I have a confession. My go-to snack is cheese. I don’t mean nice homemade snacks that have cheese in them – melted on toast or served with sliced apple. I just mean I grab a bag of slice provolone from the fridge and eat a slice or two. Of course, I also love sandwiches for cheese at lunch – and pasta with cheese at dinner. Basically I just love cheese.
I am sure you now think Im crazy and 300 pounds. Well, I’m not – but I definitely know that this is a bad way to live. And, I know my average frame can’t keep this up for very long. It won’t be average in a couple years :).
Now, I’m not giving up cheese – or dairy. There’s no way that’s happening. But, I am becoming WAY more intentional about adding fruits and vegetables to my diet. I am good about vegetables at dinner – but it’s the 4-5 cups a day part that I’m failing in.
I am also pretty lazy right now. I don’t want to chop up 6 different exotic fruits for an amazing fruit salad. I always have those intentions – and I buy a box of kiwi – and then it often just sits in the fridge. So, I need a solution. Here are my 5 go-to ways to eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
(Make sure you leave a comment and give me more suggestions! I really am loving expanding my diet this way!)
Keep ready-to-grab fruit on the counter
I started keeping a bunch of washed grapes on the counter, and guess what? I just would eat them when I walked by. This is best done for a couple hours at a time so they don’t get too warm. If you work in an office, just keep them on your desk. Turns out, you might just eat them without thinking. These are the best fruits for this:
- Grapes – washed and in a colander or bowl
- A bowl of pre-cut fruit – and yes – the cheaters bowl of fruit at the produce section. Its amazing how quickly I will eat this.
- A homemade Fruit Salad that you make on the weekends (my favorite is here)
- Berries – washed and in a bowl
These easy-to-grab fruit are the best – and there is no shame buying them already pre-cut :).
Buy Salad Mixes
Again, this is a cheaters method, and I don’t care. For some reason I am way more likely to eat a salad if I don’t have to do any work. My absolute favorite is Dole’s Southwest Salad Kit. I love the Tex Mex dressing, and it’s perfect to add cherry tomatoes to (again, no work) or pre-cooked chicken. I buy these every week now and don’t let myself eat anything else until I have a whole plate of salad. It’s working, y’all!
By the way, my favorite pre-made chicken is Trader Joe’s “Just Chicken”. It’s in the refrigerated section and is the best pre-cooked white chicken. I could eat it all day.
Buy Veggie Trays
Veggie trays are way less expensive than fruit trays – and I love them! (My Kroger has them for $3.99.) I am now buying the HUGE lets-feed-a-party veggie tray. I love the already chopped-up broccoli, celery, carrots – and of course the cherry tomatoes. And, I LOVE the little container of ranch dressing. I know this is silly to have in your fridge for just one person – but it makes my veggies EASY and I don’t care.
Frozen Fruit is your Friend
I know it’s normal to buy frozen fruit for smoothies. This is a known fact. But, I just like to eat frozen fruit straight. And by frozen fruit, I mean FROZEN MANGO. I eat so much frozen mango that I am surprised I’m not orange. I eat it for dessert primarily. But, also for snacks, breakfast, and even lunch. I love frozen because it’s the consistency of sorbet. I’m kind of addicted to frozen mango – and TOTALLY recommend grabbing a bag at your grocery just to try it out. You can see my favorite smoothie recipe with mango here.
Green Drinks are my favorite way to get in a lot of fruits and vegetables. I make a very simple green smoothie that doesn’t involve dairy or extra sugar – just greens and fruit. And it is so good. You can see my recipe here. I drink these in spurts – and will have one every day for 6 months – and then stop for awhile. They are just so good. If you need to be inspired, watch Private Practice :). Doctor Addison Montgomery is always drinking a green drink – and it always inspires me lol.
Here are my favorite smoothie tips:
- Put your bag of spinach straight in the freezer. It will last forever and make your smoothies cold. No more old wilted spinach in the fridge.
- Blend your smoothie with a Magic Bullet or Hand-Held Immersion Blender. I use the immersion blender and it’s so easy!! (This doesn’t work with harder frozen fruits.)
- Add flax seed and other additives to boost your fiber.
- Always put your liquids in first. This works better than pouring them on top.
- Freeze your bananas in chunks. This keeps them from going bad – and makes it easy to pop them in a smoothie
photo credit here
Let me know other tips you have for eating more fruits and vegetables! I’m always willing to try an easy method to make my life easier :). Ciao!