Seven Simple Steps to “Create Your Plate”

Basing your meals on the government’s MyPlate is a simple and effective way to both manage diabetes and lose weight. The first step in the right direction towards healthy eating, “Create your plate” lets you still choose the foods you want, but changes the portion sizes so you are getting larger portions of non-starchy high-nutrient vegetables and a smaller portion of starchy and higher calorie foods. When you are ready, you can try new foods within each food category and expand your healthy eating goals. 

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Try these seven steps to get started:

  1. Using your dinner plate, put a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side, cut it again so you will have three sections on your plate.
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables such as:
    • spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bok choy
    • green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes,
    • vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra,
    • mushrooms, peppers, turnips
  3. Now in one of the small sections, put grains and starchy foods such as:
    • whole grain breads, such as whole wheat or rye
    • whole grain, high-fiber cereal
    • cooked cereal such as oatmeal, grits, hominy or cream of wheat
    • rice, pasta, dal, tortillas
    • cooked beans and peas, such as pinto beans or black-eyed peas
    • potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash
    • low-fat crackers, snack chips, pretzels and light popcorn
  4. And then in the other small section, put your protein such as:
    • chicken or turkey without the skin
    • fish such as tuna, salmon, cod or catfish
    • other seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab or mussels
    • lean cuts of beef and pork such as sirloin or pork loin
    • tofu, eggs, low-fat cheese
  5. Add a serving of fruit, a serving of low fat dairy or both as your meal plan allows.
  6. Choose healthy fats in small amounts. For cooking, use oils. For salads, some healthy additions are nuts, seeds, avocado and vinaigrettes.
  7. To complete your meal, add a low-calorie drink like water, unsweetened tea or coffee

See more at: www.diabetes.org and www.choosemyplate.gov

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Sean’s Favorite Baked Corned Beef

My husband, Sean (and I!), LOVED this corned beef I made for St. Patrick’s Day! So simple to make and so so so flavorful and tender. Try with my favorite Cabbage & Potato Bake! Perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal. And, if you have any leftovers (we did not…) make homemade grilled reubens with the leftover corned beef. 

corned

Ingredients:
3 lbs pre-packaged raw corned beef
black pepper, to taste
salt-free seasoning blend, to taste
1/4 cup hot sweet mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar Continue reading

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Cabbage, Potato & Bacon Bake

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This recipe is the BEST side dish to corned beef. Tender cabbage, potatoes, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon. What more can you ask for? Caution: I only make once a year… all in moderation!! 

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Ingredients:
1 cabbage (I look for a medium-small one)
2-3 baking potatoes (depending on size)
6oz bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
cracked black pepper, to taste
1 can chicken broth Continue reading

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Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

One of my favorite vegetable side dishes! I love the crispy edges and the bold flavors produced by roasting in a hot oven. Cauliflower is another great vegetable to cook in a similar way. 

brussels

Ingredients:
1 pound Brussels Sprouts
2 Tbsp Extra-Virigin Olive Oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste (I usually use 1/4 tsp of each)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, as desired) Continue reading

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“Healthified” No Bake Cookies

Chocolate, peanut butter, bananas, oats… what more could you ask for? These delicious fudgy cookies are a snap to throw together and satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way! The flaxseeds add in fiber and heart healthy fats. 

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 small very ripe banana, smashed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 – 1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup low-fat milk
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts,  optional Continue reading

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“Healthified” Shepherd’s Pie

Another warm comfort food inspired “healthified” dish. Make this dish less starchy by mashing cauliflower into the potatoes – you can’t even tell! I like to add in more vegetables than the traditional peas & corn.. mix in whatever veggies you have in the house! This comforting, creamy, hearty (and healthy!) dish won’t leave you feeling guilty after you reach for seconds. 

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Ingredients:
2 large potatoes, chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 small head cauliflower, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2/3 cup low fat milk
3 Tbsp butter, divided
salt & pepper
1 lb lean ground turkey (or lean beef)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 can chicken broth
2 cups frozen vegetable medley (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans, etc) Continue reading

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Steak Tips with a Mushroom Gravy

Sometimes on a chilly night, warm comfort food is a must. Try this quick & easy meal tonight to warm you up from the inside out. Serve with a fresh vegetable salad for a complete and filling meal. 

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Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
cooking spray
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs Continue reading

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