Day Thirteen - Healthy Habit Accountability Challenge

Updated: May 3

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💥💥 For the next two weeks, I am sharing one #healthyhabit to practice and keep ourselves accountable to being our best selves every day during self-isolation due to COVID-19 💥💥

If you're just joining us you can catch up and review all the previous days.



Day Thirteen - Build a Nutritious Plate

Let's make it simple, shall we? Do you know how to build a nutrient-dense plate of food that not only satisfies your appetite but also fills you up?


Nutrition "advice" often comes in buzzwords and slogans. We've all heard at least one of these gems:


• "Just eat whole foods."

• "Only eat food that your grandmother would recognize."

• "Eat more fat and fewer carbs."

• "If it doesn't run, fly or swim – or it isn't a green vegetable – don't eat it."

It's easy to simplify healthy eating into a five-second pitch. But slogans aren't enough to help people fix their diet and get better results.

You see, when you're an actual nutrition coach who works with real humans in the real world, slogans don't get the job done.

We are used to supersizing everything, which does not fit with our energy needs. In my nutrition coaching practice, one of the first things I challenge clients to do an in-depth evaluation of what their typical meal/plate and portion sizes.

Do you know what a standard serving size should be?  

If the answer is no, don't worry. You're not alone.  

I believe #Nutrition can be easy or complicated.  

So, let's make it simple and easy, shall we?  

To balance your plate and manage serving sizes, start with these four things, and you can begin to improve your nutrition profile and overall body composition.

I'm not a huge fan of weighing or measuring out foods, and much prefer a more straightforward method. So, to do this, all you need is your hand.


An easy way to remember serving size is by using your hand to build a plate and nutritionally portion out your meal.  The following represents one meal.

  • One fist equals a serving of vegetables.

  • The palm of your hand equals one serving of protein-dense food 

  • scoop (cupped) of your hand equals one serving of complex carbohydrates

  • Your thumb equals one serving of fat

Protein Examples


  • Beans

  • Eggs

  • Chicken Breast

  • Lean Red Meat

  • Lean Pork

  • Shrimp/Scallops/Fish

  • Lentils

  • Greek Yogurt


Vegetable Examples


  • Broccoli/Cauliflower

  • Red/Green Cabbage

  • Green Beans

  • Bok Choi

  • Spinach/Kale

  • Eggplant

  • Peas

  • Carrots

  • Bell Peppers

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Lettuce/Spouts

Carbohydrate (Think Smart Complex Carb) Examples


  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Red Potatoes

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Brown Rice

  • Quinoa

  • Chickpeas

  • Bulgur

  • Plantain

  • Butternut Squash

Healthy Fat Examples


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Sesame Oil

  • Avocado Oil

  • Canola

  • Butter

  • Raw Avocado

  • Chopped Nuts (Walnut, Almond, Cashew, Sunflower)

  • Peanuts

  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

You can add any herb or spice for variety. Not only will this method of building a plate help you understand where you are over and under consuming, but you will learn:

  • it's easy to do

  • it allows for variety and flexibility in building meal templates

  • you don't need any unique scales/tools to measure your food

  • to identify and remove nutritional deficiencies

  • how to adjust food amount and food type

  • practice calorie control without trying to calculate/count

  • to better see how much quality and quantity of food you used to consume

Let's take a peek at some of the plates I shared back on Day Three of the Healthy Habit Accountability Challenge.




Now let's apply the "hand" method of plate creation using a fist, palm, scoop, and thumb as a guideline for quantity and quality.


Now rate the coach.


Pretty close, yes? Hopefully, you get the idea, and with practice start to increase your overall nutrition, and decrease overall calories all while filling you up with flavorful foods.

If you're not already building a plate, then challenge yourself to develop and eat one meal like this every day for one week, before adding a second or third meal. Remember. It's easier to ADD a new habit than start with trying to change one too many things at a time.  


What meal are you going to focus on to build your plate?

Questions? Need help? Want to talk? Reach out. I'd love to connect and hear from you. Remember, we're in this together. I'm here to help.


You can follow Coach Deb on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, or Instagram pages.

Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography

Author: Deb Preachuk, BRS, BPE, CF-L1, Pn-1, is a Comprehensive Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor, Level 2 Foundation Training Instructor, TBMM Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN

In addition to running PainFree Posture MN, Deb is a Fitness Coach at Orangetheory Fitness and teaches regularly at the Apple Valley, MN location.

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