Build a Balanced Plate with Gina

Today is a beautiful Tuesday afternoon here in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. I’m writing to you from outside the Cardiff Library looking at the ocean and the dog walkers, while the coaster passes by and blows its horn. How lucky we are to live here! High-60’s, and clear skies!

As a Transformational Nutrition Coach, I encourage seasonal eating, meaning picking the fruits and veggies that are ripe and ‘in season.’ This spring, here’s what you can keep an eye out for:

April:
Asparagus, cauliflower, parsley, cucumber, broccoli rabe, arugula, dandelion greens, spring peas, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes

May:
Apricots, cherries, okra, loquats, butter lettuce, rhubarb, corn, medjool dates, peaches, strawberries, swiss chard, kale, zucchini, mango

I also like to teach the concept called ‘the superfood plate’ which is a great tool to keep in mind when you ‘build a plate’ or create any balanced meal. Having a supportive ratio of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates is an important component to good health and proper digestion.

The Superfood Plate (adopted from Dr. Josh Axe) goes as follows:
—40% of your plate should be vegetables
—30% of your plate should be protein
—15% of your plate should be healthy fats
—15% of your plate should be complex (low-glycemic) carbohydrates

Here are examples in each category:

Vegetables: leafy greens and lettuces, red cabbage, carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, kale, onion, cucumber, cauliflower, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, beets, artichoke tok chop, celery

Protein: grass fed meat (chicken, beef), turkey eggs, salmon, tuna

Healthy Fats: avocado, raw dairy, seeds (flax, pumpkin, chia, hemp), almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, coconut oil, olive oil, coconut milk, pistachios

Complex (low-glycemic carbs): blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, sweet potatoes, pineapple, beans (kidney, black, garbanzo), quinoa, brown/wild rice

Keep these ratios in mind as you sit down to a meal. One of my favorite places to build a superfood plate like this is Urban Plates. Their ‘build-your-own-plate’ bar is the perfect way to choose a protein and two sides that make a nourishing ratio. Also, they always have the most seasonal veggies on hand. Yum!

Lastly, remember to eat slowly, chew your food, and savor every bite!

For more nutritional guidance and Cardiff happy lifestyle inspiration, you can visit Gina at www.fullonhappiness.com. Sign up to be on her weekly newsletter full of tips and happiness inspiration here.

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