Sean!! Especially in restaurant situations, sharing those HUGE portions is really smart. Not only does it save on calories, but it saves money, too. :) Using smaller plates at home is another of my tricks. The smaller plate fills up faster and gives the illusion of a big heaping plate, but really is a sensible portion. Yay :)

StephenC said...

Good work, Sean. Many of your recommendations are already de rigeur in our house - not all, but some.

Mary said...

Wonderful tips and a great guest post. your sandwich looks wonderful. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Cooking Gallery said...

Thanks for the tips, Sean and Jenn. I am still struggling to eat healthily, I still eat too much instant noodles whenever I don't feel like cooking ;) - bad habit!

Jennifurla said...

sharing is a super tip

Mary said...

Portion sizes really are the key for me. Great tips though. Meal planning is the only way food makes it to me table most weeks!