(So you may have heard that the daily recommended intake of fruit and veg is rising from 5 to 10. And this may alarm some of you who only ever get 1-2 a day, but have no fear, in this short article we are going to try and give you as many ideas and ways to break it down and get more every day.
A quick note before we do this… Countries such as France, Canada and Japan have been recommending 7-9 per day for a long time. So the 5 a day isn’t the be all end all. When it comes to fruit and veg more is always better.
Alright so lets think of it as a battle plan first, especially if you are someone who doesn’t eat a lot of fruits and veggies. We need to get 10 every day. So ask yourself the following questions.
- How many meals, including snacks do I have daily?
- Do I like 10 or more fruits and or vegetables? (the answer is always yes by the way, don’t give me that crap there are 100’s to chose from)
- When am I most likely to miss out on fruit and veg?
- Where can I buy it cheaply?
Lets look at question 1 and break it down into the battle plan.
If you eat 3 meals a day and 1 snack that mean you could aim for 3 per meal and 1 as a snack and jobs done. If you have 2 snacks then have 2-3 per meal and 1 with each snack. See the process here. Its just a case of spreading it out.
Once we have a plan of when we eat them then we can begin to address the who or in this case which fruit and veg we chose. Variety is key and getting as much variation and colours daily is the best way forwards but don’t stress over having 10 different ones daily, just don’t have 10 portions of 1 fruit or veg. Do you like 4-5 fruits, then pick a different combination of 3 of those daily. Mix it up and play to your tastes as well, we want to enjoy eating this food as well. The more variety the better.
The thought process behind question 3 is all about planning. Do you tend to grab a snack or a ready meal at work for lunch? Then this is when you may want to plan ahead and prepare something to take with you. Or if you are rushed at breakfast making sure you always have fruit ready and at hand means you can grab it on the go and eat it with absolutely no cooking time, or prepare a smoothie the night before and drink it on the commute to work. Don’t leave it till 5pm and realize you have 8 portions to eat. Planning is key.
Finally considering the cost is important to. We want to buy fruits and veg in season and in larger quantities in order to make your money last longer and go further. Also buying frozen veg or berries is a good cheap option if you are on a tight budget.
Below are is a list of just a few fruits and veg that count as one of your 10 a day. Take note of how many do you like and think of ways of including it in your day.
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries,etc)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Beans (kidney beans, black beans, edamme beans, etc)
- Gogi berries
And many more besides.
So I thought I would give you two example days to give you some ideas:
- Breakfast – Porridge oats with blueberries and cashews and a banana (2)
- Snack – Carrots and organic hummus (2)
- Lunch – Salad with Spinach, Red bell pepper, Cucumber, Avocado and celery with an olive oil dressing and some walnuts (5)
- Snack – Apple (1)
- Dinner – Stir fry with broccoli, yellow bell pepper, tofu and brown rice. (2)
- Breakfast – Smoothie with strawberries, banana, almonds and vanilla Alpro yogurt. (2)
- Lunch – Wraps with Quorn peices, sweet corn, kidney beans, rocket and red onion. (4)
- Snack – Pear (1)
- Dinner – Vegan Lentil Bolognese (5) (see recipe book above)
It is really very easy, all you have to do is spread it out and keep it interesting, find new ways and new meals to try each week and soon it will be second nature to get 10 a day, every day. Or maybe even more.
For more great ideas, check out the recipe book page above for lots of free tasty ideas for healthy food and snacks with lots of fruit and veg and they are all totally Vegan.