Constructing The Ideal Paleo Plate

Transitioning to paleo? Remember, the formula for constructing the ideal paleo plate includes protein, vegetable, fat, and flavor!

Hi, my name is Kate Simpson. I’m the health coach here at Arizona Wellness Medicine. And today I’m sharing on the topic of constructing the ideal paleo plate. So when we transition to a new way of eating, I think a lot of emphasis is put on what we’re not eating. And I think if we reverse that and we start to focus on what we get to eat, it will make the transition a little bit easier. So it’s true in the paleo way of eating we’re eliminating grains and legumes and soy and refined sugars and most dairy, but we’re opening ourselves up for this wondrous variety of vegetables and fruit and protein and healthy fats, and even the occasional dessert.

So my formula for constructing this ideal plate, it would include a protein, vegetable, fat, and flavor. I’m not asking you to skimp on flavor, but we want our flavor to come from fresh herbs and spices and good healthy sources of fat. I want to eat good food. I’m sure that you want to eat good food. So hopefully at the end of this, we’ve got this plate that’s constructed that makes us want to get in there and prepare paleo food, and know that it can be, although maybe in the beginning a little bit more challenging to menu plan and prepare your meals, but over time, you’ll find out that it’s very simple, again, when we focus on that formula of protein, vegetables, fat, and flavor.

So for protein, we’re always going to encourage you with everything that you purchase for your plate to purchase the best quality of ingredients that you can afford. So if you can afford grass-fed beef, bison, lamb, pasture raised chickens and turkeys and wild caught fish, we’ll encourage you to put that on your plate. Serving size, you want to be looking at four to eight ounces. Depending on your activity level, if you’re very active, you may lean more towards that eight ounce portion size, but you’re going to know best and you’re just going to gauge how do you feel at the end of your meal? Are you still hungry? Do you feel satisfied? Do you have enough energy to carry you through to your next meal? So just use those guidelines and I’m sure you’ll come up with the portion size that works for you.

Next on your plate is this large variety of vegetables. We want a nice portion of non-starchy vegetables, both raw and cooked. You certainly can include a starchy vegetable on your plate. We eliminate the white starchy potatoes, but you can sub that for a nice sweet potato. Depending on your health goals, if your doctor’s recommended that you decrease the amount of carbohydrates that you intake or you eliminate them altogether, then you’re going to gauge what you put on your plate. But because we recommend 8 to 10 servings of vegetables per day, you want somewhere between three and four servings of vegetables on each plate.

So after the vegetables, another really important component on your plate is a good healthy source of fat. And that can come in the form of a good healthy olive oil or coconut oil or avocado oil, a whole food fat, like our beloved avocado. We just want to make sure that we include fat on each and every plate, because contrary to popular belief, fat does not make you fat. Fat gives us energy and it helps us to stay satisfied. Again, we’re trying to be satisfied from one meal to the next so we eliminate that snacking in between, or that need to snack in between.

So I mentioned including an occasional dessert, if that is something that you want to be a part of your paleo way of eating. Lean more towards those antioxidant-rich citrus and berries, and good quality dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cacao.

And the one thing that I want to encourage, once you feel comfortable with your meal planning and you really have a good grasp on that ideal paleo plate, you might want to start including some probiotic-rich fermented foods. That’s going to come in the way of sauerkraut or kimchi or pickles. Even if you’re taking a probiotic supplement, having a nice whole food will really round out that plate.

So I’m hoping with the formula that I gave you, again, you want to remember protein, vegetables, fat, and flavor, that you will be able to construct your ideal plate that works for you. And again, don’t hesitate to reach out to the resources that you have available. Health coaching is one of them. I’m happy to answer any questions that you have, and I will just look forward to seeing you in a future segment.



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