It’s no secret that many people are looking for healthy eating habits, but eating right is a lot easier said than done. Two categories of food that most people seem to have the most difficulty including in their meals is that of fruits and vegetables. In fact, a Nu Skin article reported that, “9 out of 10 people do not consume the recommended two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. In fact, 2 out of 3 people reported that they consumed less than one serving of fruit per day – and that included orange juice as a serving of fruit!”
We all know how crucial the nutrients in fruits and vegetables are to our health, so if you currently fall into the 90 percent not getting enough fruits and veggies, here is your complete guide to success:
It’s the first meal of the day and one of the most important. Many people are in a rush to eat, which means they’ll often grab almost anything as they leave the house. Take a bit of extra time to make a nice breakfast by adding a little something extra into your meal. If you enjoy a bowl of cereal, try putting some chopped fruit, like a banana, on top. If omelettes are more your thing, it’s just as easy to sneak some peppers or onions in there. Not only will these additions add some nutrition, they can also add lots of flavor.
Sandwiches are usually the main course when it comes to lunch, so why not add some fruits and veggies into the mix? If you’re looking at a deli sandwich, include some peppers, carrots, or celery. Don’t forget to throw a tomato in there as well. Avocados can also be used in place of mayonnaise. Include some raw vegetables on the side. You can dip them in low-fat salad dressing or a bean dip like hummus.
The last meal of the day presents plenty of new ways to include fruits and vegetables. If you’re a fan of spaghetti, try mixing some grated carrots or zucchini to the pasta sauce. It’s a sneaky way to include some vegetables if you’re not thrilled by their taste. You can also prepare some vegetable juice for your drink. And if you’re not afraid to try something really new, mashed up cauliflower can make for an excellent nutritional substitute for mashed potatoes. Vegetables can also be hidden in some of your favorite meals, like pizza or tacos.
The versatile nature of salads makes them go great with almost any meal. You can either have them for the meal itself or as a side dish. Salads should be made of leafy green vegetables while also including other nutritious options like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chopped up apples, raisins, grapes, and broccoli. Make sure when you go the salad route that you stay away from fatty dressings and other toppings. Salads can also be eaten before lunch or dinner as a way to reduce your appetite before the main course.
An overwhelming number of snacks are salty or sugary examples of junk food, so keep away from them. Luckily, fruits and vegetables can fill the void quite nicely. Keep a bowl of fruit in an easy to reach place in your kitchen, dining room, or office. Not only does it serve as a pleasant reminder, but it makes for a quick and easy snack whenever you work up a craving for food. Smoothies are also good snack options for the middle of the day. Fill them up with tasty fruit but also add in a few vegetables to give your smoothie that extra bit of nutrition. Dried fruit can also be prepared or bought if you’d like to snack while on the go.
Fruits are easy to make into a fun dessert. Try dipping fruit like strawberries or kiwis into chocolate. Or try sprinkling some cinnamon onto some baked fruit. It’s the perfect way to end the day. If you’re going out to eat, order the side salad over the french fries. You may also want to look at the vegetarian menu that many restaurants provide.
There are certainly many more ways to include fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Being a little creative and finding what works for you is part of the fun of crafting the perfect meal plan. Once fruits and vegetables are a normal part of your routine, you’ll feel much more healthy and energetic.