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Mary Hartley’s Plate for National Nutrition Month


This is Gypsy Soup, Cheesy Cornbread, and fat-free milk. It is a typical lunch or dinner.  I don’t distinguish between the two. Most of my food is eaten from a bowl, not a plate. I typically eat soups, ethnic dishes and full meal salads; I rarely eat meat with a side and I cook from scratch.

If I dismantled and plated this, the vegetables would take up at least half the plate (tomatoes, onions, sweet potato, pepper, and green beans), with protein from the chickpeas (as well as cheese, yogurt and milk), and whole grain from the cornbread, would each contribute 25 percent or less. The milk glass is 4-ounces because I don’t like a lot. There are 560 calories and 15 grams of protein in the meal; I need about 1600 calories and 38 grams of protein a day. The energy nutrients are distributed in a heart-healthy pattern (58% carbohydrate – 15% protein – 27% fat).

I’ve been making Gypsy Soup since it first appeared in The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It contains turmeric, a plus. And that little piece of Cheesy Cornbread has twice as many calories as the soup. I took one third and then sent the rest off with my daughter’s boyfriend.

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape,” focusing on MyPlate. We invited nutrition and fitness professionals to share their typical plate to give you a glimpse of how some of the healthiest people in the country eat on a daily basis. See the series.

March 1st, 2012

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