Friday, July 10, 2009

4 Weeks to 5 Servings: July Fruits and Veggies Challenge

Wow, first we had the Walk-it challenge now were having a fruit and veggie challenge. Are you up for it? I'm pretty competitive so I think I'm in!!

Some time last year I put out a challenge for my members to see if they could get in 5 fruits and veggies 5 days a week for 1 week. Members found it really hard, including myself!

This week's challenge: Go for color! This week, aim to incorporate at least three different colors of fruits and vegetables in the food you eat, every day.
That's doable!

F & V (fruits and veggies from now on) have so many benefits, both physical and mental.
The fiber and water content make them filling.
They can be tasty and flavorful.
They are anti-oxidant powerhouses.
Studies show eating more f & v can lower your risk of certain cancers.
When you are including f & v everyday there is a feeling that you are doing the "right" thing and in turn that empowers you to stay on track, which contributes to an overall sense of success.

OK, how do we get more f & v every day?
Breakfast: Add fruit to smoothies.
Add veggies to omelets, frittatas, breakfast burritos.
Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, toast or yogurt.
Lunch and dinner: Put leftover grilled veggies on sandwiches. Add lots of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and onions to sandwiches. (I always ask for extra lettuce at Subway)
Ask for extra mushrooms, peppers, onions, or tomatoes on pizza.
Have a salad to start your meal. (just don't drench it in fattening dressing)
Have you tried jicama? Use it in salads or dips.
Stir-fry using a variety of vegetables.
Add watercress to mixed green salads.
Double the veggies in recipes.
Add papaya to fruit salad.
Don't forget the usual fare of broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, corn on the cob and green beans.
Snacks: Raisins. Sliced veggies dipped in ff dressing. Peanut better and apples. Frozen grapes make a quick cool snack too!

F & V add color, texture and flavor to almost any dish- they don't have to be boring!
You will be reaping all the benefits that come with eating plenty of f & v.
Develop the habit of eating several servings of fruits and veggies every day!

"Did you ever stop to taste a carrot? Not just eat it, but taste it? You can't taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a twinkie."

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