You’re NOT Eating Enough Veggies!

I’ve been stuck into fine tuning my eating since I got back from the USA 4 weeks ago, and the funny thing is it’s just getting my basic habits back in place.

You’ve possibly heard me rambling on about habits based eating over since arriving home, and without realizing it, I’ve been taking my own advice and picking up one habit at a time.

Upon arriving home I started taking my fish oil, which I wrote about 2 weeks back. After 3 weeks I just take it without thinking. And over the last week I’ve been trying to increase my vegetable consumption to 5 serves a day. This ones been a little trickier, and that’s the habit I’m gonna talk about today.

Habit 2: Eat At Least 5 Serves of Vegetables Every Day.

To take it a step further, you should be eating vegetables at every meal and snack. You can have a couple serves of fruit too. It’s just not as important as vegetables.

Now it’s not just me but this seems like a lot to eat right?

Well the Australian government also recommends 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day so have you been doing that? I admit I have sometimes been a little short.

What’s a serve?
A serve of veg = 1 cup of raw pieces
A serve of fruit = 1 cup of raw pieces or 1 medium piece about the size of a tennis ball.

How do you get that much veg into your diet?

If you were to make it all fresh vegetables you would be at the shops all the time. So what about frozen and canned vegetables?

Both are much better than you think as they actually hold onto a good amount of nutrients. Frozen veg is better than canned, but canned is still better than the processed foods you might eat in its place!

I personally use frozen and canned vegetables 90% of the time. They are so much more convenient than fresh stuff and last longer in the freezer or cupboard.

It drives me nuts, but I always seem to be extra busy while I have fresh veg and it often goes to waste.

How do you get 5 serves of veg in a day?

Well how many meals do you eat?

If you eat 5 meals, you can have one serve or more at each meal.
If you only eat 3 meals you could have one at breakfast, and two at the other meals.
If you eat less than 3 meals you should probably start eating breakfast, but that’s another story for another day.

What sort of vegetables could you eat at breakfast time? Mushrooms, spinach, tomato and capsicum all go really well with eggs at breky time. Clayton who runs the Karrinyup Bootcamp adds frozen veg to his morning scrambled eggs because it’s quicker and easier.

Home-made vegetable juices are great too if you have the time. If you make a fruit smoothie with protein you can always add spinach, raw or frozen, for your dose of morning veg, and you cant even taste it.

Lunch and dinner is easy. Just cut up some salad, buy it pre-cut if you have to or canned and frozen are easy additions too. I steam mine up in about 5 minutes. If you have leftovers, you can always add frozen veg to it while packing it for work and by the time lunch comes around it will have thawed and you can eat it raw or you can heat it up.

Stews, casseroles, stir fry’s and soups all allow for plenty of veg to be added.

If you’re struggling to get close to 5 serves a day, you can get a greens supplement such as Vital Greens to boost your nutrient intake, but it’s expensive and you still need to remember to take it.

So your challenge for the next few weeks is to increase your veggie intake to 5 serves or more each day every day. I’m gonna keep up with it too as I think I need the extra time to reinforce the habit.

If you’re already eating your 2 and 5, try to increase it even further and start introducing some new veggies you’ve never tried before.

If you’re not sure how much of anything you’re eating, record your daily meals in a food diary.

Here’s a meal of mine that I whipped up last week with the recipe in detail.

Curried beef & veg in coconut milk. –>

Brown the beef mince, then throw in a can of coconut milk (not the light stuff), some cumin and curry powder, a spoonful of vindaloo curry paste that I’ve never bought before, and stir it through.

Then chuck in a can of bean mix, bunch of chopped asparagus, and two chopped yellow squashs and simmer for however long your phonecall takes. Mine was about 17 minutes. It made 3 Travis sized meals and was delicious.

Enjoy your week and get some veggies in ya!

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