Does Your Plate Make You Smile?

by | May 18, 2021

There’s a song I like that says: “This year’s felt like four seasons of winter.” Assessing this year to date, things definitely started off looking pretty grim, and that’s on top of the dismal entirety of last year. Until this past week, the jury’s been out on this year getting better. But so much is getting better now! The latest guidance on masks, the prolonged spring temperatures, the cicadas doing their short-lived thing… We’re turning a corner and things look good.

Perfect time to do a little refresher. A big one for me has been a revisit of the Harvard “My Plate”. I like it ever so much better than the USDA’s version, and I only disagree with three things about it. Here’s a link to an interactive version, take a look (click on the different areas for sidebar info). They recommend ½ of your plate be produce (fruits & vegetables), a small quarter be whole grains, and a bigger quarter be protein. They also include options for fats and beverages. And there’s a little person running around to remind you to stay active. Good stuff!

It’s shortcomings, IMHO:

  1. Potatoes get a bad rap, they are actually quite nutritious.
  2. There is nothing wrong with butter.
  3. Where’s dessert?

That last one is controversial, I know, but most people are going to eat sweet treats and I think it would be worth acknowledging dessert as part of a balanced food lifestyle. Just a little note on the side, perhaps, a picture of a piece of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream. Maybe a sketch of a cookie. Never going to happen, I know, but leaving sweets out of the picture is a set up for making us feel bad if we eat them. Ugh. I truly believe that mindfully and intentionally enjoying dessert is a lovely part of life. I’d definitely put it on My Plate.


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Hi, I’m Jennifer! I’ve been in practice for over 15 years, and have helped over a hundred women heal their relationship with food.

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