Drafting with the Cowboys – How to Draft a Plate
In case you missed it, this week AT&T Stadium will host the NFL Draft! Each team has scouted the best players to add to their roster and this weekend they will make their picks. Every position is important to the game and it is essential to choose the best players in each, not just one or two positions.
The same is true with your plate. There are lots of foods in every food group, but some are better than others in quality and nutrients. The key is to closely examine them and look for the best option. It’s like drafting a team, but instead you are drafting your plate. So, let’s take a look at how to draft a winning plate!
Draft a Carbohydrate
Carbohydrate is one of your body’s main sources of energy. Without it, you are likely to feel tired, have a headache and even feel a little light-headed. The key is to choose high fiber carbohydrates and watch your serving size. Carbohydrates digest quickly, but fiber can help it stick with you a little longer. So, look for whole grains like quinoa, couscous, farro, whole grain pasta and other whole wheat products. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash also fit here. Fruit is also a carbohydrate so it can count in this position on your plate.
Draft a Protein
Protein is essential at meals as it slows down digestion, helping you get full faster and stay full longer. Choose a lean protein (lower in saturated fat) for this position on your plate. Lean beef, chicken without the skin, pork with the fat drained off, turkey, fish, eggs, tofu and tempeh all provide you with high-quality protein.
Draft a Vegetable
Veggies are loaded with nutrients, fiber and water, making them a must for every plate! Filling half your plate with veggies is ideal so that you feel full for less calories. Each color of vegetable has a different nutrient package, so choose as many colors as you can. Veggies can be a side dish, cooked into an entrée or dished up in salad format. Be sure to watch how much butter, oil or sauces you use when cooking.
Draft a Fat
Healthy fats, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are essential in the diet. Fat yields more calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein do, which basically means you don’t need as much of it. Try to garnish your plate with fat like adding nuts to your oatmeal, avocado to a wrap, peanut butter with a snack, roasting your veggies in olive oil or choosing a fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel or tuna as your protein.
Draft a Dairy
Dairy foods like milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese are nutrient rich ways to load your plate with calcium and added protein. Just one serving of dairy provides you with approximately 25-30% of your calcium needs. At meals, you can always drink a glass of milk, but get creative and make sauces with Greek yogurt, sprinkle cheese into an entrée dish or as an addition to a sandwich or wrap.
Cottage cheese can be a protein-rich topping to a salad or eaten as a side item.
If you want a winning season, be sure to draft your plate position wisely. Each decision could make or break your game plan!