Simple living lifestyle challenge 13 eat more veggies and fruit

simple livingThe challenge: to eat more veggies and fruits

Most of us as Americans do not eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables.  Our diets consist of fast food and convenience meals and comfort snacks.  Besides, who wants to munch on a dry piece of celery? Or grab an apple instead of that ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie sitting on the counter?   Or better yet  sit down to a leafy lifeless salad while everyone else is eating cheesy layered lasagna?  Doesn’t sound very appealing does it?

Why make the change:

Why do we need to make this change?  Because we NEED to make this change.  Our minds have been programmed to believe that we DON”T need these healthy foods anymore.  I grew up with the typical diet of EVERY American child.  It consisted of:

  • breakfast– a Poptart, a Toaster Strudel, or even better Fruity Pebbles cereal
  • lunch– a bologna sandwich on white bread with mayo, and a Capri Sun juice box
  • after school snack– a Little Debbie snack cake
  • dinner– tv dinners

There was no “push” to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.  That was something you ate when you were on a diet.  It was a “chore” to eat carrot sticks and celery.  Our mentality was brainwashed into thinking that this food was actually good for us.

Thank God for the internet and people’s interest into “whole foods.”  It is amazing to know that foods that are as natural as the day they were picked are better for us than the ones that are marketed to us through the television and prepared in a factory to help make our lives easier.

We need to know that ANY food prepared in a facility loses its nutritional value and that we need to pick foods closest to their natural state.  One of the easiest things is fruits and vegetables.  They take little preparing and are chocked full of nutrients.

How to make the change:

Now remember if you were a typical “junk food” person and you have no real connections with eating fruits and vegetables know that they are not going to be very appealing at first.  Your taste buds are programmed to be stimulated by salty, fried, sugar laden-ed foods.  Fruits with basic sugars are not going to be as tasty as those brownie bites sitting in your cupboard.  You need to reprogram your taste buds and brain into eating this “basic” tasting food.  It will take some time, but I know that I really enjoy the taste of fruits and look forward to my daily salad with all its different vegetable toppings. At first it was just lettuce topped with dressing to smother it, but now it is just a minimal amount of dressing and different fruits and vegetables to flavor the lettuce.

I would suggest that you make sure that you always have a bowl of fruit in your refrigerator.  If it is something that needs preparation like grapes or watermelon, make sure it is prepared.  We keep a bowl of apples and oranges filled in the refrigerator at all times.  In the summer months, we always have a big fruit bowl cut up in the refrigerator.

I keep chopped up vegetables in the refrigerator for a quick snack throughout the day.  If I am feeling the need to grab snacks, I place out my bowl of carrots and celery and eat that.  Chewing something that has a satisfying crunch will help the munchies go away.

Whenever I purchase vegetables I try and prepare them immediately.  That way it will be easier to just grab whenever I need them instead of the excuse that I don’t want to have to take the time to get them out.

I usually shop once per week to ensure fresh vegetables.  I prepare the ones that are going to go bad first so that we can eat those in 1-3 days and then I make the next vegetable or fruit to be prepared for the second half of the week.  For example I might get cucumbers and carrots, I know that the cucumbers will go bad first so I chop those up to munch on during the first part of the week and save the carrots, which will last longer for the second half of the week.  That way I will always have fresh veggies/fruit on hand.

If you are still drawn in to eating your processed snacks, make it a goal to eat 10 carrot sticks before you eat those snacks.  I know when I was going through my weight loss, I would gorge on large amounts of vegetables cut up.  But now I can just eat a few every day.  I don’t feel the need to fill my face anymore.  I reprogrammed my brain into not eating so much..  You can too.  Help your body feel better by giving it the nutrients it deserves.

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