7 Quick Tips for 7 Servings of Fruits and Veggies a Day
A diet high in vegetables and fruit promotes fat loss. It fills you with fiber without a ton of calories. AND a recent large study out of Britain found that mental well-being and happiness were higher among people who ate about 7 daily servings of fresh fruits and veggies!! Pass the salad!
To be honest, a lot of people are intimidated by the thought of it, especially if it is far from what they normally eat. If you have a busy schedule and find it easy to stop for a Starbucks and a ding dong for breakfast, drive through the local fast food place for a quick lunch and take home barbecue or chinese for dinner, then you are in the majority of the standard american diet (SAD). But it is SO simple to add fresh foods, you will be surprised. And there is no right or wrong here, it is just what suits you. You will find though, that the more fresh fruits and veggies you eat, the more you will be willing to try new ones. So start where you are and work your way to a wider variety. The more colorful and diverse your diet, the higher amount of micronutrients you will feed your body. So, don’t sweat the fact that you can’t grow your own veggies and sprout your seeds and drink apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle like your crunchy neighbor. Do what you can, where you are. Fresh food can be fast food too!
Here are 7 quick tips for 7 servings
(especially good for those with picky kids!):
- 1 – Store pre-chopped raw veggies in the fridge for snacks and dip in hummus. It’s easy enough to buy the veggies already chopped and pre-made hummus (look for oil-free)
- 2 – Start dinner with a small salad. Mix it up, it doesn’t have to be “lettuce”. Try shredded cabbage with raisins and sunflower seeds with an orange vinaigrette, or a bowl of thinly sliced cucumber with sliced sweet onion with a little apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, how about spiraled zucchini with grape tomatoes, pine nuts and a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, dates, garlic and oregano. Mix it up – color is fun to eat! The fiber will fill you too, so you eat less of the empty calories.
- 3 – Have an afternoon snack between lunch and dinner everyday as a pick me up (instead of that afternoon candy bar or soda ;D) *** a little almond butter (fat and a protein) with an apple (healthy carb!) – it will hold you over, wake you up and give you a boost of energy!
- 4 – Add a cup of spinach to your midmorning smoothie – you won’t even know it’s there!
- 5 – Stir extra veggies into soups – especially chili
***the darker the color of the soup, the less likely your kids will pay attention to the ingredients!
- 6 – Try banana tacos for breakfast: separate 6 romaine leaves into 2 “tacos”, split a banana halfway, lengthwise and place on top, smear with 1 T. PB each, roll like a taco and enjoy!
- 7 – Eat a piece of fruit for dessert, or use frozen fruit and toss into a high powered blender for a homemade sorbet treat!
2 frozen bananas
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup almond milk (as needed)
2 T. raw walnuts
2 T. currants
Blend top 5 ingredients until smooth, top with walnuts and currants, yum! Makes 2 servings
When you think about it, instead of grabbing that store bought granola bar or high calorie, sugar laden, preservative added smoothie, you’ll find fresh food fills you up better, it tastes GREAT and you won’t get the added bonus of unfamiliar ingredients in your food! Bon appetite!