Health & Food

My Personal Food Pyramid

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Yeah it’s Friday! Yes, to me it’s Friday because I get tomorrow off, but before you get jealous I then I have to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday as usual. But either way, Wednesdays are always good days.

Kalli, from Fit and 40 Something, recently wrote a blog titled, “My Pyramid of Success”. I loved this post and thought it would be a great idea to write one of my own. Generally speaking, I live by the following mantras/guidelines/rules/philosophies (either word works!):

1) Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
(Do this 90% of the time, the other 10% of the time, live to eat!)

2) There is no such thing as a bad food, only bad food patterns.

3) Always plan meals/snacks around vegetables and/or fruits.

I like to follow a modified Mediterranean diet, which means I like to use meat/poultry and other animal proteins as a garnish (such as the picture below, which is my egged spaghetti squash creation).

My own personal pyramid sort of resembles the pyramid below, which I took from iStockPhotos (I was too cheap to buy it, hence the giant iStockPhoto!)

So the picture above describes my pyramid in a photo, but listed below is a bit more detail. I’ve listed the “food groups” (I’ve sort of created my own groups) in descending order according to how many ounces I eat each day. I have the name of the macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein, fat) listed underneath the food group, followed by an estimate of how many ounces I eat each day. Hopefully this will help educate everyone as to what is found in each of the food groups. For example, many people assume carbohydrates are only found in bread and pasta, but as you’ll see they are actually found in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains.

FRUITS AND VEGGIES (including beans and tempeh)
(carbohydrates and sometimes protein)
40-56 ounces; equivalent to 5-7 cups, per day
(tempeh sloppy joes!)

Dairy/Dairy Alternatives
(carbohydrates (lactose) and protein)
10 ounces yogurt, 8 fluid ounces almond milk; equivalent to a little over 2 cups, per day

fish, egg whites, eggs, beef, chicken, pork
(protein)
~4-5 ounces; equivalent to a little more than a deck of cards, per day

Whole Grains
(carbohydrates and protein)
4-5 ounces; equivalent to ~ 5 pieces of regular sized bread, per day

Oils/nuts/seeds
(fat in all, protein in nuts and seeds)
~ 1-2 ounces; equivalent to 6 tsp. oil, or 3 T nut butter or 1/2 cup nutsSupplements
Everyday: Fish oil, multivitamin, vitamin D
Every other day: magnesium and B12
~2 weeks before my period: 600 mg calcium, and a magnesium every day

Sweets and beer
(carbohydrates)
~ 12 ounces beer 3-4 days per week
A small dessert just about every day (homemade low-fat ice cream and a piece of 85% dark chocolate)

As you may notice this does not exactly follow the USDA guidelines, but what can I say? This works for me! I feel great and I enjoy every single thing I eat. Isn’t that the best “diet plan”?

QUESTION: What are some food rules/mantras/guidelines you live by? What would your pyramid look like?

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