Eating Plan

I'm not a big fan of fad diets or eating plans that require me to use my math skills (which are questionable at best). I've bought the books, joined the calorie-counting websites, signed up for the hype and, ultimately, put them all aside. It took me a long time to realise that my problem isn't centred on one thing, specifically. It's lack of general portion control, eating a lot of junk food and the absence of any real motivation to change. Period. I'm a smart woman - I know which foods won't do my body any favours, but I don't particularly care for this or that plan over another. Eat a good breakfast, don't skip meals, keep your portions realistic, avoid fatty takeout and don't obsess - those are the principles I gleaned from eight years of yo-yo dieting. Hardly rocket science, is it?

But I also know my own weaknesses.  A rigid meal plan isn't for me, and yet if I'm left to my own devices I'm likely to devour the first source of sugar I find (and little else).  The following charts solved my problem by providing a guideline to making healthy, balanced meals on the fly.  I can mix and match to my heart's content and plan meals according to what I have on hand.  Perfect.

Special notes: All measurements are metric but it's easy to gauge quickly what the basics are.  If you're reading from another country, please see your own country's healthy eating guidelines for any differences.  Finally, the eating plan was first seen in Healthy Food Guide magazine (with variations spanning 2008, 2009 and 2010) and all credit should remain with them.  I merely added a bit of decoration!

I found it enormously helpful to paste the plan (and some healthy food pictures!) onto cardstock and run it through a laminator.  The end result is several 'cheat sheets' that are durable and will last me forever.  I've tacked mine to my pantry door for inspiration.

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