I’m sure you’ve heard of the food guide pyramid or it's replacement, MyPlate, which came out a few years ago. Well, based on my own preferences, education, and coaching guidelines...I like to do things a little differently.
Why? Two reasons.
Reason #1: My Plate totally left out fats! And fats are essential for a healthy body. They are so important for optimum brain function and hormone health, plus they keep you full and are DELISH (avocado and peanut butter are a few of my favorite things…). I really don't think you can have a balanced diet while leaving out a whole macronutrient!!
Reason #2: MyPlate recommends includes dairy as a suggestion for every meal. I don’t have anything against dairy, but I don't think it's necessary for every meal.
So here’s the VivFit version of MyPlate…
What does this mean?? Here's a brief introduction to macronutrients (or carbs, fats, and proteins):
benefits: carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Choosing whole grain carbs like quinoa, popcorn, or brown rice in addition to fruits can give your body fiber to aid in digestion, and provide you with long lasting energy (versus simpler sugars like in a candy bar that won't keep you full for long at all).
how to enjoy them in your diet: fruit, potato, brown rice, or quinoa are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Be sure to eat them in combination with protein or fats (or all three) to keep you full! Add peanut butter to fruit, or eat your rice with salmon, etc.
benefits: Without going into the science of the different types of fats (bond structures between saturated or unsaturated fats), the short story is fats are amazing for the body. They keep you full for longer, aid in digestion of important vitamins, and aid in hormonal balance (to name a few...fats are seriously amazing. click here for an in depth article if you're curious).
how to enjoy them in your diet: avocado, olive oil, peanut butter, nuts, avocado oil, or coconut oil are excellent ways to get healthy fats into your meal (and if you want to know my take on the recent coconut oil controversy, click here. long story short: in moderation it's perfectly fine!)
benefits: The body uses protein to make and repair tissues. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They aid in creating muscle tissue, make enzymes and hormones, as well as provide the building blocks for hair and nails.
how to enjoy them in your diet: beans, eggs, chicken, steak, fish, legumes, or greek yogurt are examples of healthy proteins
More vs Less Mentality
I like to tell clients to focus on adding more of the good stuff instead of worrying too much about cutting out all the bad stuff. For example, more water (and then hopefully you'll be drinking less soda and juice, which spike your blood sugar and mess with hunger cues), more fruits and veggies, more healthy fats like avocado and eggs, more protein to keep you feeling full.