I love scrolling through YouTube videos, I usually watch the same things: makeup tutorials, animal videos, and kids doing funny things (usually at their parents’ expense) and I've also seen a lot of videos that follow some vlogger who eats like some sort of celebrity for a day. Fascinating to some I’m sure, but I guess I just don’t care what Kendal or Khloe eat for a day. However, it did give me an idea. I thought I’d follow the ChooseMyPlate.gov and follow their dietary “rules” for a day. This is what the site recommended for a woman my age (34):
- 6 ounces of grains
- 1 ½ cups fruit
- 2 ½ cups vegetables
- 5 ounces of protein
- 3 cups of dairy
So, what does all that translate to for my meals? I got these recipes from the website and this is what I chose:
½ cup uncooked oatmeal (1 oz. grain), 1 cup milk (1 cup dairy, I used almond milk just because I like it better), 2 teaspoons brown sugar (I need to stay below 25 grams of added sugars per day, this contains 9 of those allotted grams)
I bring 1 medium banana to work for a snack (1 cup fruit)
2 slices whole-wheat bread (2 oz. grains), 2 slices of roasted turkey (2 oz.), 1 tsp. of mustard, 1 slice of cheese (equivalent of ½ cup milk), a few pieces of romaine lettuce for some crunch as well as a some sliced jalapeno for some kick.
On the side I have about 2 cups of spinach (1 serving of vegetables), with a splash of red wine vinegar, olive oil and a very light hand of feta cheese.
Okay, I know I have 3 ounces of protein to get in as well as 1.5 cups of vegetables left. I throw together chopped bell pepper, onion, and broccoli that I have in the fridge, as well as chop up some chicken breast I had in there. Cut and cook up the chicken, put it to the side, then cook the vegetables in that same pan. I add the chicken back in as well as some of this thrown-together stir fry sauce:
- 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 squeeze of Sriracha sauce
- Minced garlic
- Squeeze of honey (more of my sugar for the day)
- And a splash of chicken broth I had in the fridge.
Okay, so at the end of the day, I’m surprised that I have some grains and fruit left to eat. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t planned out my day, that’s for sure. So I make some popcorn and eat 3 cups (at least!). I did add some salt to it. I reeeeaallly wanted some ice cream but that wasn’t in the plan so I stuck one of my containers of yogurt (1 serving dairy) in the freeze and ate that after about 40 minutes.
So, I followed the ChooseMyPlate plan for a day and I have to say that while it took some planning, it really wasn’t that difficult. It would have been tough if I had to go out to eat, I would have easily been over my grains (and added sugar) for the day. I’m always surprised by how little protein is actually recommended, I had to measure out my chicken as I could have easily eaten 5 ounces in one meal if I hadn’t paid attention.
If you want to try this for yourself, assuming you aren’t eating as well as you’d like to already, visit choosemyplate.gov. If I try other dietary plans for a day, I’ll be sure to document and let you know how it goes!