The Build-A-Plate Template

I am not a recipe developer, in fact, I am barely a recipe follower.  My cooking has gotten better over the years, but it is basically a lot of Pinterest fails and flavors thrown together hoping that they work.  But guess what?  When the food is WHOLE and good, the flavors almost always work.  Its really incredible.

Early in my health journey I was the only one eating in a paleo/whole food way.  This resulted in my making my own dinner that was basically separate from everyone else’s.  With a newborn and a two year old at the time, I could not take a long time to make my own food and I was attempting to get away from the calorie counting, macro tracking, measuring everything I ate on a scale way of thinking.

That is when I realized I could build a really nourishing meal, without following a recipe.  I still use this template to this day, especially when I just have a variety of left overs in the fridge and I am not sure exactly how to put them together.




1/2 OF THE PLATE IS ALWAYS VEGETABLES.  Always!  Whether it is leafy greens, roasted egg plant, or any other vegetable (not the starchy kind like potatoes, this is a different part of the plate.  See below) always fill half of your plate with this phytonutrient rich goodness.


1/4 OF THE PLATE IS PROTEIN AND FAT.  Protein can be from high quality animal products like eggs, grass fed rib eye steak, or pastured chicken.  High quality fat comes from whole and stable sources like avocado, olives, olive oil, coconuts, coconut oil, or the fat from the animal protein you eat.  If the protein portion is  a fattier cut of beef (like a rib eye) you do not need to add additional fat to the meal.  However, always add additional fat (think of a serving size as the size of your thumb) when eating leaner cuts of meat or eggs.


1/4 OF THE PLATE IS A HEALTHY CARBOHYDRATE (optional).  Carbohydrates have gotten a bad wrap in the last few years.  However, there is a difference between a refined carbohydrate that spikes your blood sugar without added nutrients, and a high quality carbohydrate that gives you glucose for energy along side fiber and other nutrients.  Healthy carbohydrates include things like sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, any colored potato, beets, butternut squash, fruit, or white rice (if this is something you can handle digestively).

*I put optional here because I do not include carbohydrates at every meal, I mostly have them in the early afternoon or evening.  This is especially helpful if you have any blood sugar dis-regulation.