Secrets to Making Whole Foods Plant-Based Eating Easier
An easy 'secret' is to learn some tips and ideas on how can you add more fruits and vegetables daily to your intake. Whether you are looking for recommendations for a Heart Healthy, Anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean, Cancer preventing or Weight Control diet or meal plan, they all have one thing in common. All recommend eating more Vegetables and Fruits — aka eating more Plant-based. If you could pick one thing to begin doing to increase your physical wellness, it would be to include more of these daily. Fruits & Vegetables provide your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals to help protect your body from illness. Sounds good, right?
I have been working on increasing my intake of fruits and vegetables daily since the beginning of December when I had my big wake up call. If you haven't read about it yet, you can catch up by reading here. Another article you will find interesting is 'Plant-Based Whole Food Eating is the New Black'. You can read that here. I'm hoping by sequencing these for you, it may make it easier if you are trying to follow the path to better physical wellness.
How Much Should You Have Per Day?
This is probably the number #1 question people ask about. The recommended number of servings daily for fruits and vegetables is—
- 3 or more FRUIT servings per day. A serving is = 1/2 cup sliced or chopped fruit, and a whole fruit= approx. the size of a tennis ball or an average size fist
- 4-5 plus VEGETABLE servings per day. A serving is = 1/2 cup cooked and 1cup raw
The next question usually is, I don't like salad so where can I add fruits and vegetables to my daily intake? You don't have to be a salad lover to add vegetables and fruits to your diet. In fact, if you don't love the taste of a lot of different vegetables by themselves, you can add them to different dishes with other food items. Below I've listed all the places you can add more fruits and vegetables daily to your intake.
Easy Places to Add More Vegetables Daily
- Stir frys
It becomes easy to do when you make it one of your priorities. For example, right after Super bowl Sunday, I was thinking about Chili. I took a recipe and added more vegetables to it (as well as adding another legume). You can see my Double Bean Butternut Squash Chili here. It really came out great and that's why I decided to share it. I love to experiment in the kitchen. You never know what you can come up with!
Tips on How to Add More Fruits and Vegetables Daily
Easy Places to Add More Fruits Daily
Adding some berries or sliced fruit to any of the above items really is easy to do. The other night I experimented with heating a small bowl of mixed frozen fruit and had it as a dessert. It really was delicious. It was easy because I always have some frozen fruit in the freezer, This is a great tip for you too.
An Example on How to 'Build Up' a dish
Let's start with adding more Veggies and Fruits to your 'Bowl.'
- Start with a Grain, approximately 1/2 cup as your base. Examples of grains such as brown rice, quinoa, farro (an ancient grain), whole wheat or legume based pasta, etc..
- Then you can add two layers or more of vegetables—use a combination of raw and cooked vegetables in different colors, and with different textures.
- Feel free to also add some sliced or diced fresh fruit as well.
- Add some spices and herbs,
- a source of lean protein and
- finish it off with a tasty healthy sauce—think a dash of hot sauce, citrus juice, etc.
- Top off the bowl with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds to add some nice crunch and crisp.
Your bowl will be pretty to look at as well as delicious. Remember, we eat with our eyes first.
You can easily build up a salad, sandwich, soup, etc. by adding more plant based foods. Have FUN with it and let's see what you can come up with. I'd love to hear about your creative dishes.
Start adding some fruits and vegetables to your daily meal plan. Keep track of how you're doing with this tracker I developed just for you!
Got any questions or suggestions? Head on over to our facebook group or email me—Holli@TheWomensInnerCircle.com
Salads are the first place most people begin adding more veggies to their intake. An Easy Plant-Based Lunch for Me, full of nutrients, fiber, anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals is A Chopped Salad of—
- Artichoke hearts
- Banana ringS
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
I enjoy the salad chopped into small pieces. You can make it any way you enjoy it.