What does half a plate of vegetables look like? (Focus VI)


Eating a more balanced diet – more veg and less carbs with my dinner as a starter for ten – has eluded me. To tackle this frustration, I have tried to use a problem solving approach to identifying the barriers and planning solutions in a more systematic way.

As a bit of background, there are a few things that would be helpful for you to know about my cooking habits.

  • Most of our meals are cooked from scratch at the weekends, and then frozen in portions for eating on weekday evenings – I cook in big batches and rotate to make sure we get some variety. Weekday cooking involves reheating the main portion of the meal, and cooking the sides afresh.
  • On four of the five weekday nights, one or other of us has a club to rush out to not long after getting back from work – meaning cooking has to be a super quick affair, and something we can do while getting ready to go out.
  • My husband loves egg noodles, and would eat them most days if I let him.

Barriers & Solutions

Buying extra vegetables but not cooking them – meaning that they go a bit soft and are not that appealing once they are cooked.  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : Try to shop for fresh produce twice a week.

The vegetables I have don’t ”go” with the meal that I’ve got out of the freezer.  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : Cook them anyway and see what happens – when we were camping I added some sad-looking broccoli to a curry and it worked great.

Vegetables take longer to cook than noodles.  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : Plan to have courgettes and carrots on hand to spiralise when we need a super quick veg. Identify other veg that can be spiralised.

How much veg should I prepare to fill just over half a plate?  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : 280g per person (The picture at the top is 280g of veg.)

How little carb is one-eighth of a plate’s worth?  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : 1/3 of a standard portion.

My husband does want to eat more healthily but doesn’t want to follow the same proportions of veg vs carbs as me.  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : Work out how to adjust the amounts to cook for both of us – the plan is to start with him having ¼ of a plate of carbs and slightly less veg than me..

What do I do if the meal I’ve got out of the freezer has carbs or veg in it – not just protein?! For example – lasagne, vegetarian cannelloni, thai curry with loads of green beans in..  POSSIBLE SOLUTION : If it has carbs in it – don’t cook any extra carbs. If it has veg in it – go ahead as usual.

I’ll let you know how I get on..


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