Boot Camp Tip of the Week – Getting Enough Fruits and Veggies

blog

May 17

Boot Camp tip of the week

Get Enough Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet with These Simple Tricks

We all know that fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of each of our meals – including snacks.  Not only are they low in calories, but they are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that you eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  However, eating the suggested amount on a daily basis is difficult for many people.  With our busy lives and the convenience of junk and fast foods, getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet is not easily accomplished. 

There is a way to combat these barriers and eat healthier in the process.  First, you have to make the decision to try and eat healthy but if you are already committed and still don’t know how to get all the servings required; maybe you will find the following tips helpful.

Make Fruits and Vegetables Convenient at Home

(Source:  http://nutrition.about.com/od/fruitsandvegetables/qt/5to9.htm)

Apples, pears, bananas, oranges and cherry tomatoes don’t need any refrigeration. Keep your fruits and vegetables in plain view on your countertop or table. When snack time rolls around it will be easy to grab a piece of fruit or a handful of cherry tomatoes. With this idea in mind, make sure you keep the cookie jar and the candy bars out of sight.

Frozen vegetables are quick and easy: Heat them quickly on the stove or in the microwave. You can choose single vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower, or you can try seasoned blends of vegetables.

Pre-cut vegetables and fruit are convenient, but don’t buy them with the idea that they will last a long time. Fruit may begin to spoil within a day or two after cutting; however some fruits can be purchased in frozen or canned forms that last much longer.

Make Fruits and Vegetables Convenient at Work

Dehydrated fruits such as raisins, dates and dried cranberries keep well in plastic bags. Tuck a bag of raisins in your purse or bag for an easy snack. Single serving packs of apple sauce or fruit cups that don’t need refrigeration can also be kept at your desk. Pack sliced carrots and celery with your lunch for a nutritious afternoon snack.

Eating away from home can be difficult, but with some thought you can still get enough fruits and vegetables into your diet. At lunch, choose a side salad instead of French fries and drink juice instead of a soda.  Order vegetarian sandwiches and wraps. They are usually low in calories and can give you two or three servings of vegetables with just that one sandwich.

Fruits and Vegetables as Snacks

After school snacks or nighttime snacks often mean bags of greasy chips, bowls of ice cream or bottles of sugary sodas. Those snacks are high in calories and low in nutrition. Here are some great snack ideas instead:

  • Freshly cut vegetables are absolutely delicious with your favorite dip. Eat them at snack time instead of potato chips or tortilla chips. Choose low-fat ranch, dill or French onion dip or make your own low fat spinach dip.
  • Drink juice instead of soda. Mix your favorite 100 percent fruit juices with club soda if you miss the fizz.
  • Make a delicious parfait instead of scooping up high calorie ice cream. Layer fresh or frozen berries with vanilla yogurt and nuts or granola.
  • Eat a chocolate-covered strawberry instead of a candy bar. Choose dark chocolate for the extra antioxidants.
  • Instead of milk and cookies, have a small bowl of whole grain cereal with sliced fruit or raisins and low-fat milk.
  • Keep seedless grapes in the freezer instead of popsicles and ice cream bars.

Add Fruits and Vegetables to Sandwiches, Salads and on the Side

Eating a salad can give you several servings of fruits and vegetables. Start with some lettuce and add sliced tomatoes, apples, pears, berries, celery, cucumbers, sprouts, raw green beans, broccoli or cauliflower. With so many combinations, you can eat a different salad every day. Eat a salad as a meal once or twice each week.

When you make a sandwich, be sure to add lettuce and a couple of thick tomato slices. Take the rest of the tomato, slice it up and serve it on the side. Add extra vegetables to your soup and stew recipes. If you choose canned soups and stews, add extra frozen vegetables when you heat them.

So How Much is a Serving?

The following information is available on the USDA “My Pyramid” site and is loaded with great information as well as the tool itself that lets you customize your own plan. 

How much vegetable is needed daily?

Daily recommendation*

Children   2-3 years old   1 cup**
    4-8 years old   1 ½ cups**
 
Girls   9-13 years old   2 cups**
    14-18 years old   2 ½ cups**
 
Boys   9-13 years old   2 ½ cups**
    14-18 years old   3 cups**
 
Women   19-30 years old   2 ½ cups**
    31-50 years old   2 ½ cups**
    51+ years old   2 cups**
 
Men   19-30 years old   3 cups**
    31-50 years old   3 cups**
    51+ years old   2 ½ cups**
[Source:  http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/vegetables_amount.aspx#]

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.

 

How much fruit is needed daily?

The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Recommended daily amounts are shown in the chart.

Recommended amounts are shown in the table below.

Daily recommendation*

Children   2-3 years old   1 cup**
    4-8 years old   1 to 1 ½ cups**
 
Girls   9-13 years old   1 ½ cups**
    14-18 years old   1 ½ cups**
 
Boys   9-13 years old   1 ½ cups**
    14-18 years old   2 cups**
 
Women   19-30 years old   2 cups**
    31-50 years old   1 ½ cups**
    51+ years old   1 ½ cups**
 
Men   19-30 years old   2 cups**
    31-50 years old   2 cups**
    51+ years old   2 cups**

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.

Written by:  Julie McCan, CPT    Julie is on the www.GetYouInShape.com team of personal trainers. Get You In Shape has is a Fitness Company in the Dallas, TX area. Services include the Coppell boot camps, Dallas boot camps, private training, 24 Day Challenge, weight loss, sports performance and nutrition are the main services of Get You In Shape.

www.GetYouInShape.com
If you live or work in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Downtown Dallas, Highland Park, University Park, Lake Highlands, White Rock Lake, Richardson, Mesquite, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other Dallas cities, the Dallas Boot Camp is minutes away from you. If you live or work in Coppell, Valley Ranch, Irving, Lewisville, Las Colinas, Carrollton, Flower Mound, Grapevine, Addison, Corinth, Highland Village, Dallas, and Famers Branch, the Coppell Boot Camps are just minutes away from you. Get You In Shape Boot Camp.

Get You In Shape’s programs include the Get You In Shape Boot Camp (Dallas and Coppell), 24 Day Challenge, sports specific training, weight loss programs, Corporate wellness plans, nutrition plans, core fitness training, strength training, toning and more. Clients include athletes (golf, basketball, tennis, football, track, baseball, baseball, volleyball, and softball) corporate executives, professionals, weekend warriors, cheerleaders, dancers, models, stay at home moms, and anyone looking for results.

Owner Brad Linder, has been featured in numerous newspapers and even as the fitness expert on the news 8 (ABC). He continues to use the gifts that he has been given to help serve the needs others have when it come to being healthy, losing weight, sports, toning up, and overall fitness.
More information about Get You In Shape at www.getyouinshape.com