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How to Create a Well Balanced Meal

Nutrition experts have come to a consensus that the perfect meal consists of 40-50% fruits and vegetables, 25% grains/starches, 25% proteins, and 10% fats. But what does this mean? Our bodies need three different macronutrients every day. These are: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Carbohydrates give our bodies energy and are essential for a high functioning mind and body. In fact, vegetables, fruits, grains, and starches fall under the category of carbohydrates. As you can see above, this makes up 75% of the perfect meal. It is extremely important to be careful when choosing to enter into a low carb diet. These diets, without a knowledgeable approach, cause disruption in the body and end with weight gain and energy loss. The recommended amount of carbohydrates is 225-325g* per day. The next macronutrient that is needed daily is fat. Fats can be found in seeds, nuts, oils, avocados, and other variations of these delicious treats. This nutrient gives our bodies energy and protects our cells. It important to note, that not all fats are created equal. Trans fatty acids, is a type of unsaturated fat that occurs in foods, and is the worst kind of fat. This type of fat is what hooks people on fast-food chains like McDonalds and has no benefit to the body besides cravings and weight gain. When choosing your fat source, opt for unsaturated and saturated fats. Our best sources for these fats can be found in seeds, nuts, avocados, and oils. The amount, in grams, of fat that is healthiest to consume is around 45-55g.* The final macronutrient we need is protein. Proteins are the building blocks of our body. This is why you see so many body builders focus on protein because the amino acids in proteins are what builds our muscles. An important note, there is such thing as an over consumption of protein. Consuming too much protein can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease. This is why it is so important to be conscious of how much protein you are consuming daily. Generally speaking, a full grown woman should be consuming about 45g* of protein and a full grown male 55g* of protein per day. *Exact amounts for each individual vary and can only be defined when knowing the body statistics of that individual. Download a fitness app or contact a coach to find out what amount works best for you.

So what is the perfect meal? There are a multitude of recipes that can be designed to meet the standards of a perfect meal. But in my opinion, the easiest and the most delicious are Buddha bowls. A Buddha bowl is a meal, typically served in a bowl, that has grains as the base and is topped with vegetables, proteins, seeds/nuts, and a sauce. This style of dish includes everything you need and nothing you don't. It meets the requirements of a perfect meal with flying colors. Buddha bowls can be pre-prepped and easily altered by just changing up the sauce, making it easy to eat them throughout the week and stay healthy. You can meal prep these bowls by pre-prepping your grains, sauces, and proteins in bulk at the beginning of the week. Then, when it is time to eat, quickly sauté up some veggies with your desired protein source, warm up your grain, and top with a sprinkle of seeds/nuts and your favorite sauce. The endless amount of Buddha bowl styles make them such an excellent recipe to keep in your index. Below you will find a How-To video on making them.

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