Eating a vibrant buddha bowl is a wonderful way to ensure your body gets the balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats) that it needs to feel its best and remain satiated until your next meal. It is also a great opportunity to flood your body with vitamins and minerals. Every cell in your body and each one of your tastebuds will thank you, trust me.
You can follow the steps below to make up your own plant-based buddha bowl with the ingredients that you like best or that are available to you. It’s also a great way to use up what you already have on hand!
Half of your plate: Eat the rainbow
A good aim is to fill half of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables. Vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and water. Different colours indicate a different nutrient profile. Therefore, variety is important. Examples include leafy greens, tomato, cucumber, carrot, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, beetroot, red cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onion and sprouts.
One quarter of your plate: Complex Carbohydrates
One quarter of your plate should be filled with complex carbohydrates. These provide a source of glucose, which is your brain and body’s preferred fuel source. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and are full of fibre in comparison to simple carbohydrates. Therefore, they provide you with a sustained source of energy. Examples of complex carbohydrates include starchy vegetables, such as sweet potato, purple potato and pumpkin; wholegrains, such as brown rice, black rice and couscous; and pseudograins, such as quinoa and buckwheat.
One quarter of your plate: Protein
The last quarter of your plate should be taken up by a source of protein. Protein is essential for growing and repairing body tissues, building muscle, making enzymes for digestion and creating hormones required for many essential bodily functions. A crucial component for satiety, protein helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and fends off hunger. If you find that you quickly become hungry after meals, you might not be eating enough of it. Examples of protein sources include tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans and lentils.
Your meal is not complete without: A source of healthy fat
Lastly, make sure to include a source of healthy fats with your meal. Fat is important as it helps you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K) in your meal. It is also essential for healthy skin, nails, hair and hormones. Good sources of heart healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
You might like to include fermented foods as a source of probiotics for good gut health. Examples of this are sauerkraut, kimchi, probiotic-rich cashew cheese, miso and coconut yoghurt. Other tasty nutrient-rich toppings to enrich your buddha bowl include fresh herbs, shredded nori sheets, pickled ginger and even some fresh fruit (e.g. berries or diced mango).
Eating a balanced meal rich in nutrition keeps your blood sugar levels stable and provides you with the energy you need to thrive.