Eating healthy is not difficult. Small changes make the biggest difference. Limiting carbs has gone a long way toward our goal of eating more healthy meals. If I had cooked a meal like this before it would have included the meat with potatoes or rice plus dressing and a starchy vegetable like corn. Now we choose “just one”. Just one kind of carb is all that is needed for satisfying appetitite, maintaining the daily carb goal and reducing calories without sacrificing nutrition. Tonight this dish was served with Sesame Beans and a tossed salad like Salad with Fruit and Nuts. That’s it. Full and satisfied. . . and a great reason to get in and out of the kitchen more quickly! I have a theory that preparing a meal should not take longer than eating a meal!
Monitoring servings and serving sizes is a second little change that has made a big difference. The dressing I used is 22 carbs per serving. A box makes 6 servings. It will be all gone at the end of dinner. With three people eating, that means we will each have consumed 2 servings of dressing. It is important to know this. If we ignore that fact and pretend we only each had 1 serving — well, you know what that will do to the carb counts for the day. Not to mention the difficult conversation with yourself in the mirror (or worse, the doctor or weight loss coach) that begins: “I don’t know why my numbers haven’t changed “. (Oh yeah, so guilty!)
Last winter I took a nutrition class, a refresher, offered by one of the grocery chains. The newly minted dietician was excited to introduce a new way of limiting carbs and moderating servings. It is the plate method, a guide from the United States Department of Agriculture. If you look at the plate, it provides a quick and easy visual. Half your plate should have fruit and/or vegetables. Slightly less than one quarter of the plate is for protein and the other slightly larger quarter is for grains. In the example above, the Sesame Beans and Fruit and Nut Salad would fill half the plate. The chicken fills the quarter designated for protein and the dressing is the quarter designated for grains. The grain foods and fruits are the ones that contribute most to your daily carb count. The plate method is another great tool for keeping yourself healthy and provides a quick check for carb counting.