Dinner is often the most challenging meal of the day because of many factors. Stress at work, having a bad day, skipping your workout, lack of time, tiredness, kids, fatique or boredom can all contribute to you making bad dinner choices. We all fall off the boat sometimes with dinners and boy does our body feel it.

salmon dinner

Let’s refocus and work hard at having a good healthy fresh dinner plan which is making sure your dinner contains a protein + carbohydrate + vegetable + healthy fat. Key is to have a variety of foods from the food groups for adequate nutrition:-

Protein: Lean Meat (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken) / Fish / Eggs / Legumes (Lentils, Beans, Chick Peas)/ Nuts (fat trimmed, lean, skinless).

Carbohydrate: Rice (Long Grain, Brown, Basmati), Pasta, Multigrain Bread, Cereal, Potato, Corn, Sweet Potato, Peas).

Healthy Fat: Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Avocado, Peanut Butter, Nut Spreads, Butter, (Flaxseed Oil & Udo’s Oil from health food store), Nuts, Rice Bran Oil.

Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, cauliflower, capsicum, celery, onion, pumpkin, cabbage, zucchini, green beans, snow peas.


¼ plate lean PROTEIN:

100gm lean meat (e.g. fish (salmon, snapper) skinless chicken, trim steak, lamb) OR
Cooked legumes (e.g. lentils 1 cup = chick peas, kidney beans, 4 bean mix, soy beans) OR
Tofu 100gm OR
2 Eggs

Plus small amount of HEALTHY FAT (e.g. olive oil, rice bran oil, avocado and nuts)

2 teaspoons of oil or butter/margarine
6 nuts (small handful)
1/4 avocado


Aim 2-3 serves or more. 1 serve = ½ cup cooked veg or 1 cup salad veg. Make it colorful e.g. green, orange, red, yellow. Vegetables such as corn, peas, potato, sweet potato contain more carbohydrate (hence calories) than other vegetables. Eat these in accordance with carbohydrate serves.

¼ plate CARBOHYDRATE (needs vary according to activity level):

On rest/lower activity days: 1 serve; on training days:  1-2 serves at dinner.  1 serve (cooked) =

  • 1/3 cup rice (cooked)
  • ½ cup pasta (cooked)
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 small bread roll
  • 1 small pita pocket bread
  • ½ Lebanese bread
  • 1 slice sweet potato
  • ¾ corn cob
  • 1/3 cup corn or peas
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 serve fruit
  • 1/3 cup cous cous
  • ½ cup mashed potato or mashed sweet potato

Dinner Suggestions:-

Grilled salmon, steamed potato and salad

Sashimi salad with a small bowl of steamed rice

Tofu salad with a small bowl of steamed rice

Chicken or beef brown rice stir fry + extra salad on the side

4 bean mix + 95gm tin of tuna / tin of salmon / or tin of chicken + ½ cup sweet potato + pumpkin + bowl of mixed salad + 2 tsp of olive oil + Balsamic vinegar

Written by: Vicki Grasso

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