How to Plan & Create Balanced Meals
You know or have been taught that you need a good balance of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats in each meal, but how do you turn that knowledge into meals that you will actually eat??? Use these tips to keep your meals super easy, filled with nutrients, and delicious!
Before you start, it is very important to follow these in order!
Also, you can make your choices based on what you are in the mood for, what is available to you at the moment, and/or in advance as your plan out your week!
Start with your protein.
EX: eggs, chicken, fish, lean red meat/pork, lentils & beans (considered protein for plant-based eaters, otherwise they are carbohydrates!)
Choose your vegetable/vegetables.
EX: broccoli + cauliflower, peppers + onions, cucumbers + tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, asparagus, squash, carrots
*The more colorful of a plate the better!*
Pick a smart carbohydrate.
EX: potatoes or sweet potatoes, whole grain or wild rice, old-fashioned oats, fresh or frozen fruit (yes, fruit is a carb!)
Select your source of healthy fat.
EX: olives or olive oil, avocado or avocado oil, seeds like hemp, chia, flax or pumpkin or nut/nut butters (read your labels to make sure sugar is not added).
*Your choice of healthy fat can be used as your cooking agent/marinade as well*
Portion them out now or make extra for leftovers.
Next, decide on how you want to flavor the meal.
A simple go-to is olive/avocado oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. It works on almost every combination of protein and veggies. Or choose a specific style like Italian, southwest, or Asian! Need a little spice in your life? Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Now, cook your food.
Portion out your food at this time if you have not already done so.
Plate it and ENJOY!
Still stumped or bored with your meals?
Reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will share with you my favorite meal combinations/food inspirations.
Keep being intentional with your food choices & be proud of the progress you are making!