Fruits and Veggies

Eat_your_veggiesWe have heard it once we have heard it a thousand time. ‘Eat your veggies’. Most of us heard this more than anything during our childhood. All you could think of as a child was when you get older you will never eat another one again. Who needs those things anyway? I hate to break the news to you, but fruits and veggies are a very important part of our diets. You can’t live without them. Oh you can, but you will either gain weight or feel like shit in the long run. Go a week without eating any, you will see what I mean. I guess the problem is, we tend to over cook veggies. An edible rainbow of nummy fruits and vegetablesWe cook them to the point that they are either mush or they don’t have the taste they once had. This is the worst thing that you can do to them. When you over cook a veggie, you rob of it of everything that makes it good for you. This is very foolish and a waste of money. A person should eat 5-10 servings of veggies per day. I know you have had that pounded into your head while you were at school. It sucks to learn they were actually telling the truth doesn’t it?

medium_sized_apple_carrot_or_bananaBefore you get all bent out of shape, lets talk about how big a serving really is. A medium sized fruit or veggie is one serving. A medium sized apple, carrot or banana is one serving. 5-10 of those doesn’t sound too hard does it?

There are easy ways of getting the amount of veggies that you need. One is by preparing them the night before. Before you go to bed, peel and slice anything that you would want to eat the next day. This won’t take much time. You might want to invest in a peeler. They don’t cost very much. You can buy them at any shop that sells cookware. Also your grocery store might have one. If you can’t find it, ask one of the stock boys. They will know if they carry them. One easy way to consume more fruits and veggies is to cut them up and put them in small sandwich baggies. Cut up a variety of things and store them in the small bags. You might cut up an apple, some carrots and some celery.

vegetable_snackKeep these on hand at work. When you have a coffee break, eat these instead of rushing over to the vending machine to get a bag of snack chips. Keep a salt shaker in your desk or in your locker at work. A little salt will bring out the natural flavor of the veggie and make them more appealing. Think of these as snacks to go. You can keep them on hand if you are going to take a long trip. You can keep them at work, in the ice box for when you get the munchies, or if you want a late night snack. Soups are a great way to get a serving of veggies. You need to watch though, some of the canned soups will have a lot of salt in them. That is the downfall of buying soups that are already prepared. If you can make your own soup, that is great. Also you will cut out any unneeded fat.

A_small salad_is_also_one_serving_of_veggiesA small salad is also one serving of veggies. When you go out to eat, order a salad. Make sure that you don’t load it up with bad salad dressing. Go for a oil and vinegar. If you are at a place that you can put on how much oil and vinegar you want, that is even better. Just put enough oil on your salad to counter act the acidity of the vinegar.

You need to make sure that you are getting as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible. When they are raw, they are the best for your body. Some times during the canning or freezing process, they might cook them slightly. Eat a can of raw green beans straight from the can. Compare that to a raw green bean, you will see what I mean.

 

veggie_trayI would suggest to you that you eat as many raw veggies as possible. If you must cook them, blanch them slightly. Just cook them long enough so that they starchy feeling of a raw veggie is gone. Certainly don’t cook them until they are limp and colorless. That robs them from anything that is worth eating. You are eating these to be healthy, that is a choice you make. Cooking them to the point that they are worthless might be an easier way to force yourself to eat them, but your efforts are being wasted.

Here are some ways to increase your fruit and veggie consumption. For breakfast put some fruit in with your cereal. This is great, I love doing this. This gives your cereal a sweet zing without adding a bunch of sugar. Also you can drink a glass of juice along with your breakfast. Juice is a great way of ‘eating’ your fruit. Make sure to get juice with the pulp in it, it is also good fiber.

Lunch. Eat salads. Make sure not to load them with bad dressing. Have veggie sticks along with your meal, this will also fill you up. For desert you can have a piece of fruit. This is a better desert than having a ice cream or something you will regret.

For dinner I would suggest that you try vegetarian pizza or meals based around veggies. Why not eat some fish and a plate full of greens and corn? You can mix and match things how ever you like it.

The key thing to understand is, you need to make fruits and veggies fun. If you keep it bland, you won’t want to eat them. So, get a cook book or a favorite cooking site and learn how to eat your fruits and veggies. You will notice a big difference in how you feel.

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