These micro changes in your plate will make a difference

Putting color on the plate not only attracts the eye, but also fills with antioxidants. Getty Images.

In her book, nutritionist and dietitian Sophie Janvier provides her gentle method for eating better. Tricks to modify our meals a little, without necessarily lightening or impoverishing them in taste.

The dinner of a soup in the evening because we enjoyed a piece of lasagna at noon is not a problem. Considering this gesture as a punishment can, on the other hand, be harmful. After hearing countless complaints from patients, Sophie Janvier, dietitian nutritionist, decided to wave the white flag. In his work The kind way to eat better, published on August 17 by Leduc editions (1), the health professor shares tips to balance his menus. Forget the great revolution right away, Sophie Janvier provides simple and effective food adjustments in a concrete way, to be distilled in your plate every day.

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Play Van Goghs

How to squeeze to eat better without wasting time or morale? Moving on the curiosity, answers Sophie Janvier. “We have to open our food repertoire. Food is not just the sum of its nutrients and eating is not just to swallow calories”, assures this daughter and sister of chefs.

Among his 33 proposals for “microchanges”, the dietitian nutritionist proposes as a priority to give pride to the plants, but in an original way. Instead of focusing on the name of the varieties, she suggests playing Van Gogh by composing the plate as you would with a paint palette, putting at least three colors.

“Not only are our eyes drawn, but the bright pigments of fruits and vegetables also reflect the presence of antioxidants, molecules that are valuable for protecting our cells from aging,” explains Sophie Janvier. On the contrary, we will avoid monochrome dishes, “white-yellow” combinations or the whole “brown” look, which indicates the presence of too many refined starchy foods (pasta, rice) and meat.

The bright pigments of fruits and vegetables reflect the presence of antioxidants, valuable molecules to protect our cells from aging.

Sophie Janvier, dietitian nutritionist

To those who have already sighed, the dietician nutritionist has not said his last word. If the carrot bothers you, if the smell of broccoli or banana bothers you, you always have legumes, herbs or spices. “The latter are interesting alternatives to salt to add flavor to dishes. Reducing the amounts of this flavor enhancer will not make you lose weight, but it will certainly prevent us from overeating,” observes Sophie Janvier.

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Yes to pizza but homemade or handmade

Unsurprisingly, the health expert favors the home, where we have more control over the amounts, but also the usefulness of the ingredients. “When you go shopping, if you see products on the list of ingredients that you don’t know the name of or that you don’t have in your cupboards, you probably have an ultra-processed food in front of you, considered by epidemiological studies like” and risk factor for weight gain, chronic diseases but also mental health”, indicates the nutritionist dietitian.

Sophie Janvier assures us: the idea is not to ban it completely junk food and the associated pleasures. “If you are not ready for the totality of the house, you can also use frozen and raw vegetables to accompany your hamburger or even replace the industrial pizza with the one prepared by the restaurant on the corner of the street. Baker, restaurateur, butcher , pastries… The quality of the products and the manufacturing method will always be better than those of industrial products”, he promises.

It takes an average of 21 days to break a bad habit… And 66 to permanently replace it with a good one.

Sophie Janvier, dietitian nutritionist

Evaluate, Rectify, Celebrate

When you replace your diet cards, maintaining your motivation is a path strewn with pitfalls. “Scientific studies have shown that it takes an average of 21 days to quit a bad habit… And 66 to permanently replace it with a good one,” reports Sophie Janvier. According to the nutritionist dietitian, by combining intention and attention, it will be easier to install good and healthy automatisms. For example, we will avoid recharging at the table (intention) because, upstream, we have taken care to serve the right amount on the plate (prudence).

Last tip and not least: be indulgent. “Too often, at the end of a project, we skip the evaluation stage. It is however beneficial to measure the small and big victories, the possible failures, after a month for example, to then readjust our operation”, she recommends. Before concluding: “Stay, whatever happens, your best friend. Do not try to bend your body to an unsustainable discipline. Make small incremental changes and allow the time you need to integrate slowly but surely.

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(1) The kind way to eat betterby Sophie Janvier, edited by Leduc, 272 pages, €18.

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