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Are 5 a Day Impossible?

The answer is a resounding NO! Last week I was speaking on the importance of eating 5 veggies and fruits a day. As I introduced the topic, I heard a man groan in the  audience. He said, “I’m sorry, but it’s just impossible to eat 5 veggies/fruits a day”.  A few years ago, I would have felt the same way. Now I know the secret to sneaking in 5 veggies/fruits in a day.

The secret? Your fist is a serving, so I measure any produce I eat by comparing it to my fist. In actuality, you might be eating more veggies/fruits than you realize.

Here’s what I do:

Breakfast: ½ of a large banana sliced into my oatmeal. Bananas, in most cases, are huge, ½ a banana is a serving.

Mid Morning Snack: The other ½ of the banana with about 10-15 almonds (about an ounce).

Lunch: I love eating a burrito bowl (burrito without the tortilla).  I order it with ½ the amount of rice (too much rice can make me sleepy) and either black or pinto beans. I then ask for extra fajita style veggies (about 2 servings of veggies). I order it with chicken and then I have them pile on every salsa they have (works out to be another serving of veggie). This is a pretty big meal with the additional veggies, so I eat half at lunch and save the rest.

Mid afternoon snack: I eat the leftovers from lunch.

By 4 pm, I’ve already had 2 fruits and 3 veggies.

I grew up on pop tarts, wonder bread and French fries, so if I can learn to eat 5 veggies/fruits a day, so can you.

Other suggestions:

Subway: Order the 6 inch whole wheat turkey sandwich with extra veggies. Have them load it up with: tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers…This will easily be at least 1, additional serving of veggies.

Taco Time: Order the Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad-it actually has 3 different types of cabbage in it. This is approximately 1 serving of veggies.

Starbucks: Order the Chicken on Flatbread with veggies and hummus snack plate. This snack has 5 grams of fiber (excellent!) and looks to be about 1.5 servings of veggies.

Deli: Order your sandwich on a lettuce leaf and get a side salad. This could be an additional 2 servings of veggies.

Bonus tip: Take an apple with you everyday. Eating an apple before or after lunch can turn a bad meal into a pretty decent choice.

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