THE HEALTHY PLATE is a fabulous tool that you can apply to every meal, regardless of whether you are cooking at home or ordering from a menu at a restaurant. This delicious Mediterranean style plate is a wonderful tool to take the guess work out of healthy living.
In order to create a balanced meal we must ensure that we consume the right proportion of fresh vegetables, greens, fresh fruits, good fats, lean protein every time we eat. You don't always have to be perfect, but it's a fabulous tool to help guide you on your wellness journey.
Studies have shown that people who follow a Mediterranean style diet are, on average, less affected by degenerative illness.The Mediterranean diet excludes inter-meal snacking and there is also an emphasis on reduced portion sizes and not over-eating at mealtimes.
"Remember, lifestyle therapy (exercise + diet) is enough to make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing. To control what you eat and drink every day and to be able to get out of bed and exercise every morning, as well as getting enough sleep, are the key ingredients to your success." Teresa Cutter
According to research, making healthy food choices consistent with a Mediterranean diet can help people avoid “over 80% of coronary heart disease, 70% of stroke, and 90 % of type 2 diabetes”.
1. NOURISHING VEGETABLES + LEAFY GREENS
Fill half your plate with mostly vegetables and leafy greens. These provide antioxidants, vitamins and restorative minerals packed with fibre our body needs every day to stay healthy. Lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, beetroot, leek, cabbage, eggplant, tomato, fennel, fresh herbs are all wonderful.
2. COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES
Aim to fill just under a quarter of your plate with complex carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly and therefore, don't spike your blood sugar. Try to stay away from simple carbohydrates which are often refined and processed, and lead to big spikes in blood sugar as the body tries to absorb its glucose all at once. Great examples of complex carbohydrates include beans, quinoa, barley, sweet potato, brown rice, peas and wholegrains.
3. QUALITY, LEAN PROTEINS
Proteins are made up of amino acids that are essential nutrients you can’t live without. A good serve of a protein-rich food such as fish, organic eggs, beans or tofu will help you to manage your appetite and feel satisfied after meals.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that subjects who replaced one or two of their daily meals with a protein based meal replacement drink showed significant sustainable weight loss and improved their weight-related risk factors of disease.
4) HEALTHY FATS
We need a certain amount of good fats for our cell membranes and our bodies to survive. Fats are also needed for hormonal balance, they’re the building blocks for our hormones, such as oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol. We need good fats such as those found in extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocado.
5) ANTIOXIDANT RICH FRUITS
Fresh low GI fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, pears, citrus or kiwi fruit packed with vitamin C and antioxidants and prebiotic fibre, needed for a healthy digestive system.
I absolutely love Kiwi Fruits. They are loaded with nutritional goodness, delicious and cleansing. Studies also show that eating kiwi fruit was a natural remedy for constipation.
For additional antioxidants and vitamin C enjoy a daily glass of Healthy Chef Immune Support which as over 500 mg of vitamin C per serve.
6) GUT LOVING GOODNESS
Such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso are rich in probiotics, the life enhancing foods that nourish the digestive system and keep you healthy on the inside.
If you’re looking for a probiotic made with healthy gut function in mind, consider our Probiotic + Prebiotic. It's a unique low FODMAP blend with ingredients that are clinically proven to promote bowel regularity and support the microbiome. It's a delicious kiwi lime flavoured powder that dissolves easily within water.