Ok, we’re all eating whole foods right? Nothing out of a colorful box with an ingredients list that seems like it’s written in a foreign language, right?
So, how much do we eat from each whole foods category? The categories being: healthy fats, lean meats, dairy, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
If you have a hand to hold your fork, you have a great built-in device to measure out your portion sizes. Using your hand to measure out portions is extremely simple. Perhaps you have seen hand-size used for portion control before, I know I have. In fact, I have my own really simple version. Think of it as a calculator without the fancy additional buttons.
Here’s my version:
These are sizes per meal…
The protein portion: No bigger than the palm of your hand.
The healthy fats portion: ½ the length of your thumb.
Dairy… this is where there is some overlap…
Cheese-like dairy: No bigger than your whole thumb
Yogurt-like dairy: Palm size (and please don’t go for the no-fat; too much sugar)
Milk… sorry folks I just don’t recommend drinking it. I don’t know many people that can tolerate it, yet if you’re one of those people that can tolerate it… 1/2 cup (which kind of seems like palm size to me).
Complex carbohydrates: Palm size. What are the complex carbohydrates you ask? Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, millet, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. Think things that grow in the ground, are dense and have very little water content. And remember, the more man has manipulated it, the more processed it is.
Vegetables and Fruit: These can fill your whole hand with your fingers stretched out. I would opt for more vegetables than fruit, just because most fruit have a lot natural sugar. Fruit in its whole form is best. All the natural fiber that comes with whole fruit can help slow down the sugar rush.
So each meal should consist of these sizes for each macronutrient. For example, for breakfast I had:
1 lightly fried egg (I love my yolk runny)
1 whole wheat piece of toast (with about two teaspoons of cream cheese and two teaspoons of fruit preserves)
A large portion (about the size of my whole hand) of homemade kale chips and ½ an apple. Kale chips where baked with about two teaspoons of olive oil.
I think this meal got all my portion sizes pretty much on target. So, if I can get all my macronutrients for lunch and dinner to fit into the palm of my hand, I’m golden.
And, if I make time in my day to fit in at least 15 minutes of exercise, my healthy day is going well.
Here’s to keeping your mind and body healthy!
My head is spinning with this debate. I say learn to listen to your body.
First and foremost, if you are going to eat grains, learn how you should soak them before cooking them. This process helps your body to digest them better and lowers their phytic acid content.
Sally Fallon and other well know authors in the nutrition community have put this to the test. Better yet, ferment them as you are soaking them. Sally tells you why and how, in her great book, “Nourishing Traditions.” In her book (page 452) you’ll learn why eating non-soaked and unfermented grains can lead to mineral deficiencies, bone loss and tummy troubles.
If you are eating grains, as opposed to processed breads, you are one step closer to a whole foods diet. So learn the best ways to cook your grains, eat them as a side dish, and add plenty of vegetables to liven them up. Add some spices, olive oil and Himalayan salt…. now your cooking!
Do you eat the same breakfast day in and day out?
It might be a good idea to change it up once in awhile.
We have to make food choices 3 or more times a day. You may ask,”Why not keep things simple and eat the same thing every morning?” You might be saying, “Well at least I am eating breakfast, so what if it’s the same one?”
More breakfast variety equals more nutrient variety. I am sure you have heard the saying, “eat the colors of the rainbow.” Well I am going to go one step further, by saying, eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, as well as a variety of different whole grains, meats and healthy fats….for breakfast!
Having a wide variety of healthy food increase the potential for more nutrients. We all require a broad variety of nutrients to function optimally, so why not start with the first meal of the day and add more variety!! Who knows, you might even discover which foods give you more energy throughout the day. For great breakfast ideas search the wide world web or visit my cooking without recipes section.
It's a blog...
I am a fanatic when it comes to uncovering the truths and the falsities to sound nutrition and good health. When we use a little common sense we can back up anything, yet there is always room for debate.