Update Your Plate, Part 6: The Pizza Edition

Remember this?

Well, this is what our homegrown passionfruit looks like now:

Empty as a fridge on grocery shopping day.

I admit, my disappointment grew faster than Maddie eating a bag of stolen almonds when I saw this shriveled up passionfruit. I was looking forward to the sweet/tart flavor of a fresh-picked passionfruit sometime this winter. Who knew that passionfruits don’t grow well in Illinois?

Ah, well, there’s always next year.

On to today’s post!

This post is a continuation of the Update Your Plate series, where I demonstrate how to use MyPlate to plan your meals. Read the story behind Update Your Plate here.

It’s been a little while since I’ve done an Update Your Plate, how about a one sentence refresher?

The basic idea behind MyPlate is that by filling your plate with foods in the proportions suggested, you’ll eat plenty of nutrient-packed fruits and veggies and a moderate amount of protein and grain-based carbohydrate.

And what are those proportions? Check it, readers:

In the previous Update Your Plate, I introduced combination foods in the form of a fig-stuffed pork loin. This post will focus on a combination food that many people reach for: pizza.

Let me set the scene:

It’s 1 pm. It’s been a long morning. You’re so hungry, you could eat a shriveled-up passionfruit. You reach for the leftover pizza that’s been sitting in your fridge for who knows how long, or you order a slice or two from the nearest restaurant/cafeteria/food truck. And you call it a day (or lunch).

Not so fast! That plate is looking a little … empty.

I pushed the pizza off to the side to emphasize what’s missing here: veggie/fruit and some more protein. What we DO have: whole grain in the whole wheat crust, a little protein in the mozzarella cheese, and a bit of veggie in the tomato and peppers. How can we make this MyPlate friendly?

I’ve added a salad topped with bell peppers, olives, and a drizzle of olive oil (healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients in the salad – awesome!). I’ve also added a bit of leftover omelet from Golden Harbor for some extra protein to help keep me from getting hungry an hour later. Alternatively, you could add protein to the pizza in the form of chicken, turkey sausage, or soy crumbles (no, pepperoni doesn’t count – it’s high in saturated fat and low in protein). How does this look as a MyPlate?

No hungry bellies here!  This lunch kept me going all afternoon. Note the “Protein” quarter covers both the omelet and a small part of the pizza (to include the protein from the cheese). Remember: MyPlate is an approximation. It’s okay to estimate proportions.

So, what can you do when you’re confronted with a lunch of pizza and nothing else? If you’ve stocked your fridge with a variety of veggies (always a good habit), you can whip up a salad or cut up carrots/peppers/broccoli with dressing in a couple of minutes.  If you’re out at a restaurant, order a salad on the side.  If you’re ordering from a food truck, well … perhaps it’s time to pack a lunch? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone!  See you on Sunday.

P.S. After Wednesday’s website difficulties, I’m happy to report THIH seems to be loading much faster. How’s the website working on your end, dear reader?


  1. wow! i would have never recognized that as passionfruit! so fun to see!

  2. Sorry about your passionfruit, Jessie! Hopefully the pizza cheered you up a little 🙂 The web site appears to be working fine, yay!

  3. Your website always works well on my browser. I love it.
    And, I love that you did this little “class”, because I will seriously use this in my own class! I always get the question; “how do I use MyPlate with pizza (or Chipotle, haha) and this explains it well!! Love it.
    Sorry about the passion fruit 🙁

  4. Oh no! The poor passionfruit. 🙁 Sigh. Next year.

    I love this update your plate! I always try to have some salad with my pizza as well. Or really load it up with veggies!

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