Building a 'Healthy' Meal

It’s a tough thing trying to break old eating habits but if those habits are not bringing the results you wish for it may be time to try. The good news here is, It’s not as complicated as you might think.

I always tell clients to build a healthy meal, the first place to start is filling half your plate up with non-starchy veg (this helps gives your meal volume and top up all your micro-nutrient needs). Non-starchy vegetables are your leafy greens, salads like tomatoes, cucumber etc and usually less energy dense which means you can eat plenty! Talk about bang for your buck! 

STEP 2 – Move on to your protein source which can be tuna, chicken , tofu , eggs etc… anything equivalent to around 25-30 g of protein per serve will help keep you full and satiated (if your not sure how much you might need to hit that you can try plugging it in to a food tracker app such as MyFitnessPal) or you can keep it real simple by allocating a quarter of your plate to a lean protein source as listed above.

STEP 3 – Carbohydrates!  Now you can make a good choice here by allocating a quarter of the plate to complex carbs such as sweet potato, brown rice, beans or lentils, oats and more but please, don’t be afraid to eat carbs! They are the bodies first and most easily accessible energy source so constantly restricting carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish and depleted but can also have a huge impact on your gut health as complex carbohydrates is where most of our much needed fibre comes from. Not consuming enough fibre in your diet can lead to digestion issues and uncomfortable visits to the toilet.

Step 4 – The final macro-nutrient source you can finish with is Fat! Now depending on what protein source you went with you might have already included enough fats to complete your meal but lean protein sources are lower in fat so you might like to add some avocado, peanut butter or extra virgin olive oil to tick that off –> Bare in mind though fat is an energy dense macro-nutrient and can increase the total calories of a meal without much effort, so if you are wanting to manage your weight or eat in a calorie deficit for weight loss purposes than tread lightly with the ingredients just mentioned.

STEP 5 – Enjoy your colourful and nutritious meal because you have earned it!