4. As Nature Intended
Eating 5 or more servings of vegetables a day can seem like a lot until you realize that a serving size for vegetables is half a cup and 5 cups worth equals only 21/2 cups. That’s the size of a fresh green salad with a side of broccoli and carrots. Not very much when you consider the amount of sliced pizza you had for last night’s dinner. Nuts are another hot topic, because some unsympathetic food scientist made 6 almonds or 6 walnuts a serving size. However, a quarter cup of almonds (about 12) weighs in at 206 calories and almost 20 grams of fat. Now, if you had to crack and shell those almonds you would be done after the requisite six. Something to remember when serving seeds and nuts is always count or measure out what you need and put the rest away or you will soon be wearing them on your hips and thighs.
5. Serving Size Suggestions
Keep a half-cup measure on your counter for the next week and use to serve your meals. This helps you see just what a half-cup serving of food looks like for future reference.
Follow the serving size recommendations and enjoy a wide variety of whole foods and notice how you feel after a few weeks.
Use the following chart to get you started:
- ½ cup cooked whole grains or pasta
- 1-cup cereal
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ bagel
- 1 piece of fresh fruit
- ¼ cup dried fruit
- ¾ cup fruit juice
- ½ cup fresh vegetables
- ½ cup beans or legumes
- 3-4 ounces animal protein (poultry, fish, meat)
- 1 egg
- 1-tablespoon nut butter
- 6 almonds or 12 walnut halves
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds
- ½ cup tofu or tempeh
- 1-teaspoon miso
- 1-cup non-dairy or dairy milk
- ½ cup ice cream or frozen dessert