Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than most other foods, yet full of tummy-filling fiber and chockful of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that keep us healthy and lean. We all know that, so why don’t we eat more of these? The excuses are numerous, but I’ve got a few ideas on how to get past your excuses.
No Big Deal Changes: Let’s make a goal to add just one more fruit and one more veggie a day. Come on, we can do it. Here are some ideas:
- Pick one time of the day to add them. Remember, the way to develop a good habit is the same as the way we develop a bad habit – by doing the same thing over and over again. So, decide to have a piece of fruit with breakfast, as a mid-afternoon snack, or perhaps after dinner. Then add them to the shopping list to eliminate the excuse of “I don’t have any in the house.” In addition, have at least one “real meal” a day – that’s what I refer to as a meal with vegetables, and lots of them. No more cereal, soup, or sandwich for dinner – make it a “real meal.”
- Have them visible. Research indicates that when you have food visible on the counter, you’re more likely to eat it. So, keep fresh fruit on the counter instead of the chips. When my daughter was young I’d chop up fresh fruit or raw veggies and put them on the table while I was cooking dinner. Guess what? When that’s the only option, hungry kids tend to gobble them up.
- Learn some tasty preparation techniques. My daughter wouldn’t eat yellow squash until I developed a lower fat version of the squash casserole that Luby’s Cafeteria serves. I hated Brussel sprouts until I found a recipe for a shredded kale/Brussel sprouts salad (though I have cut back drastically on the cheese and oil). So, don’t give up – I promise there’s a recipe out there that will make you change your mind about vegetables. Hint: try roasted vegetables.
Here are just some more recipes to get you started:
Dr. Jo® Lichten is a PhD nutritionist and registered dietitian. As a frequent keynote speaker for companies and conventions, she inspires busy people to stay healthy, sane, and productive. Jo is the author of several books including REBOOT – how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity. When she’s not traveling she and her husband enjoy kayaking, biking, and surfing.