Jeannette BessingerJeannette Bessinger, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of Balance for Life LLC, is a co-author of the upcoming book Whole Life Nutrition A Simple Approach to Nourishing America's Busy Families, and the meal and recipe designer for the Dr. Jonny Bowden’s The Healthiest Meals on Earth 50 Recipes and Why You Should Eat These Foods (release: spring of ’08). A motivational speaker and health/nutrition educator, Jeannette regularly gives talks and classes to businesses, corporations, non–profits, wellness centers, hospitals, colleges and faith–based organizations with an interest in wellness and disease prevention. Jeannette has provided services in health education and prevention for individuals and groups in a wide variety of venues for fifteen years. Her professional specialty is the development and facilitation of unique, effective lifestyle change programs targeting complex health and wellness issues such as obesity, chronic stress, family balance and disease prevention. Creator of the Whole Life Nutrition™ approach to health improvement, she currently runs these successful lifestyle change programs in both hospital and holistic settings. Jeannette acts as a lifestyle health consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities. She was a lead investigator and strategist on a citywide assessment and intervention plan for obesity funded by the RI Department of Health. She also designed and facilitated an obesity prevention program for Head Start with a grant from the American Association of Pediatrics. A graduate among the first class of women at Columbia College, Columbia University, Jeannette has pursued an extensive, multi–modal education in teaching, health and wellness. As a very busy wife and mother of two children, she understands first hand how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle as a working parent. With a personal history of autoimmune disease and diabetes, she knows how vital it is to put your health first on your priority list. Much of the depth and practical nature of Jeannette's material arises directly from her own efforts to meet the challenges of balancing health, family and a lively career.
Host: Is there a guide, I can use to determine healthy portion sizes?
Jeannette Bessinger: When you are just beginning to work with listening to your hunger and your satisfaction signals, it can be difficult to distinguish them. So, one very concrete guide that can work for anyone and any age is to use the hand guide.
Your stomach is roughly the size of two fists put together like this. So, if you imagine that your chewed food amounts to this amount in one meal, you will be on the right track.
In order to do that, if you break your plate down. When you are looking at your plate if you are eating about half a plate of vegetables, which is a really good balance. It's about a cup hands portion of vegetables, your protein which is your second micronutrient should be about the size of your palm in thickness and in breadth and your starchy food which takes up about a quarter of the plate should be around the size of the fist.
So, this would be a baked sweet potato or beans or brown rice and that will give you a good starting place.