Balance: The Plate Model for Food and Soul

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Balance is the opposite of busyness. Busyness increases stress, interrupts self-care and distracts us from adding balance to our lives.

In today’s post we’ll check out the plate model for the body and the healthy platter model for the mind and see how both  can show us a way to calibrate without counting calories or tracking every moment.

Here at Green Mountain we have used the plate model for over 30 years to guide women with healthy eating without dieting.  Recently the US government has changed the food pyramid to the plate model encouraging us to eat many more fruits and vegetables and to be more aware of portion size.

Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. David Rock have used this concept as a springboard to create the Healthy Mind Platter which cleverly diagrams how to add balance into our lives.  Below are their seven essential daily mental activities.

  • Focus Time
  • Play Time
  • Connecting Time
  • Physical Time
  • Time In
  • Down Time

Inclusion of each of the items on this platter can add balance to our lives. For many busy women adding play may feel like the biggest stretch, but the one that can make a remarkable difference in the quality of our lives.  Perhaps the fireworks on the 4th of July can engage our playful selves.

By experimenting with what is fun you can start reconnecting your head and to your body. Just like feeding yourself 3 meals a day at predictable times helps you to reconnect with your hunger/satiety cues, fun connects you to your spirit and helps you to balance your day.

What mind platter delicacy do you want to add your life this week?


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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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