I love fruit and veg. Not only are they good for your body, but when done right they taste better than any cake, sweet or chocolate bar. However, I know from years of industry experience that many of us have trouble getting enough fruit and veg throughout the day. Many of our students who are just starting their journey struggle with this as much, if not more than exercise.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be difficult. Even though 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables is a great daily goal, there’s no need to get bogged down about keeping track. Just ask yourself, “Where/How can I add fruit or vegetables to this meal?”
We tend to complicate things in our minds, but it’s really that simple. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Get an early start on your fruit and veg intake. Think about it, if you delay your first serving until dinner time then you’re going to be far less likely to meet your recommended “5 a day”. Who doesn’t love an egg in the morning, right? So how about adding some prewashed baby spinach and salad pepper strips to it?.
You could also drink some apple juice or orange juice. These are packed with nutrients, but also quite heavy in sugar. If you’re worried about sugar levels then you could always try vegetable juice instead.
How about making your own smoothie? They are a good way to combines fruits, vegetables, plant protein, and good fats. Here are 5 healthy smoothies to try.
A quick easy win here is to swap in salsa for salad dressing. It contains less fat and is more nutrition-rich. For example pico de gallo. It’s a super-easy way to sneak in vitamin C and lycopene,
Coleslaw is an excellent option too. Made from cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable, just like broccoli. Yes, it is normally used as a side dish, but it’s still excellent on its own. A 100g serving of coleslaw provides about a quarter of your recommended daily vitamin A.
You could have a can of beans of the non-baked variety. They are a particularly good protein-rich vegetable, and also full of fiber. They are so versatile too. They can be made into a black bean burger on a whole-grain bun, an excellent three-bean chilli, or be made into a wrap.
For most of us, dinner is the main event. It’s the perfect time to load up on veggies. For starters try preparing a dinner plate of hummus and sliced raw veggies for dunking. Carrots slices, salad pepper strips, celery, and plum tomatoes are all great ideas here. Lay them out then consume while the main course is in the oven.
If you’re looking to cut down on your meat intake then substitute mushrooms instead. They are a really good meaty substitution that you can finely dice, brown, and add to cooked ground dishes like tacos. They’re naturally low in fat and calories. Plus, they are good for the immune system.
If you’re short on time nothing beats frozen. Frozen peas, spinach, or broccoli are excellent go to’s when you’re a bit pressed for time. Also, vitamin C-rich frozen mashed potatoes can be just the ticket, providing a little fiber too.
Variety is good but not essential. We all lead busy lives. When you’ve had a busy day at work, there’s not always the will to cook multiple veggies? If this is the case just pick your favourite and double up your portion.
Desserts and Snacks
Finally, my favourite, the dessert. How about a warm baked apple or sliced bananas with almond butter, fruit is the simplest and easiest way to satisfy your sweet tooth and still be healthy.
Obviously getting your recommended veg intake is always best, but if you still struggle to get your recommended daily allowance then there’s always Mega Greens capsules to make up the difference. To learn more about supplementation check out the blogs on The Benefits of Supplementation, and Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation.
This is by no means an extensive list of things that you could do but it’s some ideas to get you started. Remember that some are better than none, so if you only manage to make a small increase to your fruit and veggie intake then you’re still closer than you were yesterday.
Until next time, “Strength for Life”,
Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker, and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true mission in life.
In his own fitness journey, Davie has athletically competed in Mixed Martial Arts fighting for Scottish and British titles, boxed for Scotland’s top amateur boxing team, and competed internationally in Girevoy (kettlebell) Sport.
Diving into the world of sports and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own inner demons. He. overcame many dark times using his own unique method to complete his cycle of H.E.A.L.I.N.G.