Habit #1: Eat fruit and/or vegetables at every meal or snack

By , On , In Nutrition

”Eat your fruits and vegetables” is one of the tried and true recommendations for a healthy diet.

…and for good reasons…

Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you prevent heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, keeps your eyes in good shape and the list goes on.

And for all these reasons alone this is our #1 Habit.

Whether you are a plant based eater or not your diet should be based around fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately most of us do not eat enough of them.

How much is enough?

Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day… and potatoes don’t count 😉

The easiest way to meet this requirement is to include them with ever meal. My personal rule is to cover at least ½ of my plate with veggies and/or fruit.

Go for a variety of kinds and colors of produce, to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs.

Best bets? Dark leafy greens, tomatoes, and anything that’s a rich yellow, orange, or red color.

I put together some tips on how to sneak fruits and veggies to EVERY meal:

Breakfast

  • Have a bowl of fruit for breakfast
  • Start your day with smoothie made with fresh or frozen fruit and don’t forget to add big handful of spinach or kale (you won’t even know it’s there, I promise)
  • Add fruit to your cereal and oatmeal
  • Replace jam with real fruit (e.g., bananas, strawberries)
  • Add chopped apple, mashed banana, or fresh berries to pancakes
  • Try organic applesauce on pancakes instead of syrup

Lunch

  • Have a big salad  made of spinach or romaine lettuce, peppers, cherry tomatoes, add apples, mandarin oranges or pineapple for some sweetness
  • Enjoy a hot bowl of homemade or organic vegetable soup
  • Ask for extra lettuce and tomato on your sandwich
  • In a hurry?  Try stopping at a salad bar and loading up on pre-cut fruits and vegetables

Snacks

  • Try apple slices or baby carrots with natural peanut butter
  • Have dried fruit instead of candy or cookies
  • Cut up raw vegetables with a hummus or guacamole
  • For a hearty snack have a banana sandwich with natural almond butter
  • Make some fruit salad with raw nuts

Dinner

  • Make a stir fry with peppers, tomatoes, beans, onion…
  • How about a vegetarian chilli
  • Grill vegetables with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Bake sweet potatoes for dinner
  • If you think that meal is not a meal without dessert, make dessert a cup of mixed berries, a bit of soy yogurt and a tablespoon of granola. You can change this up with anything from pineapple, baked apples to peaches

I am a big fan of eating my veggies and fruit raw, however as you can see there are some cleaver ways to hide them inside cooked meals too. For those with sweet tooth checkout my recipe for delicious “Spinach Brownies” here.

Ok, here is our first habit. I would love to know how you are doing with it so please post your questions, comments or challenges bellow.

Until next time

Live healthy

Zuzana.

PS.   Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. ~Albert Einstein

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