We hear it all the time that we need to add more and more freggies (fruits and veggies) into our diet. The serving sizes keep changing, it may be 5 – 7 servings one day and 8 – 10 the next but the results are still the same: we need what seems like a ridiculous amount of freggies in our diet to stay healthy.
How on earth is the average person supposed to eat that much damned fruits and vegetables?! It seems as if we’ll have to eat constantly to live up to these “guidelines.”
Well, it’s actually not as hard as it sounds. The key is mainly in a bit of planning, finding the freggies you DO like (suck it up, grown-up’s, you need to eat ’em) and trying some or all of the following tips that I use personally to see that I get in a healthy amount of freggies every day:
10 Ways to eat your freggies
- Be aware of what you eat. Make a conscious effort to have at least one fruit or veggie per meal, including snacks. So if you eat three square meals a day plus 1 – 2 snacks, that’s 4 – 5 servings right there! Personally, I make an effort to add 2 servings for both lunch and dinner giving me 7 servings altogether!
- When ordering out, always order a garden salad first. Not only will it give you more veggies, it’ll also put something in your tummy so that you don’t overdo it on your entree.
- Although preferable, you don’t necessarily have to EAT your freggies. You can, on occasion, drink them instead. Juice them or have them in a soup, just make sure that, if you don’t make it yourself, you check the sugar and sodium content (and ingredients list – make sure they actually contain real fruits and vegetables) if you buy it packaged. You don’t want to outdo your efforts buy ingesting crap!
- Plan your meals! I can’t harp on meal planning enough! If you plan your meals for the week you can build in your veggies instead of staring into your fridge and grabbing random crap or junk.
- Always keep a bag of spinach on hand! Spinach is so cheap and versatile! Arrange it as a bed on your plate to lay your entree on, not only does it look pretty but adds another serving to your tummy. Add a handful into the blender with milk of your choice, half a banana, 1 tbsp of peanut butter and some cinnamon and you’ve got 2 servings right there (and TRUST ME, you won’t taste the spinach at ALL). Use it as a salad base, throw it into your spaghetti, add it to an omelette, the possibilities with spinach are endless!
- Incorporate them into everything you can (casseroles, mashed potatoes, soups, sandwiches, breads, oatmeal, muffins, etc.)
- Keep a large bowl of fruit on the kitchen table for easy access! I also keep a bowl of grapes (which I de-stem when I unpack them) in the fridge, at the very front so that it’s the first thing we see when we open it and are looking for a snack.
- Buy veggies pre-sliced or slice them into snack sized bits as soon as you get in the door from grocery shopping so that you can just grab them and munch without the prep!
- Never make a sauce without using veggies! Always challenge yourself to add as much as you can for every sauce you make! My pasta sauces are always loaded with things like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and even eggplant!
- Never order a meal at a restaurant that doesn’t come with veggies or always order a side of veggies with your meal and eat them first, right after your salad!
Photo credit: karimian