While we’re in the middle of talking about Simple Steps Toward Healthy Eating, I just want to offer a little bit of encouragement and motivation once again in the area of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. I think this is one of the most well known and understood aspects of healthy eating and still one of the most difficult for many people.
If only corn chips or french fries counted as a serving of vegetables. I’m not saying, “don’t ever eat corn chips or french fries”. I’m just saying they don’t offer much in the way of vitamins and other nutrients our bodies need.
We really need a lot of fruits and vegetables. I know this. You know this. (Right? You know this?)
I’ve talked about this here quite a bit, and I tend to bring it up during the times I feel like I myself am in a fruit and veggie rut. Writing this is my little way of kicking myself in the pants (which takes an incredible amount of talent; please feel free to picture me attempting this). I’m also hoping to kick you in the pants (which of course is easier, but not nearly as nice, so please be aware that I am only using that term figuratively, and also you don’t have to worry because I’m not very strong and don’t kick very hard).
All kicking aside, we all need to veggie up. Yes? Do you agree?
So how do we do this? How do we make fruits and vegetables more of a priority? How do we ensure that we are eating enough and feeding our family enough fruits and vegetables?
I’ve thought long and hard and come up with a detailed checklist for us to live by as we focus on eating more fruits and veggies. Are you ready?
- Buy fruits and vegetables.
- Eat them.
Did you catch all of that? Go back and re-read the list as many times as you need to. Take your time. Let it all soak in.
I think that list sums it up quite well. If we don’t actually purchase fruits and vegetables, they are very hard to eat. Ever noticed that? But don’t just buy them and think they look pretty in your fridge or freezer. You’re going to need to actually eat them if you want them to benefit you the way that they should.
And don’t just serve them to your kids. You need to eat them too. Eating them in front of your kids is highly recommended. Saying lots of things like, “mmm this tastes really good” while you eat them in front of your kids is also a very good idea.
If you don’t really like many fruits or vegetables I’m going to go out on a little limb here and kindly and gently say, “Get over it and eat them anyway”. You’ve got to eat fruits and veggies whether you like them or not. Start with the ones you do like, then keep trying and adding new ones to your diet. I’ve learned to like all kinds of new foods as I’ve gotten older and as I’ve actually given good foods a fair chance. Sure, maybe I like chocolate better than artichokes. I can have chocolate too…I just need to focus on the veggies. I think not eating vegetables because we “don’t like them” is kind of silly, because we are grown-ups, are we not? I’d say “don’t get me started” but I guess I already got myself started. See what happens when I start trying to kick myself in the pants?
Here’s an older post I wrote, the first in the Simple Steps Toward Healthy Eating series I’ve been writing, encouraging you to eat more fruits and veggies. You’ll find several ideas to encourage you to eat more of these colorful foods, so I very much encourage you to go read that post. I also want to remind you that eating fruits and vegetables does not have to be expensive and is very worth the money.
Now, let’s chat together and motivate each other to eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables.
My favorites are broccoli, green beans, fresh spinach and other leafy greens, carrots, frozen peas, asparagus, tomatoes, apples, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe and probably some others I’m forgetting at the moment.
What are your favorites? Do you ever find yourself in a veggie rut? What will help you out of that rut?