Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tips for a Healthy, Happy, More Physically Fit New Year, Part 2

Healthy Foodie Tip #2 (Eat Nine Servings of Fruits and Veggies a Day) may sound off the wall, but if you can do this, your waistline is bound to shrink.

If that seems impossible, keep in mind that nutritionists' agreed-upon serving sizes are pretty small.

One serving =
1/2 cup cooked vegetables 
1/2 cup whole berries, sliced strawberries or fruit salad
1 small apple (a large apple cut into slices would be 2 servings) 
1/2 large banana, or one whole small banana
1 cup salad greens
1 cup raw vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers or sliced cucumbers

Healthy foodies should eat nine (or more) servings of vegetables and fruit each day for several reasons. They are the best sources of vitamins, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, as well as excellent sources of dietary fiber. They fill up your tummy and keep you from eating empty calories full of fat and sugar.

My best advice for achieving this daily goal is to have fruit and/or veggies with every meal and most snacks.
For instance, I always have fruit with breakfast, no matter what time of year it is. Right now I'm eating half a red grapefruit most mornings along with oatmeal or cold cereal heaped with berries. Another fruit-filled breakfast is berries and bananas (in summer, you can expand to include cut up peaches and other treats) topped with vanilla yogurt, a handful of nuts and a couple spoonfuls of granola, for crunch. I find it easy to get two or even three fruit servings at breakfast.
Salad (with fruit on it as well as raw veggies) or vegetable soup make up lunch whenever possible. And half our dinner plates are filled with cooked vegetables every night...unless we're eating out, which is a horse of a different color, naturally. (It's very hard to eat enough vegetables when dining out, alas.) I figure at least four servings total from lunch and dinner, more if lunch is a large salad.

That still might not be quite enough fruits and veggies, so I always have cut-up veggies for a mid-morning snack and/or with my lunch, about two servings' worth, and fruit snacks at least once a day. Apples from the fall crop are still quite good, and we live on the wonderful clementines now at their peak. 

You can do it!


  1. I found your blog very informative. It really gives insight to the readers on how to maintain healthy well-being.
    Ann | Wellness Philippines

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