Did you ever hear something come out of your mouth that you wish you could totally take back – or at least rephrase – because even though it was the truth, it was out of integrity for you?
I’ve been living with that kind of regret all weekend.
I did an interview last week, where I talked about my obsession with the value of eating 10 fresh fruits and veggies, every day.
I really regret that.
But not because I was wrong.
The research on the benefits of “eating the rainbow” every day goes to thousands of great studies, now. For example — and this is nowhere near a complete list of the benefits —
Fruits and veggies:
- Feed your brain
- Replenish your energy
- Improve your mood
- Protect your libido
- Boost your immune system to protect you from disease
- Fortify your heart, lungs and liver
- Nourish your gut
- Help you maintain a healthy weight
Yeah, my recommendation to eat 10 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day could make a huge difference for you, if you choose to follow it.
So why do I deeply regret saying so?
Because one of my core values is that what I recommend ought to decrease your overwhelm.
And judging from the gasp I heard from my interviewer, my recommendation to eat 10 fruits and veggies a day may sound darn near impossible.
How can I make this right? I want to stand by the truth. The WHOLE truth.
If I make such a big recommendation, then I owe it to you to tell you how to make it possible, in your crazy-busy life…
So here’s some ideas for eating 10 fruits and veggies each day. It will take you some time to build this habit, but it is SO worth it! IMPORTANT: avoid overwhelm. Start with just ONE OR TWO of these ideas this week. Once that habit is well-established, then add one more.
- Veggies first. Veggies are filling. Also, in my experience, they taste best when you are hungry. Eat the veggies first.
- Look for a better crunch. Buy fruits and veggies that are immediately snackable with no prep at all (beyond rinsing), and keep them at your desk. For example:
- A small basket of apples or pears. (For a fantastic snack, smear some peanut butter or almond butter on hunks of pear or apple. Mmmm!)
- Oranges or tangerines
- A box of berries
- A bag of baby carrots, sugar-snap peas, or celery sticks (dip in hummus or ranch to jazz them up some more)
- Be a hero at your next staff meeting. Instead of donuts or bagels, slap a pre-cut veggie tray — the kind with a couple of dips — on the conference table. (Boxes of berries are also great.) You’ll be appreciated!
- Fill up with a mega-salad. Fast-food restaurants like Sweet Tomatoes make this easy. Your local supermarket does, too, with bags of pre-washed lettuce-leaf mixes and trays of pre-chopped veggies. Pile ‘em up, add a little dressing, and yum it up.
- A restaurants, go for “at least 3”. Challenge yourself to have at least 3 different fruits and veggies in your meal. Scan the menu for the soup, entrée, and side-dishes that are loaded with produce. At least 3. With a little imagination, you’ll find you can achieve 4 or even 5: A cup of vegetable soup, add a side of fresh veggies or a green salad, slather your burger in sautéed onions and mushrooms … boom! You win!
- Play substitutes for the win. “Please put salsa on the side, instead of catsup or sour cream.” “How about some coleslaw with that?”
- Choose more vivid colors. Get spinach on your sub instead of lettuce, guacamole instead of mayo, and throw in some dried cranberries to add extra flavor zing.
- Take a whole food supplement, not vitamins. If your health-care provider has recommended specific vitamins, to treat a deficiency, then take them. Otherwise, true whole-food supplements are FAR healthier than isolated vitamins. My favorite is Juice Plus+.