FFF: Building Better Plates

F³ – Volume vs. Weight
June 23, 2017
July Spotlight – Amanda Brugos
July 5, 2017

FFF: Building Better Plates

Happy Friday everyone! Before I get into this week’s topic, we need to talk about something completely unrelated to food or nutrition. As I sat down early this morning to write this blog, I started typing and something instantly popped into my head that I feel I need to share.

As I typed the word ‘Friday’, I started singing…

Friddaaaayyyyy niiiggghhhhhhhht

Just got paaaiiiidddddddd (Side note: I didn’t get paid today)

Feeeeeeeeeeling riigggghhhhhhht

You’re probably thinking – Johnny Kemp “Just Got Paid” – what a jam!

If that’s what you thought then i’m gunna have to stop you right there and make a minor correction. While the original Johnny Kemp song is clearly THE best version, I was actually singing in my best Justin Timberlake N*SYNC voice, circa late 90’s/early 2000’s.

If you don’t know what i’m talking about, below is their performance of Just Got Paid from the 2000 Billboard Music Awards. There’s not enough time to talk about all the ridiculous things from this video, so let’s just take a few minutes to revisit our N*SYNC super-fandom and celebrate how far Justin Timberlake has come since then.


Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about food. Last week we talked about volume vs. weight for people who were tracking calories/counting macros. This week is for those of you who don’t track and are just trying to eat healthy. Let’s go over portion control and how we can build better plates.

When “building” your meals, there are a couple things you want to keep in mind. First, the visual portion serving sizes:


Take note of the dotted red lines that outline the portion sizes, specifically the handful size. The Mount Everest mountain top is NOT included in that portion size. Sorry, folks.

So we got our portion sizes down, let’s take a look at what your plate should look like:



(image credit www.goqii.com)


  1. 1/2 plate non starchy vegetables
  2. 1/4 plate lean protein
  3. 1/4 plate starchy carb


We should always start with adding our non starchy vegetables. Examples of NSV’s would be: asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, pea pods, peppers, salad greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc), and tomatoes to name a few. Any of those, in any combination, should take up ½ of your plate. If you’re going to use a salad for your non starchy vegetable, make sure you remember that the dressing should stay thumb tip size (especially if it’s a cream based dressing). And if you can eat a salad that takes up half of your plate and only use a thumb tip size amount of dressing, then I applaud you.

Next up should be some kind of lean meat. Keep in mind your visual serving sizes; whether that’s the palm of your hand or 1/4th of your plate. Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef and pork, or fish are all great choices.

The last ¼ of your plate should be a complex carb/starchy carb, about the size of your fist. Legumes (beans, lentils), quinoa, rice, and starchy veggies like potatoes and corn would all be great choices.

As you hit the buffet tables this weekend at the 4th of July parties, try keeping those 2 thoughts in mind. It will definitely help you be successful, especially over a big holiday weekend.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and happy 4th of July!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *