Love Thy Fridge

Last week at my nutrition class someone asked how many fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to eat. I said 5-8 servings.  

Another person responded “Per week?” 

If only, then so many more people would be meeting the recommended daily allowances. But no, it’s per day. That’s why my first recommendation for anyone and everyone is to eat more fruits and vegetables.  

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It all starts with stocking your fridge. Or freezer. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh as long as they aren’t packaged in syrup or butter. When you have them available you’re more likely to eat said fruits and vegetables. Find ones in season or on sale. If you’re afraid of them going bad then stick with the frozen kind or ones that stay fresh longer. 

Past weeks I hadn’t been buying as much produce because I eat a salad almost every day at work. This week, though, I decided to make Mediterranean bowls for dinner: arugula, quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers topped with hummus. So my fridge is bursting with vegetables. I also bought strawberries, blackberries, bananas, apples, and baby carrots. Winning.  

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When I’m having an off week, like I am this week, I find myself snacking more than usual or having a difficult time identifying hunger and fullness cues. It happens, we’re all human. Having fruit and vegetables around helps me satisfy my snacking urges and also to meet the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.  

Today I knew lunch would be later than normal so I snacked Im fresh pineapple at work.  In the afternoon I felt stressed and just off and thought I was hungry so I ate an RX bar. Turns out I wasn’t hungry. Now I’m eating an apple while watching Game of Thrones instead of mindlessly eating Cadbury Eggs. I can tell you from experience, today and other days, that snacking on fruit or vegetables when you’re unsure of your hunger feels a lot better than something heavier that would be better suited when you’re actually hungry. And your body will thank you for those fruits and vegetables in the long run!

What are your go-to fruits and vegetables?