How to Plate Like an Athlete
As important as it is to focus on WHAT you're eating, it's also important to focus on HOW MUCH you're eating. Recently, for breakfast I've been making what I call a "Macro Plate", perfectly portioned amounts of each essential macronutrient - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Macronutrients are nutrients we need in large amounts in our diet. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, things that help our body operate in an optimal state - which are just as important as the big stuff! A lot of times, our macronutrient sources will also provide micronutrients, but sometimes you have to make a conscious effort to ensure you're getting enough colour (fruits and vegetables) in your daily meals.
Now back to these Macro Plates! Think of it like an equation, and you can swap things in and out depending on what you feel like. For example, I've been on a bit of an avocado kick so I've wanted to incorporate half an avocado along side my carbs and protein. Some mornings I pair it with some Applegate turkey sausage, and sometimes it's grilled chicken. For the carbohydrates, I switch between a baked sweet potato, oatmeal or fruit. You can also do a couple eggs, oatmeal and a scoop of nut butter. You can really use this for any meal, but I often refer to breakfast because it really is the most important meal of the day!
Here is a chart of some athlete superfoods that are generally my go-to items for each macro- and micronutrient.
Here is a diagram I use for my athletes of how to plate like an athlete.
Note: the fats could include the oil you cook with, so it may not necessarily take up a 1/4 of your plate, but you're still ingesting it!
Sometimes it won't always be a perfect quarter of a plate, but I just wanted to give a visual to see the breakdown! What's important is that you get a healthy balance of both macro- and micronutrients while eating things you enjoy in controlled portions. There are so many different combos for these Macro Plates - you really just need to find what works best for you, that will aid in recovery, fuel, and efficiency of your body's functions.
Remember, whether you are an athlete in sport or an athlete in life you have to FUEL yourself to perform!