It might seem as though I’ve got a shortcut when it comes to healthy eating – living with a vegan should make that simple, right? Well, there’s a growing selection of vegan (and gluten-free!) processed, snack, and prepared foods, folks. Just because a meal is meatless doesn’t make it balanced and omnivores like me have to think about more than eating fewer animal products.
Now, we do try to keep balance in mind across our meals, but it can take a little planning and some inspiration. Initiatives like Half Your Plate can help in both departments. Their site has guidelines, advice, and recipes to motivate you to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
I became aware of their campaign when they partnered with Food Bloggers of Canada for a blogger contest on Instagram, inspiring me to share some of my less-than-perfectly-lit meals. (Sorry, Instagram.)
For me, it served as a reminder that a wide range of meals qualify as Half Your Plate meals, which makes healthy eating feel a lot more attainable. It’s variety and moderation that count – a kale-stuffed ricotta tart tonight; a vegan Ribollita last week; an almost entirely locally-sourced chicken dinner the week before. Fill in the gaps with salads, smoothies, and roasted veg from whatever is at its peak at the fresh markets – maybe you don’t have to worry about that frozen vegan (and gluten-free!) pizza you had for movie night on the weekend.
I’d like to hear how you fill half your plate: Do you steam big bunches of spinach and throw them in a stirfry? Are green smoothies your thing? Do you, like me, secretly feel that jam-filled sandwich cookies should count?