As much and I want to be eating from BARE Lean 100% of the time, sometimes I just don't! Life happens, events happen, lunches are forgotten at home (more times than I'd like to admit haha)... you get the jist! But the best thing is, BARE is about balanced and realistic eating, which includes all of these things! All the reasons why I preach following the BARE principles... so YOU can learn how to apply them in every day life.
So when I'm making myself a BARE Lean inspired plate that isn't from the guide itself, I follow a very simple (but very special) method to make sure I'm still getting what I need, and using my judgement around portions sizes.
All you'll need to start is your usual-sized plate that you've been plating up your BARE Lean main meals with.
By now you've learnt how full your plate/container gets with a BARE Lean meal.. so the best way to (generally-speaking) replicate your portion size, is to use that same plate. Not only is it the simplest way for you to portion-size correctly for your body, but it also makes sure you're not over-eating!
Once you've got your plate, follow these 5 (very simple) steps...
1. Load Up Your Vegetables + Salads
Your vegetables and salads should take up 1 half of your plate and should include a range of different veggies! Mixed lettuce, capsicum, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, spinach.. anything and EVERYTHING that isn't considered a starch-vegetable can absolutely be piled high here. Getting lots of different coloured vegetables in your week will mean you're getting your range of essential nutrients included too!
2. Get Your Carbohydrates In!
Your carbohydrates should take up roughly 1 quarter of your plate. These can include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, polenta, cous cous, potatoes, pasta, wholegrain bread or wraps, anything! Try to choose wholegrain options where possible, but otherwise the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing!
3. Add Your Protein
Your protein should take up 1 quarter of your plate. Mine looks like more than a quarter, but I assure you it's because they're on skewers haha! The beef by itself only takes up a quarter of my plate 😊 Choose lean protein options (without fat) where possible, similarly if vegetarian, try to choose substitutes that are lower in fat. Options like lean meat, chicken breast, tofu, white beans, lentils, etc. Remember you don't have to follow a vegetarian diet to try things like beans or tofu for protein - these are AMAZING for adding more variety into your meals across the week!
4. Add Your Flavours
Dried herbs, fresh herbs, ginger, garlic, chili, spices, vinegars, stocks, sauces, a squeeze of lemon or lime.. the limit doesn't exist with how much flavour you can add! Some combinations do an AMAZING job at creating some pretty incredible flavours.. Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, etc.. so many flavour-options! My usual go-to is to keep it simple with lemon, oregano, salt & pepper. And when I cook my grains, I LOVE to cook them in some stock to make them 1000x more interesting to eat. Keep in mind if you're using shelf-sauces to flavour.. be mindful of how much you're using in 1 go, as some of them can be pretty energy dense.. which if that's the case, enjoy in moderation rather than in large quantities!
5. Include Your Healthy Fats
As a general 'rule of thumb' to follow for liquid healthy fats .. look at your thumb. You'll want to aim the portion-size of your healthy fats to be the approximate size from the tip of your thumb, to the start of your thumb's knuckle. Keep in mind that healthy fats doesn't just mean a drizzle of olive oil over a salad (although it can be!), but it can also mean including chopped nuts, seeds, etc. Or it could mean a small serving of avocado or sprinkled feta (more than your thumb haha)! It amazes me how frequently healthy fats are avoided, but let me tell you, they are SO essential for a nutritionally-balanced meal.
Above all, make sure you're including variety. Eating brown rice is GREAT. But I want you to be flexible and have loads of variety in your diet - that's what makes it fun! The same goes for proteins, veggie, healthy fats, etc.
I hope this helps you to navigate your way around building a BARE Lean inspired meal when you're away from your usual routine, or even just choosing what to put on your plate at a family gathering. Remember to always listen to your body and your natural hunger cues.. this means listening and tunning in with your body to eat mindfully and stopping when you feel full.
If you don't have BARE Lean and are keen to start, we're having a Cyber Week Sale RIGHT NOW where you can get 20% off BARE Lean! Just enter code CYBER20 at checkout to redeem! (discount ends Mon 30 Nov @ midnight ACDT)