In case you didn’t know, the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day for the average American is 5-9 servings (~1/2 cup per serving) or 5 cups per day. So, here are some things you shouldn’t do if you ever want to reach this goal!
- Do NOT leave for an early morning meeting assuming they will have a breakfast consisting of any type of produce whatsoever. DO assume they will have pastry’s and bagels (even if you’re attending a nutrition conference, I swear)
- Do NOT sit down for a meal at your favorite lunch joint and assume that the lettuce and tomato on your chicken sandwich will add up to a full serving.
- Do NOT wait until your child is one year old to stop giving him/her purees. Hello, introduce them to texture sooner than later! If your child hates fruits/veggies you are more likely to not buy them for yourself! Try Baby Led Weaning.
- Do NOT assume your waiter knows that you want to substitute the fries for broccoli. You must specify.
**NOTE: Do NOT assume that broccoli will be steamed. It will probably be drowned in butter; again, you must specify **
- Do NOT go to the supermarket, buy a bunch of fun new fruits and vegetables (because they looked so pretty!) and assume you will do something with them. You must have a recipe in mind, or at least write yourself a note to use that produce before it goes bad!
- Do NOT be afraid to think outside the box. Stuff those zucchini with something (who says you can only stuff birds?!). Try this crab stuffed zucchini recipe
- Do NOT assume airports will be equipped with fruits and veggies. Pack some things like Larabars, apples, bananas, clementines, carrots, sweet potato chips (baked), dried fruits (no added sugar)
- Do NOT let a meal go by that doesn’t include at least one fruit or vegetable
- Do NOT count your LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) as a vegetable, it’s merely there for crunch and flavor
- Do NOT count your large iceburg salad with ranch dressing, cheese and croutons as “four servings of vegetable”…it’s probably (barely) two
**NOTE: Two cups green leafy vegetables count as 1-cup. Aim for five total cups of F/V per day)
- Do NOT believe the nutrition bars that claim to count as “three servings of fruits and vegetables”
- Do NOT believe that “veggie chips” are healthy (although I’m a fan of sweet potato chips, at least they contain an excellent source of vitamin A!). I also love these…
- That reminds me, do NOT assume all veggies will cause you indigestion! Beano is great.
- Do NOT be afraid of new kitchen gadgets (veggie spiralizers are my new favorite thing. Not sure if you’ll ever use it? Then buy this handheld one that is less than twenty bucks!)
- Do NOT ignore canned or frozen vegetables and fruits. As long as there is no salt or sugar added (in the frozen versions) or minimal amounts (as in canned, look for low sodium or light syrup) they can often be better for you than fresh!
- Do NOT believe that you resveratrol supplement will protect you from everything from cancer to heart disease. Fruits and vegetables contain thousands of phyto (plant) chemicals that we haven’t even researched yet! Why isolate the one we do know about and just consume that? No good will come out of it (in fact it can be harmful) Just drink a glass of wine people.
- Do NOT think that just because your main entree already has vegetables or fruits, having more on the side isn’t necessary. Load em’ up!
All right that’s it. See ya next week for some fun news. In the meantime, eat your fruits and vegetables.