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Recently, the old food pyramid showing what foods we should eat every day was decided to be too complicated and replaced with a simpler model in the US (we already have the plate in the UK and quite possibly they nicked it from us). I’ve also been seeing with interest articles about the rise of the Dukan diet (and even wondering if I should give it a shot myself – the daily mail hyping it brought me to my senses) which is supposedly used by Kate Middleton.

Reading this article in The Guardian today reminded me about the importance of knowing what you should be eating to be healthy and also how much you should be eating. And how important it is not to lose sight of the basics of healthy eating! Which for me, will never involve any fad diet, no matter how impressive the results might be in the (very) short term.

Even though I read countless healthy living/eating blogs, work out, and consider myself (more or less) to be a healthy person, the article made me realise that I didn’t have a clear enough idea of exactly what I should be eating and how much of it is best.

I knocked up these charts below to show you what I mean. Its recommended that the amount the size of the plate is the same as the size of your two hands (place them palm down on a desk next to each other to see what I mean). For me, as for probably most people, my two hands are smaller than some of the plates of food I often eat.

I also find it incredibly helpful to have a visual guide of how much veg/protein/carbs it is I should be eating at a meal. Its a really good rule of thumb to know that if you’re eating less than half a (small) plate of vegetables/fruit with a meal, you’re not getting enough. The nutritionist also recommends having no carbs with dinner which is a stretch for me, but certainly something I’d like to try to do more. Butter bean bake and chicken salad are two examples of dinners featuring no carbs.

I’m going to be doing a series of blog posts in the next few weeks on healthy, easy to prepare dinners (and maybe lunches too!) that should hopefully mostly follow these guidelines. I’ll also be taking into account the cost of meals as including protein is important, but meat can be expensive, especially when its ethically reared.

In the meantime, I’ll be printing off these charts and pinning them up in my kitchen to keep myself reminded of the basics of healthy eating.

Have you got any great recipes or healthy dinner ideas? Let me know in the comments!