Mighty Goal Monday #3 – Eating a Balanced Meal
It’s no secret that most Americans (including myself) are not eating a balanced meal 100% of the time. I know there are days where I am struggling to get fruits and vegetables in my diet. (I am not perfect and one of the main reasons I started Mighty Goal Mondays – to help myself as well.) With Mighty Goal Monday #1 and #2, we worked on incorporating more vegetables and fruits into our diet. So it only makes sense to work on eating balanced meals more frequently.
This week’s challenge is to consume a balanced meal for at least 2 meals at least 4 days this week or consume at least 8 balanced meals throughout this week.
When you break it down this is about 40% of your meals, if you consume three meals a day the whole week. By starting with a small goal like this, you can focus more on the quality of your goals over the quantity behind the goals.
What is a balanced meal?
A balanced meal consists of consuming food items from all five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. When you look at your plate, ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate should be protein, ¼ of your plate should be grains, and you should have a serving of dairy on the side. These guidelines have been developed from MyPlate, the nutrition standards that replaced the Food Pyramid in 2011.
Why is it important to consume a balanced meal?
When it comes to consuming a balanced meal, the health benefits are amazing.
Variety of Nutrients
Not only are you increasing flavors throughout your plate but you are also consuming a large variety of macronutrients(carbohydrates, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
By having a proper balanced diet, you are consuming the recommended amount of foods groups. You most likely are increasing your fruits and vegetables and decreasing your carbohydrate and fat intake. (Something that can be challenging at first but worth it in the long run.) With a balanced meal, it allows you to get a better control on your diet and increase your consumption of nutrient dense meals.
Decrease in Disease Risks
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Heart Disease are common medical conditions that exist today. With both of these diseases, a poor balanced diet can be a risk factor. Therefore, it becomes important to maintain balanced meals to help protect you from certain disease that can be associated with poor diets.
Easy ways to make your meals balanced
Bring back fruits and vegetables at the dinner table
In the 2015 Study of America’s Consumption of Fruits & Vegetables, it was concluded that the decrease in vegetable consumption is a result of the common vegetable dish being removed from the dinner table. When I was a kid, there wasn’t a family dinner that did not have a vegetable dish on the table. Something that back then I would dread eating but now something I make sure to incorporate at family dinners. This can be something simple like raw fruits and vegetables or steamed vegetables.
Make dishes that contain the right amount of all food groups.
Crockpot meals and new one-pan dishes are a great way to get a balanced meal. However, when making the dishes it becomes important to put more vegetables in dishes than the grains and protein. Something that might be hard at first but will help in the long run.
Here is a great resource of 30 Dinners from 30 Dietitians.
Get a plate or product to help you out
Portion controlled plates are a great tool when it comes to wanting to eat balanced meals and watch your portion sizes. I really enjoy portion sized tupperware since I am usually eating on the run. There are so many products out there that can help you reach the goal of consuming balanced meals.
So start this week off strong with figuring out what meals you are really going to focus on consuming balanced meals.
Do not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.
Don’t forget to use #mightygoalmonday and #nutritioninchoas on your social media posts so I can repost.
Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.
Mighty Goal Monday #2 Recap
How did everyone do with Mighty Goal Monday #2? I personally find myself craving fruits more because of the natural sugar found in them. My sweet tooth gets the sweetness that I am looking for and my body is getting great vitamins and minerals. A WIN, WIN in my book. So personally, it was easier for me to increase my fruit servings. However, just because I increased my fruit servings I knew I still needed to maintain my vegetable servings from MGM #1. Remember as MGM continues, it is important to still build off the past posts.
New to Mighty Goal Monday?
Find out more about why I started this blog post series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.