No need to wait for New Year’s Resolutions or the coming of spring; now is the perfect opportunity for athletes and exercisers young and old to shape up their plates. The MyPlate guidelines provide tools for fueling a healthy body at every meal of the day. See what it has to offer to make your plate complete:
- They provide the body with energy for playing with your kids, going to work or making it through a workout.
- Choose a whole grain like oatmeal, 100% whole wheat bread or brown rice to give you energy for a longer period of time.
- Grains contain fiber, which keeps you full longer.
- Full of vitamins and minerals, veggies help keep your immune system strong.
- Veggies also contain fiber and water that contributes to your daily fluid intake.
- Like vegetables, fruits are packed full of vitamins and minerals your body needs like Vitamin C and potassium.
- Juicy fruits provide a significant amount of fluid, helping you stay hydrated.
- If the skin is edible, eat it! Lots of nutrients and fiber reside in the skin.
- This nutrient is essential for building lean muscles and repairing muscle damage after exercise.
- Choose a lean protein like grilled chicken, eggs or lean red meat to provide your body the building blocks it needs to get stronger.
- Protein also gets you full faster and keeps you full longer, thus helping to prevent overeating.
- No individual’s plate would be complete without dairy!
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy like milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese provide your body with bone-building and muscle-strengthening nutrients like calcium, potassium, protein, vitamin D and water.
- Low-fat chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink to replenish, rebuild and rehydrate!
So, how do you fit all those foods in at every meal? Let’s break it down to a sample day’s meal plan:
- Egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and one-quarter cup 2% cheese.
- Accompany that with two slices whole-wheat toast with fresh fruit jelly and 8 ounces of 100% orange juice.
- Try whole-wheat tortilla wrap filled with skinless turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots and hummus.
- Pair that with an apple and 8 ounces of low-fat milk to complete a nutrient-rich lunch.
- Stir-fry with red peppers, orange carrots, yellow squash and green broccoli mixed with brown rice and lean ground beef or skinless chicken. Use extra virgin olive oil to sauté and add flavor.
- Then satisfy your sweet tooth with 6 ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 cup berries.
- Snack on popcorn and string cheese with strawberries or grapes
- 8 ounces of low-fat flavored milk with a handful of nuts like almonds.
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