Introducing the MyBowl

What is MyBowl?

The image for the new MyBowl campaign that Kelloggs has launched

MyBowl is an education tool that is an extension of the MyPlate food guide, used across the United States. MyBowl is designed to show how easy it is to meet dietary recommendations with meals served in bowls, like breakfast cereals.

MyPlate is a recognized education instrument developed by the USDA that brings to life the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to help people get the most nutrition from their meals. A recent survey shows that 100% of RDs are aware of MyPlate and 99% of them agreed that it is a helpful tool. There’s an opportunity to help consumers further understand and apply MyPlate recommendations to meals people eat in bowls, too. Using specific visual cues, images, and icons are effective ways to educate the public. MyBowl helps illustrate and extend the message that all food groups can fit into all meals, even those traditionally served in bowls like cereal breakfast, soup, and salads. 95% of RDs expect the MyBowl graphic to be used in addition to MyPlate.

Like MyPlate, MyBowl is a simple visual cue to help people get the most nutrition from meals served in bowls. MyBowl is a simple tool that helps people understand how specific foods fit into “food groups”, like how a cereal breakfast with fruit delivers servings from “grains, dairy and fruit food groups”. MyBowl was purposefully created to match the features of MyPlate. The MyBowl colors are identical to those used in MyPlate. The positioning and size of the colored bands around MyBowl reflects different types and amounts of foods and food group combinations that could be enjoyed in a bowl. When used as an online interactive tool, the size and color of the bands around MyBowl will change to reflect the amount and type of foods actually in the bowl. is an interactive site that features tips, tools and meal plans to show people how to make smart choices and enjoy a variety of food groups and nutrients in delicious bowl meals.

People need help starting the day with a balanced breakfast; research shows:

  • While more than half of all adults would like to eat breakfast every day, only one-third actually do.
  • Nearly all moms want their kids to eat breakfast every day; however, 40% of moms report their child doesn’t eat breakfast daily.
  • While nearly all toddlers and preschool-age children are eating breakfast, consumption of breakfast decreases as American children grow older. 77% of young children eat breakfast every day, but the number falls to 50% in the middle-school years and 36% among high school students.
  • The latest research from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) shows people who eat breakfast regularly have higher intakes of several vitamin and minerals.
  • The same research noted that breakfast skippers may not make up for missed nutrients at other meals during the day.

MyBowl helps people realize that eating breakfast can be a fast and easy solution to achieving a varied diet and meeting nutrient needs.

When it comes to breakfast, cereal with non-fat milk is a nutrient-dense choice eaten in a bowl, delivering several essential nutrients in less than 150 kcal per serving, on average. Cereal with milk is the leading source of 10 nutrients in children’s diets and provides four nutrients, including fiber, most likely to be lacking in kids’ diets. Cereal with milk may deliver good or excellent sources of the 4 nutrients of concern- calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and fiber. Studies show that cereal eaters have higher intakes of many essential nutrients including B vitamins, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Numerous studies show that a cereal breakfast is associated with a lower BMI in both children and adults. Cereal with milk is an affordable breakfast option- costing just 50 cents per serving, on average.

A cereal breakfast can help Americans get more fiber, which was noted in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a “nutrient of concern”. Nine out of ten Americans don’t meet daily recommendations for fiber. On average, Americans consume just about half of the required fiber that they need each day. Many experts think Americans poor fiber intake is a public health concern for both adults and children, with potential consequences that may increase the risk for several chronic diseases and obesity. In a recent survey, 90% of RDs agreed that a cereal breakfast is one of the best ways to easily increase fiber intake. On average, Americans only get 18% of their daily fiber at breakfast.

The MyPlate design published by the USDA. This replaced the MyPyramid in June 2011, ending 19 years of USDA food guide diagrams.


The Vegetarian Athlete. Is There Such A Thing?

The Plant-Based Athlete Diet

A vegetarian diet for endurance athletes is really not all that different from a normal and healthy diet, minus the meat of course. If you’re already eating lots of nutritious, whole foods as it is, there really aren’t all that many adjustments you need to make to go vegetarian. You can take it as far as you want, and some vegetarian and vegan athletes tend toward raw and gluten-free diets, citing even greater energy gains. There are different degrees of health in even vegetarian diets. is a great vegetarian and vegan athlete resource!

The Philosophy: Healthy but Accessible

There are some fantastic books out there that promote what I consider to be an “ideal” diet, from the standpoint of athletic performance. Vegan, high-raw, alkaline eating is great but, it’s tough. Lots of strange ingredients, low-temperature cooking, and very little starchy goodness for the pasta lovers among us, are included. For meat-eaters looking to make a change, the gap between this type of diet and their current one is huge.

I’d like to offer an alternative, a diet that is vegetarian, that’s substantial enough to support endurance training, and that’s delicious and accessible to new vegetarians. I’ll be the first to admit you can do better nutritionally, but I believe that it’s more important to have a diet you’ll stick to first. Once you’re used to eating vegetarian or vegan, that’s when it’s time to consider taking it to the next level.

Where to Get Protein?

Protein is in all types of different foods besides meat, but generally in lower quantities. It takes some effort to make sure you get some protein in every meal, but it’s not that hard. While it is possible to eat a high-protein vegetarian diet, if your goal is to get the amount of protein recommended by many traditional diets for athletes, you’ll have a tough time doing it.

Having heard that many endurance athletes thrive on diets with lower amounts of protein, than is traditionally recommended, many people take a chance on it, and have never felt better in their lives. If your vegetarian diet is pizza and potato chips, then you won’t get enough protein. But if you eat a wide variety of foods and make smart choices to include some protein at every meal and ensure that you’re getting a balanced amino acid profile, chances are you’ll feel better than ever.

Staple Foods

This list represents some common foods that will help you meet the needs of the vegetarian diet for endurance athletes. Certainly there are many more foods one could include; the idea here is to list those that can be found in common grocery stores and whose tastes aren’t too foreign. The key here is to have an open mind to new foods.

–          All kinds of veggies, cooked and raw

–          Vegetable sprouts

–          All kinds of fruits, usually raw

–          Beans and other legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans

–          Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes

–          Brown rice

–          Pasta (whole wheat)

–          Whole wheat bread, pitas, and bagels

–          Other grains and seeds: bulgur wheat, buckwheat, faro, millet, quinoa, flaxseed, hempseed, chia seeds

–          Hummus (now who doesn’t LOVE hummus? Seriously…)

–          Nuts, nut milks, nut butters: almonds, cashews, walnuts, almond milk, hazelnut milk, peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter (make sure you watch the fat content in some of these nut products)

–          Oils: grapeseed, olive, canola, coconut, flaxseed (unheated), hemp (unheated)

–           Agave nectar (as workout fuel, not an all-purpose sweetener)

–          Protein powder (hemp protein is a minimally-processed type)

–          Soy products (limited): tofu, tempeh

–          Tea and coffee (limited)

–          Cheese (limited, non-vegan)

–          Eggs (limited, non-vegan)

Who knew that an athlete could be healthy vegetarian too!

Caloric Breakdown

Take your favorite endurance diet numbers and adjust without meat. Endurance diets tend to be high in carbohydrate anyway, making a vegetarian or vegan approach especially well-suited. The book Food for Fitness, written by Lance Armstrong’s former coach Chris Carmichael, has recommendations that most vegetarian athletes adhere to:

–          65% carbohydrate

–          13% protein

–          22% fat

If you aim to hit these numbers with a vegetarian diet, you should do well. And you’ll find that it’s not all that hard to do.

How Much Should You Eat

About as much as it takes to feel comfortably full, but not stuffed. As endurance athletes, we have the luxury of eating more calories than more sedentary people. We need more calories, in fact. If your goal is weight loss, or if you train more or less than most people so, your needs will be different than most. Depending on your workout regimen, figure out what size meals work for you.

The Vegan Food Guide pyramid. Most vegetarian/vegan athletes will have higher energy needs compared to this. But, this shows the foundation for the lifestyle.

Eating Around Workouts

How you eat before, during, and after your workouts is especially important on any diet. Guidelines and recipes for unprocessed, vegetarians’ workout foods especially come in handy at this point.

Try and avoid these foods before a workout:

–          Spicy foods

–          High-fat foods

–          High-protein foods

Here are some smart post-workout snacks:

–          Protein shake with a banana

–          Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes

–          Hummus and pita

–          Yogurt and fresh berries

No more than 25% of your post-workout snack should come from protein, make sure you avoid too much fiber and high-fat foods as well.

So there you have it: A practical vegetarian diet for endurance athletes. Not that much to it, is there?

Carrot Sticks Week 2


I began the lesson as I did last week, by introducing myself, Rileigh Johnson and Leah Gecheo to the students. A lot of the students remembered us from last week so, they were excited to see us again. Some of the students were also excited that Rileigh and I remembered them as well. I told the class that we were going to continue our talk about Asia. This week our Asian focus was on India.

On each table where the children were sitting, was a blank map of Asia and each student had a blank coloring page of a peacock. As a class, we went over the difference between India’s food guide pyramid and our MyPlate. We went over types of foods and spices like curry. We asked the children if any of them tried mangoes before. We talked about how mangoes grow in India and how Indians use mangoes in many of their common dishes.  Children raised their hands to share stories about when and what they tried that had mangoes in them. A common answer I noticed was McDonald’s smoothies with mango and pineapple. The children said they never actually saw a mango so, we passed one around for them to have a sensory evaluation of the fruit we were discussing. We talked about the importance of vitamins like vitamin A, C, and D. We asked them to name some examples of the different vitamins in mangoes and what these vitamins do to help your body. The children knew more about vitamin D than any other vitamin we talked about. They remembered some things about vitamin A because we briefly talk about that last week.


We initially planned on having the students make origami and color peacocks, India’s national bird. But, experienced that the origami was too difficult for the first group of students so, we just had the second and third groups color the peacocks. They then turned these peacocks into crowns and most of the students left the class wearing them as “Indian Princesses” and “Indian Kings”.


Our snack this week was mango lassi. The children were excited to try the mango smoothie but, a lot of the children weren’t huge fans of the mango desert. The smoothie consisted of mangoes, honey, vanilla yogurt, and 1% milk. The main complaint we heard is that the children didn’t like the honey. They liked the mango when we gave out sample slices of it though.

Overall, I think it was a success except for the snack idea. I think next I would do this lesson, I would choose a different snack idea that included mangoes.