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The Plate Method

January 25, 2011

This past weekend I coordinated a nutrition talk for the KIPP Parent Association of the North Philadelphia KIPP school.  Neva White , CRNP, MSN, CDE, from Thomas Jefferson’s University and Hospital, a certified diabetes educator with a nursing background, volunteered to talk about the plate method of eating, specially in terms of dinner.

Neva was not only a dynamic speaker but had plenty of information to share that had the audience saying “FOR REAL?!?!”

To start, use a plate that is no more than nine inches across.  Divide this section into three parts, with the first part being half of the plate, and the remaining parts being 1/4 portions of the plate.  The largest portion of the plate, that first half, should be vegetables.

Yes.  For real!   Half of the plate should be vegetables.

The other 1/4 portions should be a starch, and a protein source (meat, beans, tofu, etc.).  You can always increase the amount of vegetables, but start with half the plate, and remember, it doesn’t have to be one vegetable, it can be a combination.  For example, a salad and steamed broccoli or other varieties of vegetables.

Neva noted that this way of eating will help you “eat to burn fat, not to store fat.”

No matter how fit and fantastic your diet is, it’s always good to check in with your daily fruit and veggie intake count.   Aim for five fruits and vegetables a day.  To calculate exactly how many fruits and veggies you need based on your age, gender and activity level, check out the CDC calculator.

Check out Neva’s Back – A Mini Lesson in Diabetes and Titillating Tid Bits on Bites for more information from Neva.

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