The Perfect Plate

Okay, this isn’t really necessarily the “perfect” plate, but it’s pretty amazing.  Don’t you think it’s beautiful?  Colorful? Trust me, it was also full of tasty nutrition.

SalmonDinner

Grilled salmon, cilantro cucumber quinoa salad, green salad with raspberries and vinaigrette, and roasted sweet potatoes with spicy peanut dressing

So what’s the deal with making the perfect plate?  In my humble opinion, here are five things that make the very nearly perfect plate:

  1. Powerful Fruit and Veggies – Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.  They’re flavorful, provide variety in texture and color too.  I keep animal proteins simple or skip them altogether and focus on really spectacular fruits and veggies.
  2. Fiber – The fruits and veggies provide lots of fiber, and adding a whole grain or an ancient grain like quinoa (which isn’t actually a grain at all) goes a long way toward pumping up the fiber.  Fiber helps provide nutrients to good bacteria in the gut and bulk stool to improve elimination…in other terms, it improves digestion.
  3. Good Fat – On the plate above, the salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, important for heart health.  In addition, the dressing on the salad is made with extra virgin olive oil and the peanut dipping sauce provides a healthy dose of unsaturated fats too.  Good fats help support heart health and they also help you feel fuller longer.  Research supports a diet moderate in fat to for better health and weight maintenance – in other words, you should be EATING the right kinds of fat, not avoiding it.
  4. Flavor – The fruits and veggies, grains and good fats above taste great on their own, but what really pumps up flavor are delicious dressings and sauces, as well as spices and fresh herbs, along with alliums like onion and garlic.  I rarely cook without them!
  5. Color – I know you’ve heard the old adage, “you eat with your eyes first” and it’s true.  The perfect plate should be colorful and appetizing.

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