No Excuse Fruits And Vegetables

We’ve all heard the importance of getting at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

We can make thousands of excuses on why we don’t eat our fruits and vegetables --but we're going to help you  can reach your healthy-habit goals quicker.

Keep fruits and vegetables on the top shelf of the fridge, on the kitchen counter or table. If you see them several times in a day, you will be more likely to eat them before they spoil.

Take advantage of your grocery salad bar, which provides already sliced varieties. Eat them in snack form or toss in a salad with less prep time.

Stock up on frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. These are simple to prepare in the microwave and offer similar nutritional value to the fresh variety. Sometimes frozen vegetables lock in nutrients better than "fresh" ones that have sat for a few days. If buying canned food, look for the low-sodium varieties.

Wash, slice, and dice ahead of time. Store in a clear container in the front of your fridge where you can see and reach for it on a daily basis for immediate use.

It’s true that vitamins break down in heat and air. The longer and hotter you cook something, the more nutrients you lose. But there are simple, easy ways to avoid major vitamin loss when preparing fruits and vegetables. The most obvious, of course, is to eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

Cook only until crisp and tender. Otherwise known as al dente, a crisper vegetable or fruit will retain more nutrients than a mushy one. A good way to achieve this is steaming rather than boiling your food.

Use big pieces rather than small, cut-up pieces. Minimizing the surface area of each piece prevents loss of vitamins when exposed to air.

Cover your pots during cooking to contain steam and heat. This helps reduce cooking time and therefore saves nutrients.

The water you’ve used for cooking vegetables can be reused in soups, sauces, stews or vegetable juices. This is a way to get the benefit of residual vitamins.

Here's a few strategies that will help you reach your goal of 5  a day.

  • eat a fruit at a time of day when you do not normally eat one
  • drink a glass of juice instead of coffee
  • on your coffee break munch on a carrot and celery sticks while you work.
  • sprinkle bananas slices and raisins on your breakfast cereal
  • use applesauce instead of oil when baking
  • have tuna in a bowl of salad instead of on a sandwich
  • add a handful of frozen vegetables to any kind of  soup
  • add a meatless meal to the weeks menu
  • add fruits or vegetables to tuna or chicken salad. grapes and apples are great with chicken
  • try salsa as a dip for fresh vegetables
  • add a handful of frozen peas to a pasta dish
  • starving on the way home from work? munch on an apple
  • order pizza -light on the cheese....double the vegetables

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