The Balanced Life: Creating On-Plate and Off Plate Nourishment
Cleanse & Detox
Detoxing is a way to cleanse your body, but it’s also a great way to reset and start fresh!
This is not just about cleaning out toxins. It’s about giving yourself the time you deserve for self-care—a crucial part of the balance that many people don't prioritize enough in their lives
Detoxing can be done at home with a juice cleanse or at the spa with a clay mask and other treatments.
This section is all about cleansing and detoxing.
Nutrition is a way of making sure you are well fed to live your best life, However it goes beyond what you eat.
For example, if your goal is to live a balanced life then don't only focus on what's on your plate but also be aware of the off-plate nourishments that you need as well!
This includes sleep, social connections and physical activity.
If one part or many parts are missing from this equation then you will feel out of balance.
This is why it's important to take the time to get attend to your off plate nourishment and explore what you enjoy in life that nourishes all parts of who you are.
One way this can be done is by scheduling social events, or even setting a timer when working to help yourself achieve the balance between on-plate and off-plate activities.
This section focused on on the importance of balancing on-plate and off-plate activities.
Having Recipes at hand when you are cooking is a great way to have more balanced nourishment in your life. This section gives you recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.
Creating On Plate and Off Plate Nourishment
The balanced life means integrating on-plate and off-plate nourishment. And what does that mean?
"What is on your plate?" and "What are you eating off your plate?" These two questions have been the foundation for a new movement in body image, beauty and wellness.
The idea is that we can't just focus on our physical appearance as if it's all there is.
The conversation should extend to what nourishes us mentally and spiritually, too, not just physically.
In this blog post, I'll share some tips for creating balance with both your on-plate nourishment (your diet) and off-plate nourishment (the rest of your life).
What is a balanced life?
A balanced life is all about utilising your on-plate and off plate nourishment.
Off plate nourishment is your energy and sustenance that comes from things not on your plate, while on plate nourishment is those things you have on your plate to meet your physical and emotional needs.
Off plate nourishment can come from various sources: friends, hobbies, exercise or self-care activities like reading for enjoyment.
All these things are important to help you feel balanced in your life because they enrich it with different perspectives and experiences.
On-plate, Nourishment is simply the food you eat.
The idea of balancing nourishment is not only about food. It's also a way to maintain balance in your life overall.
It’s important to keep this idea in mind when you are thinking about what matters most and how to take care of yourself physically so that all the areas of your life are balanced.
If you are already struggling with a balanced life, it may be because your on-plate nourishment has taken over.
"What is on my plate?" you might ask.
On-plate, nourishment nurtures and replenishes the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, etc., necessary for good health.
These include fresh fruit and vegetables in their raw or cooked form, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa or millet, healthy protein sources.
Today I will show you how to create balance by paying attention to what is going into and coming out of your body.
Creating Balance with Food
Creating balance with food isn't complicated.
If you make your on-plate nourishment healthy, balanced and delicious, you will realise wholesome food is usually the best food.
On-plate, nourishment is what you eat and drink regularly, like breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It's your daily meals that are always there for us when we're hungry or tired from work (or school). They provide some sustenance to get through the day.
This is not a deprivation diet but one that will create balance in your life and give you more energy to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty or miserable.
Types of food to consider:
The balanced plate suggests we give up fast food or binge eating for better health and weight management.
It is divided into four quadrants with a centrepiece of fruit. The first quadrant is vegetables, the second proteins, third whole grains and forth fruits.
Some people also like to make it five areas by adding healthy fats like avocado, nuts or olive oil.
Each meal should have some vegetables and sources of protein (a palm-size serving) to fill you up without weighing you down with carbs if eaten in excess.
In addition, a small piece of fruit will provide antioxidants for better immunity and help stabilise blood sugar levels so that we stay full longer.
For good fats, a handful of nuts or half an avocado is sufficient.
This balanced plate also includes that we can have these foods any time of day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, or after snacks to keep us energised and feel full.
As much as possible, remove white sugar from your diet, instead opting for natural sweeteners like honey or pure maple syrup.
The balanced plate is not the same as an all-you-can-eat buffet! #justsaying
According to Harvard, the healthy eating plate is a good visual to help you make better decisions at the grocery store and restaurants.
Off Plate Nourishment
Off plate nourishment is the nourishment we get outside of what we put on our plate. It's the kind of nourishment we get from creating balance around our social life, relationships, finances, career, spirituality, home environment, cooking, health, education, and more.
A balanced life is one where you feel like your needs are being met and that it's sustainable over time, a lifestyle in which we don't have to go back for seconds or thirds because there's enough on our plate already.
Creating Balance with Off Plate Nourishment
Off Plate Nourishment can be practised by following the following guidelines:
- Take care of your physical and mental health. This includes getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, taking time for exercise, practising mindfulness etc.).
A healthy body is a healthy mind, so make sure that you're practising good self-care
- Be mindful of the relationships in your life - nurture them when they need it and take care of yourself.
- Practice self-compassion - you are not perfect, but that is okay.
- Take time for relaxation often - this could be taking regular breaks throughout the day or practising meditation regularly (this might include mindfulness). Make sure to unplug from social media as well!
- Practice gratitude - there's so much to be thankful for. My Tip: If you find it hard to be grateful for what is, think of five things that make your heart sing.
It can help reframe how we positively view our lives and build on what's going well."
- Develop yourself- self-development is not selfish. Take time for yourself to grow and learn new things, or take a break from your current job and try something else- you never know what opportunities might come up!
- Manage your finances - If your bank account is empty, then it's time to take a step back and reassess. My Tip: Track expenses for at least one month, and make sure you are spending on things that bring joy.
- Prioritize what matters most - this might mean slowing down or prioritizing friends overwork or family over others.
- Know what sparks joy for you? - What makes you feel good? It's a time to reconnect with what brings joy.
Living the balanced life
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of a balanced life is to nourish the on-plate and off plate need. The following steps will help you achieve a balanced life.
- The first step is to take a mindful inventory of the things we're doing well as far as your on-plate nourishment goes. So think about what you've been eating for breakfast or how many veggies are in that salad you made last night, or whether you got enough to sleep this week.
- The second step is taking a mindful inventory of the things we're doing well as far as your off plate nourishment goes. So think about how you've been handling your stress or whether you meditated when that email came through demanding more work from you or if there's someone who might have time to talk with just for support and love.
- The third step is noting patterns. What are the things we're struggling with on our 'on-plate' or off-plate nourishment?
- The fourth step is developing a plan. How can you create some balance between your "on" and "off" nourishment, whatever that may look like for you? Some ideas include physical activity before work to reduce stress levels, taking a few minutes during lunch to possibly meditate in or talk with a coworker, doing something at the end of the day to decompress and unwind.
- The fifth you want to try is to focus more on the "off" nourishment tasks. For me, this might mean a longer walk during lunchtime or going for stretches at my desk before I sit down to work. I know that the things on my plate are important and need tending to as well--it's not an either-or situation here, but it feels good to take the time to listen to my body and take care of it.
- Lastly, living a balanced life is going to require a little extra time and effort. This doesn't need to be difficult or overwhelming, though, if you take it one step at a time! A great first step is by focusing on what nourishment looks like to you specifically or as a whole person.
Final thought on the balanced life
Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it was helpful and that you found some inspiration to make changes in your life. Remember, the way we nourish ourselves on our plate (with food) and off of our plates (in other areas like social media or relationships) should be about balance. What part of nourishment do you most need help with? I'll love to hear from you below!