I’m changing up the way that I normally do these, so let me know what you think! I’ve created a new guide for you to use which will (hopefully!) make it easier for you to mix and match meals on your own.
ABOUT THE GUIDE: Since everyone is different with different needs, and because I’m speaking to the masses, I can’t provide specifics on portion sizes, calories, etc. The idea behind these daily meal plans is to provide you with a general guide for filling your plate in a balanced way. This way of eating should help you get the nutrients you need from your diet without having to count, measure, weigh or generally over-think your day to day meals. Try as much as possible to practice intuitive eating, listening to your body’s hunger and satiety signals. There are obviously many more options for each food group than the above examples show, but this should give you a good starting point. Any questions on the guide, feel free to leave in the comments below!
HOW TO USE THE GUIDE: Pick the serving size that’s right for you from each food group (for more on what generally counts as one serving, visit MyPlate and view the guides for individual food groups). In general I recommend filling 1/2 your plate with fruits and vegetables, 1/4 with protein (including dairy), 1/4 with whole grains and topping it all off with a sprinkling of healthy fat.
For each meal, aim to combine one choice from each column. For snacks, aim to include a protein and a carbohydrate choice (so anything from the whole grain, fruit or vegetable columns). Note that I’ve only included one snack example, but eat as many as you need to fuel your day – same goes for how many choices you’re choosing from each column. This is only meant to get you started and help you understand the mix of food groups that are important – number of choices, portions sizes, etc. are really determined by your individual needs. For more snack ideas – see this guide I wrote all about snacks! Below I’ve laid out a day’s worth of meals and a snack using the guide method.
DAILY MEAL PLAN:
PRODUCT SUGGESTIONS: I like to provide product suggestions when I’m particularly fond a certain brand or recommend a certain type of food for health reasons (i.e. ‘boneless, skinless chicken breast’ over ‘fried chicken wings’), but otherwise I recommend choosing what you like best. If you’d like a suggestion for a particular product that I haven’t provided, feel free to leave it in the comments below and I’m happy to provide!
- Plain greek yogurt: I tend to use “Greek yogurt” as an all encompassing term, but I love Siggi’s skyr yogurt, Fage and Trader Joe’s brands for Greek yogurt
- Crumbled whole grain muffins: Check out a few of my whole grain muffin recipes here. If you’re buying from the store and it’s a jumbo-size, consider adding 1/2 or 2/3rds (this will help reduce the amount of sugar).
- Black bean burgers: I made these a while back and they were incredible! I also like Amy’s brand.