What I Ate Wednesday… According to MyPlate {WIAW}

Hey guys, happy hump day!

This week has been more than a little crazy and I’m so excited for the weekend. Why? Because I’ll be here:

2013 southeastern collegiate fitness expo

The Southeastern Collegiate Fitness Expo! Eep! I’m so excited to go and learn tons of fitness-y things and take a million group fitness classes. Friday can’t come soon enough!

Back to the present…

(Thanks for hosting Jenn!)

This week’s What I Ate Wednesday is inspired by a recent article in the Huffington Post. The author Joe Satran, looking to clean up  his eating habits a bit, decided to tackle a week eating according to the MyPlate model promoted by the USDA.

myplate model

I personally am not a fan of the MyPlate model. I think the grain and dairy recommendations are too high and the fat allowances are relatively low. But all my nutritional knowledge comes from blogs and Google searches so I’m not really an authority on nutrition.

Since I eat pretty differently from a majority of the country (gluten-free vegetarians are a hard breed to find, maybe because we’re so difficult to feed), I wanted to see how a typical day for me compared to the MyPlate recommendations.

I created a profile, entering age, gender, height, weight and activity level to generate my daily recommendations. Then entered today’s food into their food tracker.

My Results

MyPlate food tracker results

MyPlate food tracker results

I think I failed on all fronts except for protein. Whoopsies. The saturated fat is much higher than normal because the day was a little heavy on coconut and eggs. Tasty, tasty.

The food tracker also includes a calorie count, but I didn’t want to post that because I feel like calorie talk can be triggering/controversial and I generally want to avoid that.

My Thoughts

On Dairy

I think if you’re really struggling with basic healthy eating, this could be a really helpful tool, but for myself I’m not a fan. One the recommended dairy level is a little crazy. 3 cups of dairy? I know my stomach can’t handle that much dairy, and those vegans and lactose intolerant folks seem to be getting along just fine. I realize that much of America is lacking in the calcium area, but there are plenty of other sources of calcium outside of dairy. I also think the model needs a greater emphasis on water consumption. There’s no hydration recommendation or encouragement to drink water, and water is a wee bit important.

Gimme some of dat H20.

On Fruits & Veggies

I don’t have too much to complain about here, other than I don’t like that you can go “over” on veggie consumption. In my opinion, the more veggies the merrier!

salad bar

More veggies please? Side note: getting behind me in the salad bar line is a horrible idea, you will wait for ever.

On Protein

I liked that MyPlate doesn’t have crazy protein recommendations like a lot of programs sometimes do. My protein consumption came out to about 48g today which was right on target with their recommendation. I also like that they have recommendations for plant-based protein sources as well as animal. As a vegetarian I get the protein question a lot so I’m glad they covered non-meat protein forms.

college tofu press

Oh you know, just pressing some tofu in my dorm room. Thank goodness I have a kitchen this year.

On Grains

My biggest issue with the MyPlate model was probably with grains. I know things like the Paleo diet have brought up the whole “grains are the devil” mentality. I have no qualms with healthy grains but personally I’ve noticed it’s more difficult for my body to digest. I’ve cut down on my grain consumption by a lot over the past couple weeks and I feel so much better, I have more energy than I have in a long time. But this is just me and my body, which brings me to a bigger point…

Overall

I think MyPlate is a really good guide if you’re starting from scratch. It gives you good guidelines and feedback to follow. But, I think if you’re already in a relatively healthy place with your diet, it’s better to listen to what your body wants. If eating dairy upsets your stomach, you shouldn’t eat 3 cups of it everyday. You are the best authority on your body, eat the things that make it feel good and limit the ones that don’t (unless you think diet coke and doritos make you body feel good, then maybe you should re-evaluate). And please drink some water.

almond butter love

My body loves chocolate almond butter, or at least my tongue does.

What do you think of the MyPlate?

What are your weekend plans?

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6 Comments

  1. i think it’s definitely a bit silly to expect all of america to eat the same amount of each food group. i know these are just recommendations but if someone is getting enough calcium without eating 3 cups of dairy then i don’t think they should be made to feel that they have to eat more dairy. that’s just one example. call me a cynic but with all i’ve learned about lobbying, i am not at all surprised that dairy recs are so high given the power the dairy industry has in washington. same with meat, grains…as much as i’d like to believe these recs are purely health based, i’m guessing they aren’t.

    Reply
  2. Haha I think myplate kinda sucks!

    Reply
  3. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my eating, it kind of focuses on calories but it also gives you goals for macro and micro-nutrients, and you can choose which of these you want to track. A lot of people use it for weight loss, but I think it can also be useful even if you are not looking to lose weight.
    I’m loving your blog! I recently started the process of transitioning to being a vegetarian, and I’m also blogging about it at http://cecisveggielife.wordpress.com/ if anyone would like to check it out!

    Reply
    • Congrats on becoming a vegetarian! That’s really awesome! Good luck on your transition 🙂 I’ve used MyFitnessPal before, actually I think I’ve used almost all online calorie counters there are. I’ve been using SlimKicker for a while, and I really like it.

      Reply

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