A Big Picture Approach to Nutritional Balance

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Back in 2012, we founded The Foodery upon the principle of creating food that was nutritionally balanced and equally tasty.  Traditionally, it’s been thought these two things couldn’t co-exist, but with creativity, thoughtfulness, and proper execution, they certainly can.

What is Nutritional Balance?

Nutritional balance is often thrown around in a “buzzword” sort of way these days, as if those who have found or stumbled upon this state of being have access to a secret most of us dream of learning. We’re here to tell you it’s really no secret per se, but is definitely subjective and difficult to define. Nutritional balance occurs when one is eating a variety of foods, is able to maintain a healthy weight, and absent of chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart disease as these are often indicators when nutrition is out of balance. Both the beauty and the challenge of nutrition is there really is no one size fits all approach, but the body is sensitive enough to show signs when balance is out of whack. The key is to pay attention and make changes as needed to maintain one’s personal optimal balance.

Eat your colors!

A Big Picture Approach

It’s important to approach nutritional balance through a big picture lens, as dissecting each and every meal or snack is really not a feasible lifestyle for most people to maintain. Balance is obtained over time and consistency, with an occasional indulgent meal or treat fitting into that overall healthy approach. A general rule of thumb is to incorporate a wide variety of food items in your diet – both macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) – to maintain optimal health. Fresh food’s color is indicative of the nutrients within that food as conveyed in this picture. For the average American, both macronutrients and micronutrients can create health challenges if eaten in excess or if not enough is consumed. Placing an emphasis on “real food” (as opposed to processed), in combination with movement and physical activity, makes nutritional balance achievable and easier to maintain.

The Foodery’s Stance

My co-founding partner, John, came from a background as a semi-professional bodybuilder. His education and experience allowed us to build the nutritional boundaries for our first 16 meals, and our meals continue to be built from that foundation of:

  1. Veggie-heavy – We get creative with veggies; look to infuse veggies like cauliflower in our brown rice and cauliflower in our mash potatoes – veggies are typically 30 – 40% of the plate or sometimes even more! Having a veggie focus provides our bodies needed fiber and micronutrients to optimize health and is better for the planet too.
  2. Lean proteins – For example, we use chicken breast instead of thighs. Lean proteins provide a healthy amount of fat while keeping meals to an appropriate caloric value.
  3. Low-glycemic carbs – Our meals include things like sweet potatoes and brown rice, but avoid white rice. More complex carbohydrates such as these provide a bigger bang for your buck in terms of fiber and other beneficial micronutrients that keep you fuller for longer periods of time.
  4. Low sugar & low salt – Ingesting high amounts of sugar and salt have been linked to chronic health conditions, so we do our part in minimizing those items in our menu options by leaning on organic herbs and spices to infuse….
  5. Lots of flavor! – No matter how healthy or “good for you” a food can be, if it doesn’t taste good, you probably won’t eat it!

 

Our Grass-fed Beef Meatloaf dinner is a an example of our philosophy on nutritional balance.  A meatloaf like no other, it starts with local grass-fed beef, high in omega-3 fatty acids, which we infuse with shredded zucchini, diced onions, bell peppers and organic spices – nearly 50% of our loaf is veggie-based! It’s served with lightly-sauteed Brussels sprouts or green beans (depending on the week) and a low-glycemic sweet potato mash blended with a hint of coconut oil for a boost of heart-healthy saturated fats. Each and every one of our meals follows these five guidelines, so you can rest assured there’s only the good kind of surprises like when you try something new for the first time and really enjoy it.

The Foodery, at this time, is unable to provide full nutritional information for our meals, though we estimate having that within the next year; It’s a massive undertaking! For this project, we will utilize a high-end nutritional analysis platform called ESHA Food Processor, which is used by some of the largest institutions in the world for food analysis. We realize this is important to our customers and their goals toward nutritional balance, so stay tuned. In the meantime, rest assured we adhere to the above criteria for every meal we craft…it’s important to us!