How to Create More Balance on your Plate

Have you ever looked at your plate and thought: “Am I eating the right nutrients”?  You are not alone and a lack of nutrient balance is a common problem I see when meeting with individuals on their dietary habits.

Breakfast is one meal where I constantly see a problem with nutrient balance.  Common breakfast items include: pancakes, cereal, waffles, bagels, toast, or oatmeal.  What do these menu items have in common? They are mostly carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar, which leaves you hungry within the next hour or two. Your meals should fill you up for longer periods of time.

If you add more nutrient balance, you will be full for longer periods of time and you won’t feel blood sugar fluctuations. There is a huge difference in satiety between cereal and eggs. Every meal you consume should include: (1) carbohydrate (2) protein, (3) fat, and (4) fruit or vegetable. An idea for breakfast would be a vegetable omelet with avocado, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. The eggs would be your protein, the strawberries and vegetables in the omelet would be your fruit or vegetable, the sweet potatoes would be your carbohydrate, and the avocado would be your fat. For lunch or dinner, this could be salmon with brown rice and roasted vegetables in olive oil.

Get creative with how you can add more nutrient balance in your meals.  Are you making beef spaghetti for dinner? Well, you can always throw vegetables in the sauce.  Zucchini, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach are all vegetables that go well in a marinara sauce. That is just one example for how to add nutrient balance to meals.  Think about what you can add to soups, stews, tacos, casseroles, and other family recipes.

I challenge you to look at your meals throughout the day and make sure you have 1 item from each nutrient category!