Set the Table for Diet Success
Despite every complex solution or sale pitch delivered the path to a healthy diet is relatively simple in design. A healthy diet is upheld with five major ‘building blocks’ as follows:
• Simplicity • Accountability • Sustainability • Balance • Consistency
Each of these are governed by ‘common sense’ logic that may not be very fashionable in a business sector that is known to sell via ‘smoke and mirrors’ but is virtually the solution to every dietary problem.
Unfortunately the diet industry is an ‘industry’ and long before I was born it understood that ‘common sense’ does not sell products and services, hence the ‘song and dance’ of ‘complex solutions’ has been pushed onto the marketplace.
At no time in history, prior to modern mans reliance upon conveniences, did anyone consider ‘food’ that required a chemical breakdown. This is not earth shattering common sense but food either grows from the earth, swims in the water, flies in the air or moves along the ground.
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Simple and effective; it’s called ‘common sense’.
We as a society were led astray by a combination of business interests and the breakdown of the family unit as part of broad societal change in the twentieth century. Some fifty plus years after we as a society were convinced to abandon the rich cultural tradition and important fellowship of a family dining together in lieu of ‘fast food’ that kills an element of common sense is returning. Slowly, like a runaway freight train coming down the mountain but the public is beginning to understand that real food does not require a branded name or even label.
Balance is crucial on your dinner plate but equally most go beyond the macronutrient mixture of protein, carbohydrates and fats but how you dine and source food sources. Said macronutrient mix is not a complex matter, will depend upon training demands and overall objectives but the broader concern is the ‘how’ and ‘where’ your food is consumed and sourced.
A critical element of diet is ‘relaxing’ while dining as it relates to cortisol secretion. Proper digestion and hormonal balance is achieved when dining in a relaxing manner and ‘yes’ chewing your food sufficiently as opposed to engulfing calories as quick as possible when driving in the fast lane.
People who eat in the fast lane tend to get to the end of the road faster. ‘Chew’ on that for a moment.
Plate sizes and choices greatly influence overall diet and effectiveness of dietary approach. Plates should not have grown to the near size of a cafeteria tray or emulate a Dickens novel but with such portions have expanded measurably with waist lines doing the same. However beyond caloric consumption and how that distorts the aforementioned macronutrient mix, the choice of plates is a unique indicator of how the dining is approached. Rather than disposable plates or the like, set the table with proper plates, turn the television off, resist ‘texting’ and enjoy your meal.
The sourcing of food is of critical importance and represents further ‘balance’. Whether from local stores that you know purveyors by their first name and who take pride in their work or you backyard | community garden, this will ensure more responsible dietary choices, i.e. no chemical list required with fresh produce, as well as long-term health of your family and environment.
Apply the 'five pillars of a healthy diet' within a balanced plan and you will not only move one step closer to the podium but stay there throughout your life.
Recipe of the Day from USPlabs Nutrition page
Coconut Chicken with Squash Stir fry
- 3 large trimmed chicken breasts
- 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup yellow squash , chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter or butter alternative
- 2 Tbsp. EVOO
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 2-3 cups brown rice
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2/3 cup coconut flakes (keeping 1/3 cup for adding post-cooking), 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 Tbsp. butter in a bowl. Heat in microwave until the butter has softened and stir thoroughly. Place trimmed chicken breasts on an olive oil-greased baking sheet. Spread coconut flake combination evenly over the tops of the chicken breasts. Cook for 20 minutes, broiling the last 5 minutes to crisp.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. of EVOO and add chopped yellow squash and zucchini. Stir regularly until soft and edges start to brown. Remove from heat. In a small bowl mix remaining 1/3 cup of coconut flakes with 1 Tbsp. of EVOO. Remove chicken from oven and spread coconut flakes/EVOO combination over the tops of all chicken breasts. Serve with optional brown rice depending on your carbohydrate intake requirements.
Coconut Chicken Stir Fry (1 serving)
- Without Brown rice:
- 675 kcal, 10 g carbs, 36 g fat, 55 g protein
- With 1 cup Brown Rice:
- 891 kcal, 55 g carbs, 38 g fat, 60 g protein
Prepared by John Davies
Disclaimer The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.