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Personalize Your Plate

Kathryn Oakes –Dietetic Intern

I personalize my plate by having it reflect what I need each day. Listening to your body is a huge part of nutrition for me. Honoring my preferences, feelings, and needs on a daily basis has taught me how to fuel my body while satisfying its cravings. Most of the time my plate looks like a colorful rainbow with vegetables, protein, fat, and carbs. But sometimes it looks like a big slice of buffalo chicken pizza (or two. It’s my favorite!). Although I do not follow any specific diet, I am always open to trying new products, ingredients and flavors. Throughout college and beyond, this has been my key to successfully navigating dining hall meal plans, preparing my own meals, and eating out with friends. Personalizing my plate is a constant work in progress, and that’s what makes it so fun!

A few staples to my diet include-

  • Almonds and Dark Chocolate Chips: I might owe my interest in nutrition to this combo. This is the first snack I remember looking into the benefits of, and the pair has been stocked in my pantry ever since! I keep these on hand for a quick snack that adds protein, magnesium, vitamin E, and a little sweetness to my day.
  • Mixed Greens: My go-to vegetable is a nice bag of mixed greens. They’re so versatile and easy to sneak into dishes for an added vitamin boost! I sauté them in oil and add to rice, eat them raw on a salad, or chop them extra thin to add to my scrambled eggs.
  • Frozen Cauliflower Rice: This would have to be my other veggie staple. Not only is it another sneaky way to get an extra boost of vitamins and fiber, but also because it makes my smoothies thick and creamy just the way I like them!
  • Lean protein(s): I keep thinly sliced chicken breasts and cod filets in my freezer so that I always have an entrée available that I can season depending on my mood! I can easily bake these on the stove or in the oven and toss them into a salad or wrap or make them the main dish.