EP177: PPF Approach: The Ultimate Framework to Balanced Meals

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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balanced meal

If you struggle with meal prep, this week’s ​episode​ is for you! Ready to learn the framework to make balanced meals? 

I promise meal planning can be easy if you have a simple framework to follow and that’s exactly what I share, in just 3 easy steps, and it’ll set you up for an entire week of healthy eating. Let’s just say… if I had ‘secrets’ for streamlining my meal prep process, this would be it! And, bonus, tip #3 is exactly how I plan ALL of my meals so they are quick, balanced, and delicious!


Creating a balanced meal that includes protein, fat, and fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy diet.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a balanced meal:

  1. Choose a Protein Source:

    • Lean meats: Skinless chicken, turkey breast, lean cuts of beef or pork.
    • Fish: Salmon, tuna, trout, or any other fatty fish.
    • Plant-based proteins: Tofu, tempeh, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), or quinoa.
  2. Add Healthy Fats:

    • Avocado: Sliced or mashed.
    • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, or pumpkin seeds.
    • Olive oil: Drizzle on salads or use for cooking.
    • Natural nut butters: Peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter (check for added sugars).
  3. Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods:

    • Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread or pasta, oats, or barley.
    • Fruits and vegetables: Choose a variety of colorful options to maximize fiber intake.
    • Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, or black-eyed peas.
  4. Include a Variety of Vegetables:

    • Dark leafy greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens.
    • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or cabbage.
    • Colorful vegetables: Bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, or eggplant.
  5. Prepare the Meal:

    • Grilled/baked protein: Season with herbs and spices instead of using heavy sauces.
    • Steam, roast, or sauté vegetables: Avoid overcooking to preserve nutrients.
    • Use whole grains: Cook according to package instructions or substitute with a grain alternative like cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
  6. Portion Control:

    • Aim for a balanced plate: Fill half of your plate with vegetables, one-fourth with protein, and one-fourth with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
    • Be mindful of overall calorie intake: Adjust portion sizes based on your specific dietary needs and goals.
  7. Hydrate and Enjoy:

    • Accompany your meal with water or unsweetened beverages.
    • Slow down and savor the flavors to fully enjoy your balanced meal.

Need a few meal ideas? I love theses Macro-Friendly Meal Prep Recipe for busy weeknights. 


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