Remember the Food Guide Pyramid? That cute infographic from the early 90's showing us how we should be eating? It changed again in the mid 2000's, taking on a new name, MyPyramid. This version took into account physical activity and skewed the design from a horizontal layout to a more vertical layout. Then in 2011, the design changed one more time and MyPlate was created. Instead of a pyramid we now can see what portions look like in a more relatable way.
Finally, consciousness enters the food world! So, how an we take this old-school knowledge from the USDA and make it applicable to our busy lives? Fortunately, the hard work has been done for you. Drawn from the extensive research that John Berardi and his Precision Nutrition team has done, the once complicated concept of portion sizes and calories has been deduced to the basics. Now, not just health professionals and body builders can understand how to eat properly, but you, the average human, can too.
Take a look at Precision Nutrition's version of MyPlate. You'll notice three types of plates for different situations - a little something for everyone!
The "Anytime Plate" - best suits those who are more sedentary or are eating a meal that is NOT following a workout.
Choose the base of your meal around a type of protein (plant based, animal based - whatever tickles your fancy) - this is 1/4 of your plate
Pick some vegetables, (raw, steamed, roasted, don't be shy - the world is your oyster) - pile them on because this is at least 1/2 of your plate.
Pick a healthy fat - this is about 1/8 of your plate
Drink some water or tea
The "Post Workout Plate" - just finished a workout? Great, now is the time to eat your largest meal of the day! Your window of opportunity is directly after your workout up to about 90 minutes out - but the sooner, the better. Take this time to replenish your depleted muscles with proteins AND carbs.
Fill half your plate with protein.
Fill the other half of your plate with vegetables.
Fill a small bowl with smart carbs (Yes, there are carbs you should be eating - they're the starchier ones).
Drink water or tea.
The "Plant Based Eater's Plate" - we're just substituting animal products for more plant based things here.
Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables.
Fill 1/4 of your plate with plant proteins (beans, tofu, legumes, etc.)
Add 1/8 healthy fats.
Remaining 1/8 is for your smart carbs (complex/starchy carbs).
If you are eating post workout add a small bowl of fruit.
Drink water or tea.
Not quite sure what any of this means? Send me an email and ask away! Want to hear something better? I'm launching Nutrition in a Nutshell soon (landing page under construction) - it covers seven topics you need to know about to help yourself make the most informed food choices.