Create A Healthy Plate

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Create a Healthy Plate

Let’s simplify eating healthy.  Let’s make eating healthy fun!  Let’s consider eating healthy is about life, not a life-sentence!

My top 8 recommendations to create a healthy plate are:

  • Include protein, fiber, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats in each meal.   
  • Color your plate. The more colorful your plate, the more nutritionally dense it is most likely to be.
  • ½ of your plate should be vegetables, ¼ protein, and ¼ healthy carbohydrates.
  • Eat 3 meals, 2 snacks per day. Avoid going hungry.
  • Know serving size:
    • Meat is 4 oz.; approximately the size of your hand;
    • Cooked food = ½ cup, Raw food = 1 cup

(Estimate serving as one hand is ½ cup.  Both hands are a cup.)

  • 1 medium whole fruit
  • Nuts = ¼ cup
  • Be satisfied, not stuffed. A principle of one of the Yoga teachings is the stomach should be ½ filled with food, ¼ filled with water, and ¼ empty for breath control.
  • Whenever possible, avoid microwaves. Cooking and heating up food gives your body time to prepare to eat.  The aromas, sights, and sounds produce chemicals in the body to prepare for digestion.  Also, we don’t know the long term affects of using them.
  • When possible sit down to eat. Eat slowly.  Chew your food instead of swallowing it practically whole.


Below is a partial list of choices.  You will notice that certain foods will satisfy various categories of the required nutrients:


Meat & Fish

Chicken (3.5 oz chicken breast – 30 grams protein.

Fish, most fillets, 3.5 oz 22 grams

Tuna 6 oz can 40 oz.

Lean cuts of red meat (7 grams per oz.)

Pork loin, 4 oz 29 grams

Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams



Egg, large – 6 grams protein

Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams

Cottage cheese, ½ cup – 15 grams

Yogurt, 1 cup – usually 8-12 grams, check label

Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Camembert) – 6 grams per oz

Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) – 7 or 8 grams per oz

Hard cheeses (Parmesan) – 10 grams per oz


Beans (including soy)

Tofu, ½ cup 20 grams protein

Tofu, 1 oz, 2.3 grams

Soy milk, 1 cup – 6 -10 grams

Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans

Soy beans, ½ cup cooked – 14 grams protein

Split peas, ½ cup cooked – 8 grams


Nuts and Seeds

(small amounts because of fat content; good fat)

Peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons – 8 grams protein

Almonds, ¼ cup – 8 grams

Peanuts, ¼ cup – 9 grams


Good Sources of Carbohydrate:

Vegetables (all kinds)


Oats and oatmeal (slow cooking)

Brown Rice






Whole Grain Breads and Pitas

Whole Grain Cereals

Potatoes (minimize and no not fried!)

Whole grain pastas



Good Fats

Fruits: avocados, olives

Nuts: almonds, pistachios, walnuts

Oils: canola, olive and sunflower

Cold water fish: herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna,

Cashews, ¼ cup –

Pecans, ¼ cup –

Sunflower seeds, ¼ cup –

Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup –

Flax seeds – ¼ cup –




High Fiber > 7 grams


Black beans, cooked

Bran cereal


Flaxseed, raw ground

Green peas


Kidney beans


Lima beans

Navy beans

Oats, dry

Oat bran, raw

Pinto beans

Split peas, cooked


Rice, brown


Wheat bran, raw

Wheat germ, raw


3 to 7 grams of fiber per serving


Apples, w/skin



Bread, 100% whole grain

Broccoli, cooked

Cabbage, cooked

Cauliflower, cooked

Corn, sweet

Garbanzo beans, cooked


Green beans, cooked


Oranges, navel


Pasta, whole wheat

Peach, dried


Pistachio nuts

Potato, baked w/ skin


Pumpkin seeds

Sesame seeds

Spinach, cooked


Sweet Potato, cooked

Swiss chard, cooked

Turnip greens, cooked

Winter squash

Yam, cooked cubes


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