“How to Build a Healthy Plate”


Whether you’re trying to build your weekly menu plan or just one healthy plate at a buffet, the question of building a healthy plate comes into play.

Although there are many schools of thought, I think the mainstay is that there should be some GREENS on your plate.  If this is tough for you, whatever it takes to get the greens to your stomach, you should do. (My husband used to douse them in BBQ sauce, but it worked).  Greens should be present at every meal.  They make your body alkaline and that’s the way your body likes it in order to function at optimal level.

*Greens: any green leafy vegetable like Romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach, arugula, etc.

For myself, I make sure to have a SALAD of FRESH GREENS to start my meal, no matter what I’m having.  Then as I eat my main course, I can either include more vegetables (Amen!), or omit them.  Either way, I’m guaranteed to have my greens in.

After the salad, I tend to make HALF of my dinner, or lunch plate filled with vegetables.  The other half can be whatever you like, i.e., chicken, fish, beef, pizza, etc.  Ideally there is a protein present, but be sure to get the VEGGIES in.  If HALF your plate or more is vegetable, you are probably on the right track!

I bring this up today because my sister-in-law mentioned to me how she was looking forward to a particular chicken pot pie they serve at buffet she would be attending.  She went on to say that she would feel guilty eating it now that she had my buffet tips in hand.

While I don’t recommend chicken pot pie daily, if it is something you are looking forward to go ahead and eat it.  All you have to do is pair it with a giant green salad.  It doesn’t negate poor food choices, but it does make them easier to digest and makes you feel fuller too.  Not only that, but you will be gaining tons of nutrients, so you are promoting good health.  And I know as well as you if you avoid the pot pie you’ve been craving, you are more likely to “go off the rails” somewhere else in your day.


Why not enjoy the indulgence you’ve been dreaming about to satiate the craving, AND, make the indulgence a healthier choice by the addition of greens.


If you do indulge, make sure the indulgent item’s portion size is smaller than the portion of GREENS.  Also, be patient with yourself.  The longer you eat the greens, the less you will have the cravings, but it’s a process.  The least helpful thing you can do if you do indulge is judge it.  You made the choice, so just live with it and move on. No need to dwell on it.  Tomorrow will be better! (I ABSOLUTELY have days when I CHOOSE to eat the “no no” food anyway because I want it. I’m human too.  The next day, I get back on track.)

The same is true when you are menu planning for your week.  If you have an insatiable craving for spaghetti and meatballs, maybe you should have it one night.  Just be sure to pair it with some salad and maybe even a side vegetable.  And make sure the vegetable takes up more of your plate than the spaghetti. Alternately, you could deconstruct the spaghetti from the meatballs and put the meatballs on your salad.  Or just eat the meatballs at one meal with your greens.  And at another meal pair just the spaghetti with your greens.  Stretch the meal, stretch your buck, and promote your health.

You get it?

What will you add greens to?  Will you add salad and a side of veggies? Will you just add salad?  Will you make half your plate greens?

Show me how on Instagram and Twitter by hashtagging #ShapedBySherri #GreenHalf

Good luck!  Let me know if you need help!  I’m happy to break down any meals you want to run by me!