1. Food Groups
Some work is required for every meal, in preparation and cleanup. This keeps most everyday meals simple. Most meals are just one or a couple of dishes. And most dishes are just a couple of food groups. It is unlikely that any plate will contain all the food groups, except feasts and holidays, like buffet and restaurant meals.
In the daily meal cycle of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack, there is opportunity for either simplicity or variety of food groups, and a simplicity or variety of dishes, including both raw and cooked preparations.
My plate typically is 1 pound of 50% starch and 50% either fruit or veggies, for 350 calories. (Plate = 1 lb; 50% starch and 50% fruit or veggie; 350 calories.)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack total 4 pounds, for total 1400 calories. (B+L+D+S = 4 lb; 1400 calories.)
Foods are grouped into categories of healthy plants and tolerated animals. These are whole foods. Plant foods are sorted by light, moderate and heavy energy density. This is the amount of calories of energy per pound of food. Moderate foods provide just the right amount of energy for their weight, while light and heavy foods need to be balanced against each other. Animal foods are only mentioned for completeness.
1. Fruit (Light, 200 calories per pound)
2. Veggies (Light, 200 calories per pound)
3. Starches (Moderate, 500 calories per pound)
4. Bakery (Heavy, 1000-1800 calories per pound)
5. Nuts & Seeds (Heavy, 2000-4000 calories per pound)
6. Meat, Fish
- Fruit has abundant fiber and water, and low sugar-based energy density. Fruits include apples, bananas and oranges.
- Green and yellow veggies have abundant fiber and water, and low starch-based energy density. Veggies include onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Starches have abundant starch and less fiber and water than green and yellow veggies, and moderate starch-based energy density. Soaked and cooked grains have moderate energy density, despite high energy density if dry. Starches include rice, wheat, corn, potato and sweet potato.
- Bakery is dried foods, and high starch-based energy density. Bakery includes breads, crackers, rice cakes and popcorn.
- Animal foods have no fiber or starch, and high fat and protein-based energy density. Dairy also has high sugar-based energy density.
Dishes are the heart of meal planning. The major dish categories uses a common method of preparation, whether raw, sauteed, simmered, or baked. Within a category each recipe records a unique combination of ingredients and preparation.
1. Salad (200)
2. Sauce (200)
3. Soup (350)
4. Stew (350)
5. Combo (350)
6. Starch (500)
7. Bakery (1000)
A typical combination is 50% starch with 50% either veggies or fruit. For example, oatmeal and fruit soaked in water is roughly 50% starch and 50% fruit.
- My soups are 50% veggies and 50% starch. For example, split pea soup is roughly 50% onion, carrot, celery and 50% pea and potato.
- My stews are 50% veggies and 50% starch. For example, cauliflower potato curry is roughly 50% onion tomato and cauliflower and 50% potato.
- My plate typically is 1 pound of 50% starch and 50% either veggies or fruit, for 350 calories. (Plate = 1 lb; 50% starch and 50% veggie or fruit; 350 calories.)
Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - Snack
B: Rolled Oats Apple and Banana Soaked with Water
Note this is essentially a raw grain fruit salad. Starch is 500 calories per pound, and fruit is 200 calories per pound, so breakfast averages 350 calories per pound.
L: Cucumber Tomato Green Onion Tangerine Salad with Lime Rice Vinegar Dressing
L: Split Pea Sweet Potato Soup
Note salad is raw veggies, not lettuce. Salad is 200 calories per pound.
Soup is veggies at 200 calories per pound and starch at 500 calories per pound, for average of 350 calories per pound. Subtoal for lunch is 275 calories per pound.
D: Onion Cabbage Grape Sauce
D: Potato Oat Dumplings
Sauce is 200 calories per pound. Starch is 500 calories per pound. Subtotal for dinner is 350 calories per pound.
Total is only 1000 calories. A couple of snacks, either fruit or microwaved potato chips, brings my daily total closer to 1500 calories. Or inclusion of some baked goods.