Okay guys. Now that we have added physical activity, water, vitamins and breakfast to our daily routines it is time to add to our menus! Fruit and Veggies!
You may have heard that the beloved food pyramid that none of paid attention to anyway has sort of been ousted. I am not much for the government butting in ANYWHERE, especially with what we eat, but I linked to their new brochure of what they recommend as far as fruit and veggie servings per day. I think they over complicate it.
Here is what I am challenging you to:
A serving of Fruit and a serving of Veggies with Lunch
A serving of Veggies with Supper
Replace one snack a day a serving of fruit or veggies.
( A good rule of thumb is 2-3 cups of veggies a day and 1.5-2 cups of fruit.)
In my opinion, you cannot have too many veggies. Fruit, you still want to go somewhat easy on because it can be high in sugar. Watermelon and grapes are very high in sugar. A better choice would be an apple which also has some fiber in it. I think it is super easy to grab a banana with breakfast or for breakfast. Bananas are full of potassium and also has some fiber. Berries are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are so important. They protect your cells from the effects of free radicals that are produced when breaking down food and from environmental exposure to smoke and radiation. So in a nutshell, they help fight against cancer. Get your berries. Raspberries are some of the most nutritionally dense food on the planet. Add berries to your oatmeal, cereal, yogurt or just rinse them and eat them fresh!
As far as veggies go.... Make yourself try new things. Try the stuff that you hated as a kid. You might like it now. Try veggies new ways. But most importantly, eat as many veggies as you can raw. Raw is always best. Vegetables start to loose their nutritional value from the time they are picked to the time you eat them. Ideally, if you can grow your own, that is the best, best, best form. Do it organically too! Less pesticides, more nutrition and vitamins. If you can buy locally, do it. Not only are you supporting your local farmers, but your food will have a higher nutritional value.
I know organic is expensive, but it is worth it. If you can buy some or all organic. Do it. Especially the "Dirty Dozen". The "Dirty Dozen" are fruits and veggies that have a high pesticide residue.
The Dirty Dozen
1. Apples (Over 40 pesticides used!)
2. Celery ( More than 60 different pesticides used)
3. Strawberries (60 pesticides)
4. Peaches (60 pesticides)
5. Spinach (50 pesticides)
6. Nectarines (50 pesticides)
7. Grapes (imported- 50 pesticides)
8. Sweet Bell Peppers (50 pesticides)
9. Potatoes (35 pesticides)
10. Blueberries (50 pesticides)
11. Lettuce (50 pesticides)
12. Kale and Collard Greens (45 pesticides)
The Clean 15 ( No need to buy organic)
2. Sweet Corn
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet Potatoes
Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#ixzz1pUl8LdDB
Also, get as many veggies as you can. Eat them raw. Heck if you eat them with ranch dip, at least you are getting you veggies in. If you want to get try them some different ways, try my Roasted Veggies or Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Corn is technically a grain, plus it is high in sugar. So I recommend NOT counting corn in your servings of fruit and veggies! Be creative and have fun with this! I would love to hear about your favorite way to get your fruits and veggies!
If you are already getting all your veggies and fruit in for the day, then AMP it up! Replace your lunch with a salad 3 times this week. Challenge yourself to eating 75% of your veggies raw. Buy organic. Look into planting a garden. The time to start is quickly approaching! Try new veggies, like spaghetti squash. Good luck and good health! :) :) :)