I am all about adding to our diets instead of subtracting when we are feeling overwhelmed about what to eat. Starting a diet that is all about what you can’t do or eat is boring and miserable, let’s be honest. Rather than saying you’re never allowed to eat your favorite foods again, why not think about ways you can add healthy foods in to the diet you already have?
Fruits and veggies are a huge part of shifting that diet mindset to one of abundance. We are supposed to eat five servings of fruits and veggies every single day and, according to the CDC, only one out of ten of us is actually hitting that recommended minimum number. That’s pretty bad. I know it sounds super daunting to suddenly feel like you have to go from zero or one servings to five, but again, it’s not all or nothing. Everything is on a continuum so each step in the right direction is a great one.
But back to that big ol’ number five. I’m always getting asked by clients and friends if I really eat that many vegetables or if I’m just saying I do so today I want to share an example of what I eat in a day that will hopefully make it seem like less of an impossible feat to get those vegetables in.
Breakfast: Smoothie Bowl
When I have to run out of the house at 5am, a smoothie is my go to breakfast. Its quick, portable, tasty, and, believe it or not, gives me 3 servings of fruits and veggies all before the sun is even up. YUP. That’s right. Here’s the recipe
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop collagen
1 scoop Vega proteins and greens protein powder
Throw it all in a food processor or blend until its the consistency you want and you’re good to go! If I’m in a rush I throw it in a blender bottle and run out the door, but when I have more time I like to sit with some tea and top it with more fruit or granola.
Fruit/Veggie Count: 3 servings
Lunch: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Burger with Asparagus
For lunch, I pretty much always have leftovers from dinner the night before. Today that means a homemade sweet potato/chickpea burger. Between the sweet potato, avocado, and asparagus, we’re looking at another 3 servings of veggies in this meal!
Fruit/Veggie Count: 6 servings
Dinner: Brussel Sprout and Quinoa Salad with BBQ Chicken
For dinner, I’m trying out a new recipe from Fit Foodie Finds (a great resource if you’re ever in a rut in the kitchen!). This is a brussel sprout and quinoa salad that I am pairing with some baked BBQ chicken thighs. This big plate of brussels will give me another 2 servings of veggies.
Fruit/Veggie Count: 8 servings
At the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I was trying to cram any veggies or fruit in and I ended up actually surpassing my goal! It takes some planning to figure out what recipes you enjoy/have the time to cook, but it is so worth it. This is a pretty standard day of eating for me and it makes up for the days that my veggie count is a solid 0. Let’s be honest, some days are full of ice cream and Taco Bell. Food is more than fuel. It is so often tied to our emotions and memories and, for me at least, it would be silly to think that every meal should be approached strictly from a “fuel yourself” perspective. I’ve just found that the days without as many nutrients/veggies are also the ones where I feel bloated and lethargic so I end up feeling better if I find a balance that leans heavily toward tasty, healthy food and uses the others sparingly.
Whatever your typical intake of fruits and veggies, try to pay a little extra attention to your body this week. See which foods make you feel energized and light and which ones bog you down. You might learn something new!