It's summertime! With farmer's markets, home gardens and roadside produce stands there is no better time to start incorporating a healthy eating plan. When the FDA released it's newer, modern food plate in 2011 I was actually shocked by the proportions shown on the plate. This is NOT how we teach our own children to eat.
The FDA plate contains, in a nutshell, too many grains. Most households will throw a slice of bread or pasta in that "section" of the plate thinking it is all good for their children and themselves. When in fact, the "grain" being incorporated into the typical American diet is, in all liklihood, sourced from processed refined flours vs. whole grain products that are comprised of 4-5 ingredients. What this means in easy to understand terms - is that these types of grains are classified as SIMPLE CARBS. Now, don't get me wrong - we need carbohydrates for our bodies to function - but we need COMPLEX carbs.
What's wrong with simple carbs, products made from processed and refined flours, hydrogenated oils, etc. you ask? Basically, these foods are major contributors to Type II Diabetes, high cholesterol, hardening of the arties and blockage, heart disease and more. (Dr. Russel Blaylock, Blaylock Wellness Report Newsletters) Because simple carbs are processed the same as table sugar in our bodies (Dr. John Lee "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer") it promotes and fuels cancer cell growth. There are many reasons to reduce simple carbs in one's overall diet. Another one is its contributory factors to auto immune diseases, gluten in particular. Once a family staple in our household, I would guess we have not served pasta in our home for at least 18 months. Once fooled by the "whole grain" varieties, label reading helped me realize that those, as well, are made with processed, refined flours.
That's not to say we go completely without. Sundays are set aside as a day to enjoy a bakery item - such as a muffin or pastry, made with refined flour, sugar and omega-6 oils (I am reading a lot right now on Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils and surely will share more about that in a future post.) Eating clean 90% of the time allows us to deviate and maintain our weight losses, and continue to keep us free of Rx and OTC drugs.
There is a lot more I could go into regarding the FDA's attempt at create a balanced food plate diagram. Even though it is posted in our children's classrooms, we let our kids know that it does not mean it is accurate in portraying a healthy eating lifestyle.
There is no better time than the summer season to cover 1/2 to 2/3 of your plate in non-starchy vegetables, which contain good carbs. Greens and vegetables are GOOD FUEL for your body and give it the energy it needs. These foods are alkaline based, and when consumed in a ratio that is greater than acidic foods (such as dairy and meat food groups) it will help you lead a life in which you will feel better, look better, enjoy increased clarity of mind and energy.
Below is a sample of a Heatlhy Living Dinner Plate I created after listening to Dr. Molly Geil give a talk on a 30 Day Detoxification/Feeling Fit program. I created this mostly to post on our refrigerator to keep us accountable for food serving proportions, along with ideas for each section in order to assist my husband who is home first weekdays, and typically puts our dinner together. There is an entire booklet available for anyone who does wish to detox or eliminate foods they may be allergic or sensitive to in order to determine what is causing their aches, low energy, weight gain, etc. The page goes into a detox plan a bit as well, but primarily - the idea was to provide a healthy living food diagram. Our family has incorporated much of the information in this booklet into our day to day living, and the page below simply makes a great "cheat sheet".
Currently, if your plate is all protein, then by all means - start with the FDA plate to steer you in the right direction. However, if you experience any of the simple carb related ailments then I would encourage you to shift gears and color your plate - there is no better time to start than when fresh produce is readily available!