The Concept of Plate Shifting

The FDA and USDA have long regulated our food, set industry standards and set forth nutrition guidelines by offering therecommended daily allowances (RDA). First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched a food plate graphic which replaces the original Food Guide Pyramid (first launched in 1916 but more highly recognized in 1992). The new food plate graphic reflects the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which promote measures like avoiding oversize portions, switching to fat-free or low-fat milk and opting for water over sugary drinks. While the picture featured on the left provides a clearer and better description than offered by the old food pyramid, it leaves room for interpretation and still needs many adjustments which Kitchen of Life addresses in our programs.



What is Plate Shifting?

Plate Shifting is a concept that attempts to introduce new foods to the plate not found in the category of meat, diary, grains or fruits but in the category of vegetables; more specifically – leafy greens. The shift comes in direct proportion to the meat and starch. In order to make more room for the vegetables, something needs to move.. and that means the meat and the white starch. The suggestion is for the meat to be eaten in smaller portions, more aptly to the size of your palm. The white starch (including that yummy baked potato) shifts to a whole grain. The purpose of plate shifting is to achieve a healthier way of eating by introducing a raw vegetable side dish while minimizing the meat and grain portion. Although Kitchen of Life assists with vegan prep, we encourage families to move towards plate shifting instead of radically adjusting their diet by expecting the elimination of meat. In using the above guidelines, we strongly suggest the elimination of dairy during meals, shifting the protein portion, minimizing the grain portion and adding more vegetables. A typical client working with Kitchen of Life would be encouraged to follow the guidelines provided by Dr. Joel Fuhrman as their first steps (pictured here) in our Level 1 program.

Transitioning from the new USDA guidelines to Dr. Fuhrmans’ Food Plate is a relatively new concept for many. It involves time, educational instruction, assisted grocery shopping trips and in-home food prep to ensure success. More often than not,families have difficulty in figuring out how to fit healthy food preparation into their already busy lives and are usually confused about what is truly healthy due to the conflicting and inaccurate information portrayed in the media and on the Internet. Some families are satisfied with the change encountered with Level 1 and end here.

When individuals and families move to Kitchen of Life’s Level 2 program, the goal moves from Dr. Furhman’s food plate towards a purely plant-based plate, thanks to graphics provided by Plant Based Dietician’s Food Plate (shown here). Topics such as soaking, sprouting, dehydrating, sprout purchasing and wheatgrass juicing are offered, coupled with a thorough and complete hands-on approach to preparing delicious vegan dishes!

For those client’s interested in moving towards a raw and living foods lifestyle which consists primarily of 85% raw and 15% cooked, as found in our Level 3 program, Kitchen of Life adheres to the principles followed at Hippocrates Health Institute and models the food pyramid featured below.

As you can see, moving from a traditional Standard American Diet to a an 85% raw and living foods diet is a giant step for many families, so Kitchen of Life abides by the practice of plate shifting and a tiered approach to the next level. Our goal is to achieve a result that is not only satisfying and rewarding but, most importantly, attainable.

For some, the current USDA plate guideline is not an accurate depiction of what a typical meal looks like. A typical meal might consist of 75% meat and starch while vegetables, mainly cooked, comprise the next 25% . Not featured here are nightly desserts or fast food dinners on the run. The clients are able to set their own goals…and we are here to help!

Change does not happen overnight; it take practice, patience and time. Even more powerful are the emotional attachments to the very foods we love, which can be very hard to shed! We strive to overcome these roadblocks, and through Kitchen of Life’s exposure to education, experiences, hands-on assistance and plate shifting, change can
happen for you!

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