Ever notice that whether you're in a chain storefront type of eatery or a better quality restaurant: proportions are heavy on the starches, proteins, and fats (usually in that order, not always); skimpy on the veggies and unsugared fruits?
Something just made me think about how much my view of what a meal IS has changed!
What started this train of thought is that I just finished reading a friend's blog. She described meal options at a restaurant; the smallest steak was 8 oz!! Yikes: I don't eat that much red meat in two weeks combined. To think it was the smallest size... wow. We talk about 'portion distortion', but not only are the amounts too much; the balance is usually way off the mark for healthy balance too! When the steak is 8 oz, the chances are that not many restaurants would want to serve enough veggies and fruits to equal half of that 'plate' and another equivalent-to-8-oz of grains. Yikes: you'd have to serve dinner on a large serving platter! Oh my...
I always think of protein/meat as a SIDE order these days.
Used to forget the veggies and now forget the meat/protein!
Weird side-effect of Sparking?
The truth is that I used to 'plan a meal' by deciding on the meat. The 'starches' were next important and veggies an afterthought: always there, but not a 'big deal' in the planning stage. Used little to no salt.... but! did use plenty of salted butter! My salads wore a 'healthy' capping of creamy Marie's chuncky blue cheese dressing most of the time. Wow. Was that really ME??
Now, my choices at home are from a totally revamped kitchen supply! Yup, proportions and balances on my plate these days are quite a different scene from those of yesteryear!
Planning a meal is so different, not just because of what is available, but also because of how I approach the plan!
I decide on the veggies first; they are the most prominent feature on my plate. Then I think of the protein.... which is usually not meat at all; lots of beans, quinoa, yogurts, egg-based concoctions (even these have more veggies than eggs!)... etc. There are always at least two varieties of olive oil on hand, one for cooking and the premium that is on salads. There are no manufactured salad dressings in my kitcen and haven't been for over a year; even the 60-calorie and 10-calorie ones are history, because I like to drizzle EVOO on the greens, toss well (it makes the greens taste better!), then add herbs and vinegar. Oh yuh: I keep dark balsamic in two types - cheaper and better; tarragon vinegar is always ready; white balsamic is best on veggies when the browning would be less appealing.
The less white and brown in a meal the better; maybe a motto describing my approach to a meal is: "Color that plate!"
Wouldn't it be nice if
almost every restaurant (good quality, not chain)
typically offered (as their small size) 3-4 oz protein
.... and prepared all meals in a 'bikini plate' proportioned balance?
Hmmm....are you "there" with me?
Or is that 8 oz steak still just soooo tempting???