Eating Green…and red, and purple, and orange…
If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times “Eating healthy is expensive and impossible to do with a crazy schedule.” The expensive part is pretty spot on (my grocery bills can get a little crazy if I’m not careful), but the impossible part? Not so much. Sure it’s EASIER to grab a package of processed food and go but if you had the chance to grab healthy food and go would you do it? My answer of course is YES and I DO!
So here is my deal: I make it a priority to try to get 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies in per day. Yes I also include protein, whole grains, dairy, etc. But HRM, you ask, why focus on so much fruit and veggies? Because if I can do just this little thing to improve my health it’s worth it. I have a family to take care of and I EXERCISE MY BUTT OFF. Literally. Eating this way helps me to recover and feel a whole lot better.
So you want to know how a crazy busy lady like me does it? You got it!
1. I make a list ahead of time
I was never a list maker. I would go to the store, get a bunch of stuff, and then get home and realize I needed a zillion more things. Not only was it a waste of time but I was spending way too much money. Now I sit down and make a list of what I need for the WEEK. Unless I am buying frozen fruit or veggies the fresh stuff doesn’t last more than 7 days in my house.
2. I prep as soon as I get home
I am talking I unload my groceries and immediately wash and prep the fruit and veggies. When I do it this way I am more likely to utilize the food I bought. I mean think about it. How easy is to get lazy and say ” Ugh, I haven’t washed it or chopped it yet and I don’t feel like it. Bring on the lean cuisine.” If I have fruits/veggies ready to go I will eat them. Why? Because I can grab a bag out of the fridge and go. It’s just like grabbing an energy bar- but better.
3. I know what a serving size is
Ahhhh this is the best part. Knowing what a true serving in makes this so much easier! For instance, 6 baby carrots is a half cup, so if you eat 12 that’s one serving of vegetables. Ok, it’s probably not reasonable to ask you (or me) to know how many of each is equivalent to a 1/2 or full cup. My trick? If I can fit it in the palm of my hand it’s equals a half cup. If it fits in both hands it equals one cup. One cup = one serving. Want to cheat? A half cup of dried fruit is equivalent to one cup of fresh fruit. My advice?
4.Incorporate fruits and veggies in each meal
I am talking breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and even desert. When I do it this way I get at least 5 servings or more. I often make a big salad and put it into a container undressed. That salad can be put in a wrap, on a sandwich, in a burrito/taco, or eaten by itself. Have left over veggies from dinner? Put them into an omlet the next morning. I promise it will not disappoint!
5. Colors = Awesome
The brighter my salad (or plate is) the better. The more colorful my meals are the more likely I am benefiting from different vitamins and minerals. Load up people!
Did you know that eating just 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies a day can significantly decrease your risk of chronic diseases? Check out info on the benefits and go more info HERE .
Still having troubles eating fruits and/or veggies or just plain don’t like the taste? Don’t fret. PUREE them and add them as a base to your pasta sauce or use them as substitutions when baking. Sneak them in, it’s worth it. Can’t fathom spending $4 on a carton of strawberries? If a fruit is out of season check out the freezer. You will often find a better deal and still reap the benefits.
You only get one shot at taking care of yourself so why wouldn’t you?!
P/S I am not in any way encouraging any of you to give up a good desert. Life is too short not to enjoy something sweet! Everything in moderation…or at least that’s what ALEX says!