Planning Your Plate

Planning Your Plate

Great job working hard in another week of boot camp! Our hope is that you are feeling a positive difference during the workouts, but also at home and in your recreation.

How is fueling your body going?

This week, we would like to share one of our favorite visuals for creating an easy, well-balanced meal. The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate. While it’s pretty to look at it, it is also straight-forward and aligns with the macronutrient information we have shared with you this session. You will notice a section of whole-grains and fruit (ie. carbs.), protein (protein and some fat), vegetables (few carbs and some fat depending on preparation), and healthy oils (fat).

As you plan your nutrition based on your macronutrient ratios, using this model as your guide can ensure you fuel well, while not skipping over your veggies. Vegetables contain several micronutrients which are key for taking care of your body, so although they don’t contribute to your macros in a large way, they have a major role in health that we don’t want to miss out on. 

Copyright © 2011, Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,, and Harvard Health Publications,

So as you meal plan and evaluate your macronutrient intake, plan meals with this template in mind:

  • Protein (animal or plant-based)
  • Carbohydrate (the less processed the better)
  • Vegetable (fresh, frozen, canned, raw, baked, broiled, grilled, steamed, etc.; unfortunately corn, potatoes, and peas fall into the carb category instead of the veggies)
  • Healthy fat 
  1. Grab a pen and paper OR your favorite piece of technology 
  2. Make a list of your favorite foods in each category of the “ingredients” above. Keep this food bank somewhere safe because you’ll be referencing it every time you meal plan.
  3. In one column, jot down “P:” for protein, “C:” for carb, “V:” for veggie, “HF:” for healthy fat. Repeat for as many meals as you would like to plan.
  4. Fill in your column by choosing from your food bank. Repeat until you feel like a meal planning champ or planned the number of meals you were aiming for.
  5. Scan your pantry, fridge, and freezer for the ingredients you need for the planned meals. Don’t have it? Start your grocery list.
  6. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Find a friend at boot camp and swap meal plans to tag team the following week.

Exercise/Workout Spotlight: Mini Resistance Bands

They may be mini, but they are powerful. Versatile and convenient to throw in a suitcase or keep in your desk, these little guys can add a whole new level of muscle engagement to your workouts. Self shares an article with great information and benefits of mini resistance bands.

How to add mini bands to your routine:

  1. Check out these ideas for warming up your lower body with mini bands before a run.
  2. Try some of the upper-body and lower-body resistance band exercises on this list.
  3. Do this full-body resistance band workout.
  4. String together a few of these mini band butt exercises to create your own workout.
  5. Try using mini bands in a plank to work your shoulders.
  6. Do this five-part mini band circuit that targets your butt from multiple angles.

Read the full article here.

By Victoria Emmitt RD

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