Race to Five a Day
What is "5 a day"? I'm so happy you asked. The WHO (World Health Organization) has recommended that part of a healthy diet includes five servings (4oo g) of fruits and vegetables per day. That shouldn't sound too hard. But if it's easier said than done, here are a few ideas that we use to help make theory a reality.
Have fruit with breakfast. I find this easiest in the form of a smoothie. Throw a handful of spinach, a handful of frozen berries and a frozen banana in a blender with some milk, and you're off to a great start getting about half of your five before you've even left for work. (You can check out my smoothie recipes here.) But even if you just cut a banana onto your cereal you're doing great.
Keep raw fruits and vegetables on hand as snacks. If you're munching on apples, clementines, carrots, or snap peas throughout the day they'll start to add up and you won't feel like you have to sit down and eat a ton of fruits or vegetables at once.
Don't keep other snacks in the house. This is fairly simple. If there's no option to have ice cream, chocolate, fruit snacks, etc. without having to go through extra effort of driving somewhere, then you've just increased the odds that you'll actually snack on the fruits or veggies that you have available.
Salad and/or cooked veggie side with dinner. We normally like to get 1-2 servings at dinner time. It's not that hard to steam some frozen veggies or toss together a salad (or both). And you can throw vegetables into the main course surreptitiously. (It has become a bit of a game for me to see where I can hide vegetables without my husband realizing such as in my lasagna recipe).
Experiment with new fruits/veggies. It's fun to incorporate new foods. Sometimes they end up not being our favorite and other times we get hooked, but it's nice to switch things up every once in a while. Then the same five things don't end up becoming aversive.
Make it a game. When we sit down to family dinner, my husband and I will often start taking an inventory of what fruits and vegetables we've eaten that day. We may realize that one of us didn't do so hot, or perhaps we just need a little more salad or a piece of fruit for dessert to reach our goal. We've started calling it "the race to five a day", and it's a fun little competition that keeps us motivated.
Maybe something else works for you and your situation. Make healthy eating a part of your lifestyle, not an unsustainable "lose weight quick, and gain it back quicker" diet. However you do it, have fun, and enjoy the journey to feeling great!