There’s something about Fall that signals back to business after the lazy days of Summer. Part of that renewed focus can be shifted to healthier eating and working on taking off any vacation pounds that might have crept up. September is National Fruits and Vegetables Month, and in my opinion, there’s no better way to pump up the nutrition and trim down your daily calorie intake than by slipping in more fruits and vegetables any month of the year.
Why is Adding More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Day So Helpful in Losing Weight and Maintaining Your Weight?
It’s all about feeling full and leveraging nature’s appetite suppressants. Most vegetables and fruits, besides contributing to lowering your risk of chronic diseases and improving your overall health and well-being, are lower in calories, higher in fiber and often have high water content. So when you add them into meals or swap them for other snacks you might be having, it can only help your cause.
Yet despite knowing all these benefits, the vast majority of Americans don’t meet the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake. How can you break the mold?
The Produce for Better Health organization is suggesting that you create some mindfulness around “adding a plant” every time you have a meal or snack. For some that’s easy, for others it’s a tall order. Like any healthy habit you’re seeking to make, one step at a time will get you there.
Painless Ways to Make it Happen!
1. At Breakfast
- Add vegetables to egg whites. A spinach omelet is one of my personal faves
- Add fruit to nutritious cereal or Greek yogurt
- Add a piece of fruit as a side to peanut butter on whole wheat. Tropical Smoothie makes a Peanut Butter Crunch Flatbread and Jamba Juice makes fruit and yogurt bowls if you’re on the go
- Pick up a smoothie with fruits and/or vegetables as ingredients and a protein base or blend one yourself
2. At Lunch
- Salad is an easy way to get multiple vegetables in (and fruit if you like that combo) - just don’t douse it in a high calorie dressing and watch the other toppings
- Add vegetables generously as a sandwich topping/wrap filling or even solo as your sandwich filling
- Create a fruit plate. One of my favorite quick lunches is one or two fruits, one-to-two light cheese sticks and a half to full serving of nuts
- Smoothies as noted
3. At Dinnertime
- Add a small dinner salad before your main meal or as a side. Spend the extra money if your budget permits and watch for sales to have pre-cut/washed veggies on hand to make it easy to make this a regular choice
- Make salad your main dish with easy adds like a sprinkling of chilled whole grain pasta and the protein of your choice
- Keep frozen vegetables on hand and add them to your fav brown rice or whole grain or other healthy pasta meals. I enjoy adding frozen garlic flavored riced cauliflower to rice dishes, and keep frozen mixed vegetables and broccoli on hand to add in to all possible dishes
- Use fruit as a flavor enhancer for your main dish entrée
- Fresh fruit is a wonderful solo snack
- Dried fruit on the go can be convenient but needs to be a smaller portion size. I like to pop dried blueberries into a cereal snack mix I make up
- Fruit plate with nuts and cheese (smaller portion)
- Cut up veggies. Many of my coaching clients like to pair them with hummus as a dip
These were just a few ideas to get you started. Have fun experimenting and creating your own new go-to’s. Challenge yourself to add one vegetable or fruit daily where you would not have previously done so. Please discuss any dietary changes you wish to make with your healthcare professionals.
Now Take Action!
If you’d like to share how you’re being successful with adding more fruits and vegetables to your day, feel free to email Coach Melanie and we’ll share your ideas in an upcoming post with other members of the Membrasin Community.
About Coach Melanie, NBC-HWC
Melanie Jordan is a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) with 12+ years of coaching and corporate wellness program experience for digital health start-ups, top health insurers, and her own private practice Your Healthy Life Made Easy LLC. Melanie specializes in working holistically with business professionals to become as successful at healthfully losing weight for good and transforming their overall health as they are in their careers.
To help you get back to the business of your health this Fall, Coach Melanie is offering a limited number of FREE 1 hour private 1:1 Weight Loss Breakthrough Coaching Sessions to our community as a thank you for reading the Membrasin® Blog. Be sure to book yours now before they close out!
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