Monday, February 14, 2011

How to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

After my last post, a friend emailed wondering how the heck I was eating 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It's a great question and a great topic for discussion. Here's my take:

According to Weight Watchers, serving sizes are 1 cup for leafy greens and 1/2 cup for all other vegetables and fruits. That means if you eat one large apple, you've got 2 fruit servings right there. Add to that a handful of baby carrots and a turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread (4 thin slices of lean, smoked turkey with one wedge laughing cow cheese on a 100 calorie whole-wheat sandwich round) and you have a 5-point lunch that includes 3 fruits/vegetables servings and you will be FULL.

But that's just an example. The point is to make sure you're getting 1-2 servings of fruits/vegetables (aim for 2) with each meal and then eating additional fruits and veggies for snacks. Smoothies like the Green Monster are also a great way to get your fruits/veggies count up.

Some of my favorites:

Baby carrots (with 1 tbsp low-fat ranch, 0 points)

Apples (For less waste, cut them off the core.)

Clementines (These are great and on sale in a lot of grocery stores right now. They're small and easy to eat.)

Bananas (Right now I'm really loving smoothies with bananas, ice, and 1 cup chocolate almond milk, 3 points.)

Tomatoes (Okay, I don't actually eat these things straight up, but using tomatoes to make sauce for spaghetti or pizza also counts.)

Red Cabbage (This one is new for me. Sneak a handful on tacos or fajitas to add beautiful color and a nice crunch, but don't worry, you can't really taste it.)

Spinach (I sneak this into everything. I've done so so much, I'm starting to think I don't really need to sneak it anymore, it's growing on me.)

Peas (I buy these frozen and steam them in the microwave. I season them with Smart Balance and salt and pepper. I could eat them every night of the week.)

Green Beans (I also buy these frozen and steam in the microwave. These a great vegetable for toddlers because they're easy to pick up with a fork.)

Potatoes (Yes, I count potatoes as a vegetable (as does Weight Watchers). They come from the ground, don't they?)

Fresh Herbs (Is this one a surprise? Herbs like basil and parsley are high in iron and Vitamin C, as well as lots of other goodies.)

These are my family's favorites (for now), what are your favorite fruits and vegetables?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Ashlee! It helps to see it broken down like that and it does seem obtainable, I will have to work on it. :)