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The Nutritionista Snack Plate: Your No-Cook Way to a Healthy, Satisfying Meal

Posted Dec 13 2010 9:04am

As I was chatting with one of my Your Nutritionista Consulting clients last night, I realized it was high-time I shared one of my most useful meal secrets with y’all: the Snack Plate. It doesn’t seem like anything special, but many of my clients have used it as a way to make sure they’re staying on track even when they’re totally frazzled and busy.

The Snack Plate requires no cooking, takes about five minutes (total) to pull together, and is totally satisfying in lieu of a cooked meal. Here’s how it works, in graphic form:

Notice I’m not proscribing serving sizes for anything — that’s up to you. But here are some of your best options to fill each of the Snack Plate elements. Note that protein and fat are often interchangeable (e.g., cheese has both fat AND protein.

Protein

  • Deli meat (not necessarily low-fat)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cheese (higher quality is best!)
  • Full-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese

Fat (make sure it’s unprocessed, folks!)

  • Nuts
  • Nut butter
  • Avocado
  • Coconut (creamed, flesh, etc.)

Veggies:

  • Baby carrots
  • Cherry tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Etc. Any raw veggie will work!

Fruits:

  • Apple (goes great with nut butter if that’s one of your fats!)
  • Clementine/tangerine
  • Pear
  • Grapes
  • Etc. Any fruit will work!

Now, the KEY to the Snack Plate is putting all the individual elements in one place (uh, on a plate) at once. This will make them feel like a more cohesive meal. If you eat them one by one, you’ll just feel like you’re snacking and there won’t be a natural endpoint. Here are a couple Snack Plate examples:

In this Snack Plate, you could dip the apple, celery, or carrots in the peanut butter, and eat the Gouda with either of the meats.

In this example, you could make mini “sandwiches” using the cucumber as a base. Add a few leaves of spinach, a scoop of guac, and some lox for a flavor explosion in your mouth! You could also sub one of the fats for some olive oil, which you could use as the base for a dressing to go on the baby spinach. Add some of that smoked duck (it’s a treat, trust), and you have yourself a real gourmet salad!

You can imagine that the possibilities with the Snack Plate are endless. Basically, now you have no excuse to get take-out. Snack Plate 4EVER!!

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