Wellness Wednesday: The Strive for Five Meal Plan

Everyone should “strive for five one cup servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Breaking it down, it would be 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables each day. Here are five well-known, great reasons to eat fruits and vegetables and five easy ways to incorporate them into your daily life.

5 big reasons to eat at 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day:

Fruits and veggies are…

  1. Whole foods with great taste, color, and texture
  2. Fast food (the healthy kind!)
  3. Packed with antioxidants, minerals, & vitamins
  4. Low calorie and high fiber
  5. Provide a reduced risk for disease (e.g. cancer, stroke, heart disease)

5 ways to make it easy to eat 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day:

  • Keep fruit and vegetables where you can see them. This means putting fruit on your desk at work, or in a pretty bowl on the counter in your kitchen. If you have the vegetables in the front of your fridge, it makes them easy to grab. If you’’re hungry, you’ll likely grab what’s readily available (fruit on your desk, or carrots in the fridge).
  • Include fruit and/or vegetables with every meal. If you have a bowl of cereal each morning, throw in some fresh or frozen blueberries. If you’’re making a sandwich, slice cucumber or apple and tuck it in for a nice crunch. Yogurt and dried fruit for a morning snack, or celery and hummus for an afternoon snack.
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable. There are so many great options in the produce section of any store. Make an effort to try one new fruit or vegetable every week. Look for recipes on line that might incorporate a new fruit or vegetable.
  • Cook your favorite dish and add extra vegetables.
  • Meatless Monday. Cook dishes where vegetables are the main course!  You can make just about any recipe vegetarian, just by switching the meat for vegetables. Mushrooms and squashes make great meat substitutions!

The Great Plate Debate and How It Can Help:

  Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables is as simple as dividing your plate in half! Implementing the “half plate” model is an easy method to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. An elementary but ingenious concept, the half plate model instructs you to divide your plate in half and load one side with vegetables with the other half containing meat and grains. You also add fruit with meals or use them for snacks. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, and this will help you lose weight! You don’t even have to worry about portion sizes or measuring food,  because the plate does that for you! You may be pleasantly surprised by the results of this simple change in your diet.
The half plate Model

Sources: http://blog.alerewellbeing.com/bid/284439/Strive-for-5-Easy-Ways-to-Increase-Your-Daily-Fruits-Vegetables

http://www.examiner.com/article/strive-for-five-fruits-and-vegetables-by-utilizing-the-half-plate-model

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