You hear about it and you read about it, but do you do it?
Do you get your share of fruits and veggies into your day?
If you have been meaning to get started on that healthy diet, but in reality fruits and veggies to you are boring. You don't mind the odd apple because it is easy to grab and go, but the idea of actually making an effort to get more fruits and veggies into your diet is boring. When you think fruits and veggies, you probably think apples and carrots right?
But what if you could just make a few adjustments to how you prepare and shop for your food? Maybe just a bit of planning ahead of time, and you will find it easier and easier to eat healthy meals and snacks!
Here are five great tips for getting more fruits and veggies into your day without being boring!
1. Cut up raw veggies are still a good standby, but who wants to start washing and peeling carrots or cutting up celery when you just want to grab something from the fridge and go right? Plus they are a bit boring on their own.
So here is what you do. Next time you grocery shop, you will get a bag of carrots and some celery and some colored peppers, also a few low fat dressings or dips or humus is a good choice as well. It can be fun to shop for the low fat dips, there are so many flavors now.
Get home, put away your groceries, and now quickly wash and cut up your veggies and peppers and other crunchy vegetables that you like. Put them in a plastic tub ready for eating. Cut up a couple of days worth at a time. Have the dips or humus handy in the fridge. Then next time you need a snack, or something to tide you over for dinner or as an addition to your sandwich at lunch. Just grab the container of veggies and pour out some dip. You will quickly get into this habit.
If you make lunches the night before, you can throw some of these cut up veggies into a zip lock bag then pop in a lunch bag. This makes lunch making a much easier process especially when you are trying to add healthy substitutes. Get yourself a few tiny containers that can hold your low fat dips or humus to put in your lunch as well.
It is also great for kids, as they can grab and go, or grab and dip!
2. If you are a cereal lover first thing in the morning, then make sure you have some berries around, that you can quickly rinse pat dry, and then throw on your cereal, even on hot cereal fruits taste good. This is a great way to get your fruit in the morning and your veggies in between meals.
3. If you have a sweet tooth, then purchase low fat containers of yogurt and top with some berries and a layer of low fat granola for added crunch. There is something about the crunch that makes this feel like a treat rather than getting in a serving of fruit, plus in this case the added bonus of calcium from the dairy, and fiber from the granola. Just make sure it is the low fat granola, as that can very easily be a high calorie item, Make sure and read the labels.
4. If you like to eat out, getting your fruits and veggies can be easier. Instead of getting "fries with that" go for a side salad and a whole wheat roll. That way you still feel like you are getting a carbohydrate or a starch with the whole wheat bun, but you will also get a serving or two (depending on how big the salad is) of veggies. Go more for a garden salad rather than a Caesar salad which does not have much in the way of veggies just lettuce and fatty dressing.
Many restaurants are offering healthier dessert options as well, you can opt for a frozen yogurt topped with fresh berries.
5. If you are pizza lover, then here is a great opportunity for the veggies. Instead of the high processed and fatty meats, opt for a veggie and low fat cheese pizza. If you must have a meat on top of your pizza, go for a leaner meat such as chicken. Chicken on pizza has become more popular lately.
The trick to getting fruits and veggies into your day, is to have something with them, such as yogurt or cereal, or opt to add them to your meals. Get into the habit of throwing berries on cereals and desserts, and grabbing an apple or banana between meals if you are on the run.
I personally find the best way to keep fruits and veggies in the house, is to shop twice a week. I like the fruits and veggies fresh, and especially berries. I like to pick them up mid week as well, this way I always have them on hand to add to my day, and there is so much choice out there for fruits and veggies. You can hit the local farmers markets in the summer months for fresh.
So, if you think that adding fruits and veggies to your diet, means boring salads and apple upon apple, then think again. You just have to think outside the box. Berries are a great addition to anything that could use a bit of a natural sweetness, and any crunchy veggie with low fat dip can replace those chips you keep grabbing.
So, you don't have to eat plain fruits and veggies, try something new. If you have never been a fruit lover, why not experiment a bit, maybe you just have never had a mango or a fresh pineapple. Even canned in natural juices or frozen are good substitutes when you can't get fresh or they are out of season.
Just get into the habit of incorporating some fruit and veggies into you day, and you will feel good about eating healthy and you may just get a looser fitting waistband as a bonus!