The fundament of a healthy diet is vegetables and fruit. They are where the magic happens – phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins, minerals. On top of that you layer protein, whole grains, starchy carbohydrates and good fats.
Most people when dishing up dinner will see the protein as the main event, so something like the meat, chicken, fish, tofu, lentils, beans, cheese or eggs. The veg is an afterthought and will usually take up a small proportion of the plate. But the better way to do it is to serve the veg first, a good half-plateful, and see the protein part as secondary, about a palm or fist size, and the carbs are less important too, they should be about a quarter of the plate or less – depending on your activity level – less active = fewer starchy carbs.
The veg and salad, and the fruit, on your plan is not only there to ensure you get nutrients and fibre but it’s vital for helping to fill you up and keep you full til the next meal, so if you skimp on it or miss it altogether I can virtually guarantee you’ll be really hungry before the next mealtime comes (if you’re following the other bits of the plan and not free-styling). Then you run the risk of snacking on high energy foods and not achieving your goals
Sometimes I’ll specify a certain fruit or veg, that’s normally down to its ‘filling’ properties or its specific ability to help enhance nutrient absorption of something that’s in the main meal. So you miss it off at your peril 🙂
When it comes to salad I often state that as I think it’s easy to throw together plus it’s helpful to eat uncooked plant foods as well as cooked ones. But you can always sub with vegetables – stir fry a good mix or steam some separates. When you have a sandwich always throw some salad stuff into it – get the greenery in at every opportunity! Fruit is also important but a little less so than veg as it’s sweet but you need some every single day because it brings you different vitamins, phytos and minerals
Veg/salad is AT LEAST two hands cupped together and heap-filled x 2, every day.
Fruit is two cupped hands level filled x 1 every day.
When I see your food pics the first thing I look for is how much veg is there and at the variety and colours, secondly I look at portion size – both things are absolutely key to your success on the plans and your overall nourishment and health. Thirdly I look to see if you’ve included the fruit with lunch. Then I write it down in my notebook… he he! Asif.