If you’ve heard me speak, you know that I despise the idea of good and bad foods. Instead, I encourage you to set positive intentions around food. “I Eat To Nourish My Body” is an empowering intention to sink your teeth into. While the most nourishing foods tend to be whole foods, there should always be room in our diet for some of our favorite foods.
It’s true, pasta may not be the most nourishing food but that doesn’t mean it is bad for you. Refined carbohydrates like bread and pasta can provide the perfect canvas for other nutrient dense ingredients like those veggies we are all doing our best to eat more of.
White vs. Whole Wheat:
The pasta aisle has become a very interesting place. Where there was once only white pastas we now can find wheat, gluten-free, beans and alternative grain varieties. So which do you choose? It’s more a matter of preference than superiority in most cases. Whole wheat pasta became a popular recommendation out of necessity! The American diet was so drastically lacking in fiber we were desperate to find a few ways to sneak it in. Here’s the thing, if you love pasta eat the real thing, just less of it. That’s what the Italians do! You can play around with the other versions but don’t fool yourself into believing they reign supreme, especially if pasta is the only food making it’s way to your plate each day.
Re-arrange Your Plate:
When we eat to nourish our bodies a great tool you can use is to visualize your plate. Start by adding vegetables to half of your plate and you will naturally crowd out the other items without having to deprive yourself in any way. This is a handy visualization when it comes to pasta dinners.
Re-Think Your Pasta:
Instead of piling pasta onto you plate, try this. Sauté a few of your favorite vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini and dark leafy greens. Add some animal protein or beans to the mix, as well as your favorite nourishing sauce. I love a simple marinara or pesto this time of year.
Now, for the pasta: add 2-3 cups of cooked pasta to your vegetable and protein mixture and divide it into 4-5 servings. Make a salad to pair with it and you have yourself a beautiful, nourishing and satisfying pasta meal that I know you will enjoy!
By: Katie Cavuto, RD