3 Things You Need For A Truly Balanced Meal (and a healthy body)
Written By: Precious Frazier
It seems that the most pressing question among Americans today is, “What is a healthy diet?” – do you even know yourself? Well, with all of the conflicting nutritional information available, it’s no surprise that we’re all really confused. One thing is for sure… contrary to what some believe, a healthy diet does not consist of eating only “rabbit food”, bird seed and carrot juice! It’s so much more enjoyable than that, I promise 🙂
While our individual nutritional needs do vary, the foundation for any healthy diet includes a combination of macronutrients and micronutrients. To maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, you’ll want to be sure your meals and snacks contain both components for a truly balanced plate.
Here are the 3 macronutrients to include in every meal.
1) Protein. Your protein can be from an animal source or plant source. If you opt for animal protein, be sure to go choose organic, antibiotic and hormone free varieties. If you choose plant based sources of protein, be sure to combine beans, legumes and grains to be sure you are getting the essential amino acids needed to make-up a complete source of protein. (Essential amino acids are those in which you must get from food because your body doesn’t make them on their own. For the record, quinoa (a seed) is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids. Pretty powerful – and delicious – stuff!)
2) Carbohydrates. Be sure to choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fresh fruit, etc. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber, help balance your blood sugar, increase satiety of meals and provide your body with long lasting energy. Complex carbohydrate foods have also been shown to help kick ailments such as heart disease, constipation and diabetes. The bottom line is this: those who eat a wide variety of complex carbs have more energy and healthier bodies. Not all carbs are created equal and they are definitely not the enemy. Plain and simple.
3) Healthy Fat. You want to be sure you are eating good sources of healthy fat in your meals every day. Healthy fat is needed to nourish your brain, heart and cells, as well as your hair, skin and nails. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, are particularly important and can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and help prevent dementia.
Be sure to choose healthy fats from plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, hemp oil or flax oil, avocados, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans), seeds (pumpkin, sesame). Also Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are great additions to a healthy diet and balanced meal.
Finally, be sure to add to a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, sea vegetables, fresh herbs, nuts and seeds to your eating regimen. These foods contain micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals required in small quantities for healthy metabolic process, physical well-being and supercharged energy.
AND, my absolute favorite go-to, healthy and completely easy to make balanced meal…
Loaded Salad Bowl with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
- 3 kale leaves, chopped
- ½ cup garbanzo beans, canned (Eden brand recommended)
- ½ roasted sweet potato, chopped
- ¼ red onion, chopped
- ½ zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup brown rice, cooked
- ½ avocado, diced
- 2 Tbsp pecans
- ½ lemon
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375.
- Wash skin of sweet potato with hot water and chop in small cubes (leave skin on).
- In medium mixing bowl add chopped sweet potato, olive oil, sea salt, garlic and pepper. Coat potatoes with oil and seasonings.
- Add to small baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft in middle.
- Add potatoes, rice and all other ingredients to a medium mixing bowl.
- Squeeze lemon, add apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to bowl.
- Lightly toss until ingredients are coated with lemon, vinegar and oil.
- Add extra salt and pepper to taste.
Wellness Coach, Green Food Junkie, Fitness Enthusiast, Love Pusher and Recovered Binge Eater
at Nutritional Inner G
Precious Frazier is a wellness coach, green food junkie, fitness enthusiast, love pusher and recovered binge eater. She is passionate about empowering women to reconnect with their nature - of being whole and free - by walking the path of self-care, authentic self-expression and deep self-awareness. Precious also loves sharing about the benefits whole food cleansing and believes resetting the body through cleansing is one of the great tools available to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.
Through her work, Precious is committed to empowering women (and men) to honor their truth and take on healthy lifestyle practices that are in alignment with nature, while supporting them as they reconnect with the highest version of themselves.
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