Your week 2 challenge is to make meals using The Plate Method. The Plate Method is an easy tool you can use to plan healthy and balanced meals that are calorie-controlled, too!
Fill half your plate (or bowl) with a non-starchy vegetable.
Fill one-quarter of the plate or bowl with a lean protein.
Fill one-quarter of the plate or bowl with a high-fiber starch, such as a whole grain or starchy vegetable.
Include a small amount of healthy fat.
Add a small serving of fresh or unsweetened frozen fruit.
How to complete the challenge (and stay on track)
Complete Challenge 1.
Use the Plate Method to make at least 1 meal this week. Check out the resources below for recipe ideas, but don’t worry about following them perfectly. Share a photo with your coach to get feedback!
By next weekend, let your coach know how many meals you made with The Plate Method. If you want an extra challenge, see if you can make 5 meals.
What Is The Plate Method?
Write down your Plate Method meals using the table below as a guide, or take photos of your five meals. Share them with your coach to complete the challenge.
1. Fill half your plate (or bowl) with a non-starchy vegetable, such as…
Collard or mustard greens
Zucchini or yellow squash
Mung bean sprouts
Red, yellow, orange, or green bell pepper
2. Fill one-quarter of the plate or bowl with a lean protein, such as…
Lean or extra lean ground turkey or beef
Skinless chicken or turkey breast or leg
Fresh tuna, salmon, tilapia, trout, bass, or other fish
Canned tuna, mackerel, herring, salmon, or other fish
Fresh or canned shrimp, mussels, oysters, or other shellfish
Beans, such as garbanzo, pinto, black, navy, or kidney
Low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese
Split peas or cowpeas
Edamame (green soybeans)
1 egg, 4 egg whites, or ½ cup of liquid egg substitute
¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1.5 ounces of reduced fat hard cheese, such as mozzarella, swiss, cheddar, jack, or muenster
2 ounces of feta cheese
6 ounces of plain non-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 ounce of peanuts or nuts
3. Fill one-quarter of the plate or bowl with a high-fiber starch, such as…
½ to 1 cup of cooked oatmeal
1 to 2 ounces of whole-grain bread, pita, tortilla, English muffin, mini bagel, or wrap
½ cup of cooked barley, bulgur, amaranth, brown rice
½ cup cooked whole-wheat pasta
½ to 1 cup wnsweetened whole-grain cereal
½ cup of cooked:
Sweet potato or yam
1 cup of cooked winter squash
½ cup of cooked or low-sodium canned beans, such as pinto, navy, black, garbanzo, or other beans
½ cup of cooked lentils
½ cup of cooked split peas, blackeye peas, cowpeas
4. Include a small amount of healthy fat, such as…
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of canola or other vegetable oil, such as sunflower, safflower, or corn
1 to 2 tablespoons of nut or peanut butter
½ to 1 ounce of peanuts, nuts, or seeds
1 tablespoon of tahini
¼ cup of hummus
¼ cup of avocado
2 tablespoons of vinaigrette salad dressing
5. Sometimes add a small serving of fresh or unsweetened frozen fruit, such as…
Recipe Ideas For Plate Method Meals
Breakfast bowl with 3 ounces of meatless breakfast sausage, ¼ cup sliced avocado, ¾ cup fresh fruit, and ½ cup of beans or cooked quinoa.
2 small whole-grain waffles topped with ½ cup of fat-free cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, and ¾ cup of sliced peaches.
Scrambled eggs made with1 egg and 2 egg whites or 4 egg whites (½ cup egg substitute) scrambled with 1 cup of chopped vegetables, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, or spinach, plus 1 slice of whole-wheat toast spread with mashed avocado.
6 ounces of plain fat-free yogurt mixed with ½ cup of blueberries, ⅓ cup of oats, and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts.
1 small (taco-sized) whole-grain tortilla with 2 cooked egg whites, vegetables sauteed in olive oil, 1 ounce of fat-free cheddar cheese.
Oatmeal made by stirring ½ cup of oats and 1 cup of fresh spinach into boiling water, and adding ¼ cup of low-fat parmesan or other cheese.
Greek salad with 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce, ½ cup of diced vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, and/or onion, 2 ounces of low-fat feta cheese, dried oregano, and dressing with 2 teaspoons of olive oil plus lemon juice, black pepper, and garlic.
3 ounces of pan-seared skinless chicken breast made with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, served with ½ cup of pureed sweet potato topped with 1 ounce goat or parmesan cheese, plus 1 cup of watermelon.
Salad with spinach or dark lettuce, ½ cup of vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, or mushrooms, ½ cup of corn or peas, ½ cup of tangerine segments, sliced strawberries, or raspberries, 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing or olive oil-based dressing, and 3 ounces of diced chicken breast or canned tuna.
Pasta or other whole-grain salad with ½ cup cooked whole-wheat penne pasta (or other cooked whole grain, such as brown rice or quinoa), 2 ounces of feta cheese, ½ cup of diced tomatoes, 1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves, and 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing.
Vegetable soup with low-sodium broth, 1.5 cups of vegetables, ½ cup of tofu, chicken, fish, or beans, and ½ cup of barley, brown rice, or other whole grain, plus ½ cup of honeydew melon.
Pea soup made with 1 cup of split peas and 1 cup of carrots, celery, and onions, plus 1 slice of whole-wheat toast spread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
Casserole with 1 cup of broccoli and/or cauliflower florets, ½ cup of low-fat shredded cheese, ½ cup of cooked brown rice, and topped with 2 tablespoons of almond meal.
English muffin pizzas with whole-grain English muffin, ¼ cup of tomato sauce, 1.5 ounces of shredded mozzarella, and diced vegetable toppings, served with ½ cup of fruit salad with 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds or peanuts.
1 whole-grain pita spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus and filled with 3 ounces of cooked chicken or ½ cup of garbanzo beans and ¾ cup of vegetables such as lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes, or grilled eggplant or zucchini.
Chili made with ½ cup beans, 3 ounces of turkey or soy protein, and tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, and onions.
3 ounces of roasted fish served with 1 cup of steamed broccoli and ½ cup of cooked quinoa mixed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Burger with whole-grain bun, 3 ounces of ground turkey or veggie burger and lettuce and tomatoes, served with baked sweet potato and zucchini “fries” sprayed with olive oil.
Stir fry with 1 ½ cups of vegetables (such as broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, or mushrooms), 3 ounces shrimp (or fish, chicken, tofu, or tempeh), ½ ounce of cashews, teriyaki sauce or low-sodium soy sauce, ½ cup brown rice
Baked whole or sliced sweet potato with 1.5 ounces of blue or other cheese and 1 ounce of walnuts, plus a side salad.
1.5 cups of steamed vegetables with 1.5 tablespoons of favorite dressing, plus 3 ounces of chicken or fish and 1 small white potato.
½ cup cooked whole-wheat spaghetti plus ½ cup of cooked spiralized zucchini or carrots, tossed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves, and 2 ounces of reduced-fat parmesan cheese
½ cup of cooked whole-wheat penne tossed with ½ cup tomato sauce and 3 ounces of lean ground turkey, served with a small green salad or steamed vegetables.
Tuna salad with 3 ounces of tuna mixed with non-fat Greek yogurt and chopped tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, diced onions, and sliced celery, plus 1 cup of fresh fruit salad with ½ ounce of walnuts.
Optional Tracking Sheet
f you’d like precise feedback from your coach on your meals, use this table to keep track of your Plate Method meals and send it back to your coach.
Date and Time/Meal
Tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions
Low-fat cottage cheese and fat-free mozzarella shreds