Do you find it hard to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables? If you do, you're not alone.
Finding ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your life is worth the effort, especially if you're a member of Weight Watchers. Getting plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great way to stick to your daily Points Value allotment because they are very filling with Zero Freestyle SmartPoints Values (provided there is no added sugar).
I've noticed an amazing correlation through the years: When I'm getting in my fruits and vegetables, it's much easier to manage my Points (and my weight); When I'm not, I struggle.
Recently I wrote about Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook author, Deborah Madison's Ideas for eating more vegetables and fruits.
I'm back again with my spin on more great advice from nutrtionist and award winning cookbook writer Ellie Krieger. In her book Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life , she outlines the health and weight loss benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, including hunger-free weight loss.
Why does eating more fruits and vegetables lead to weight loss without hunger?
Because you end up substituting healthy low calorie fruits and vegetables for less healthy more caloric foods. Think salad instead of fries. Grapes instead of chips. Strawberries and low-fat yogurt for breakfast instead of a donut.
Basically, it's as simple as this: Fruits and vegetables fill you up with fewer calories. And once you start exploring how delicious they are, there's really no turning back.
Here's my interpretation of her some practical easy tips for upping your fruit and vegetable count mixed up with a few of my own:
23 Ways to Get More Fruits & Vegetables into Your Life
- Top your morning bowl of cold cereal, oatmeal or yogurt with dried or fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, grapes, raisins, dried cranberries, dates, and figs are all delicious.
- Add blueberries or bananas to your pancake batter.
- Try topping your pancakes with berries, warm apple compote, or applesauce instead of syrup.
- Add diced onions, peppers, mushrooms and/or tomatoes to your scrambled eggs.
- Keep a bowl or basket of fruit on your kitchen counter and on your desk in your office. You are bound to turn to fruit when you're hungry if it's the first thing you see.
- When eating out make it a habit to begin with a cup of broth based vegetable soup or a simple green salad.
- Keep prewashed salad greens in the fridge so there's never an excuse that you don't have time. (Or make up a few mason jar salads)
- When you have some free time make a large batch of slimming vegetable soup. Freeze it in single-serving containers so you always have deliciously satisfying veggies at the ready. Here are a few of my favorites: Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup, Skinny Southwest Slow Cooker Chicken Soup, and Jamie Oliver Vegetable Bean Soup.
- Add fruit to your green salads. Apple slices, halved grapes, sliced strawberries, raisins, dried cranberries, ripe juicy pear chunks, and orange or grapefruit sections all make delicious additions.
- See how many veggies you can add to your sandwich besides lettuce and tomato. Thin slices of cucumber, sprouts, grated carrots, avocado, roasted peppers, and baby spinach are delicious options.
- Add vegetables to tuna salad or chicken salad - chopped celery, green onions, red onion, red bell pepper, apples, sliced grapes, and dried cranberries are some of my favorites.
- Add extra veggies to your pasta. Add some chopped broccoli to your pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking (check out this recipe for pasta with broccoli and chicken); or stir in a handful of spinach, mushrooms or zucchini into your favorite pasta sauce.
- Grill vegetables to go with your grilled chicken or burgers when you fire up the barbecue. Asparagus, eggplant, zucchini and red bell peppers are all delicious grilled.
- Snack on baby carrots. Keep them, along with a small container of your favorite slim & healthy dip, in your fridge at home and in the office.
- Spread peanut butter on pear or apple slices or banana chunks.
- For a refreshing summer treat, keep grapes in the freezer and nibble on them while they are still frozen.
- Combine a handful of nuts and some dried fruit - raisins, craisins, apricots, dried plums, dates - for an energizing healthy snack.
- Have a glass of vegetable juice or club soda with a splash of cranberry juice and wedge of lime instead of your usual cocktail.
- For an easy yet impressive appetizer, stuff pitted dates with a small piece of Parmesan cheese.
- Grilled fruit makes a simple yet delicious dessert. Try slices of pineapple or peach halves served with a little frozen yogurt or light ice cream.
- For a simple yet special fruit dessert, arrange slices of apples and/or pears on a plate and sprinkle them with cinnamon.
- Fill a bowl with fresh berries and top them with a dollop of Greek yogurt and drizzle of honey for another simple and elegant dessert.
- Try a healthy fruit-filled smoothie for dessert, a snack, or healthy meal on the run.
Do you have a favorite way to add more fruits and vegetables into your day? I'd love to hear it!
You Might Also Like:
- Deborah Madison's Tips for Eating More Vegetables
- 22 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
- Healthy Vegetable Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
- 17 Mason Salads in a Jar for WW
- Dr. Oz's Green Drink (Juicing for Weight Loss)
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