After a short hiatus from writing on here … I’m baaaack!
For those of you who know me, you know I’ve been mostly vegetarian lately (I’ll eat fish when I eat meat…so really what you’d call me is a “pescatarian” but that just sounds snobby to come out and say that, so I say mostly vegetarian). This whole process has taught me a lot about the presence of meat in the average diet, along with some common misconceptions.
A few weeks ago, while I was still living in my parents’ house, I decided to make my favorite pesto salmon (See Go-To Meals: Part 2 for that recipe). And on the side, I made baked sweet potatoes and a spinach salad topped with locally-picked strawberries and walnuts. When I cook for my parents, the deal usually is that Dad will go out and get the groceries, and I will do the cooking (pretty sweet deal if you ask me!). I told my Dad to get enough salmon for us each to have 4oz servings. (I’m going to pick on my Dad here, but the story ends well so he won’t mind.)
I get home after work, and see that there is enough for us all to have 4oz servings, but then there was an EXTRA salmon fillet!
Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: ”Dad?? What’s this extra salmon for?”
Dad: ”Well, I don’t think 4oz salmon will be enough for me, I want more.”
Me: ”Just trust me, 4oz will be plenty.”
And with uncertainty in his voice, he agreed to just trust me.
Once the meal was prepared, here’s what the plate looked like.
Half the plate was the spinach salad with sliced strawberries, a few crushed walnuts, and organic raspberry vinaigrette dressing. A quarter of the plate was our 4oz salmon, and the other quarter of the plate was a baked sweet potato. (Mom and I split a sweet potato, and my Dad had a whole one.)
Conversation after the meal:
Me: ”Dad, are you satisfied with this meal?”
Dad: ”Yes…surprisingly I am full but not OVERLY full.”
Me: ”See!!?!? I told you that you could trust me!!”
It’s amazing how we just THINK we need more meat in order to be satisfied with our meals. And to take it one step further, the actual recommended serving size for salmon is 3oz portions. We STILL had more than the recommended serving size. It’s crazy to me how sometimes people fill HALF THEIR PLATE with meat and have only a sliver of vegetables (or none at all). Very backwards.
I’ve learned so much in just the past few months. In my original salmon post, the label on the fish paper said 8oz or smaller. In the past I’d eat that as one meal! This is all a learning process, folks. Building blocks. I know better, now.
A good rule of thumb when constructing your plate is: half the plate is green vegetables, a quarter of the plate is meat, and a quarter of the plate is starch. I promise you if half your plate is vegetables, you WON’T have a problem with still being hungry when you’re done. That’s the point of having those vegetables. They are low in calories and chock full of good fiber which helps clean your body out but also gives you a full feeling without the “brick in your stomach” feeling.
I’m not saying having meat is bad. While being mostly vegetarian works for me, it may not work for you. You have to do what works best for you. BUT, stay healthy within those parameters. Construct your plate the same way even if you eat beef, chicken, etc. I promise you, you won’t have a problem with being completely full and satisfied.
Let me know how it goes for you when you try it out!
See you next Saturday,
P.S. Dad used the extra salmon for a salmon salad the next day for lunch. Healthy salmon dishes TWO days in a row! He got the “more” he wanted, but just spread over two meals! That’s what I call awesome!
About the AuthorAs a healthy food enthusiast, Sarah is committed to proving to people that it’s not hard to have a busy life and also find a way to eat healthy, delicious food. Every Saturday, Sarah shares stories about her own experiences with food, as well as recipes and tips for having a healthy kitchen. She says that if she can turn her life around and find a better relationship with food, anyone can. Learn more about Sarah on her Contributor page under the About tab. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is also the recipient of a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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@PeeDeeFoodie @TheSarahTravis Love the new blog post :). I'm a pescetarian now too but I still say vegetarian. & we're buying salmon today!