Do you want to live longer? Would you like to have a better quality of life? Then by all means, get those veggies in! After reading this, you will have no more excuses. There are so many benefits of eating the recommended amounts of veggies. But even knowing this, people still have a hard time getting 5 servings of veggies in a day. If you are one of those people, don’t give up just yet. It is actually easier than you might think. Take a look at these tips to get your veggies in.
Know how much an actual serving of veggies is.
1 cup of raw veggies = 1 serving OR ½ cup of cooked vegetables = 1 serving
- Start the day with veggies – add 1-2 servings of veggies to your breakfast such as in an omelet or a breakfast wrap. Green and red peppers, spinach, and broccoli are great scrambled in eggs, in an omelet, or in a wrap. Vegetable/Fruit Smoothies are also a great starter. (2 servings in!)
- On Hand Veggies – Discover the veggie that you enjoy snacking on and place in a baggie or container. Nibble on this snack bag all day to get one serving in. Carrots and cucumbers are great snack veggies. (Now you’re up to 3 servings already).
- Make sure you add veggies to your lunch. This is easy. Just put romaine or spinach lettuce on your sandwich and even cucumbers. You could also do romaine lettuce wraps with tuna or chicken salad. And instead of adding veggies, you can make the veggie the actual meal such as a hot pureed veggie soup or a homemade soup with chunks of veggies. (Now you’re up to 4 servings)
- Dinner Time! Ok, you’ve done well all day so now all you need now is to enjoy 1-2 servings of veggies as part of your dinner. Try recipes where the vegetable is the central part of the meal and not just a side, such as casseroles or stir fry. VOILA! You’ve got your 5 veggies in today!
Just remember, in order to get the vegetables in your diet, you cannot wait until dinner time to start eating them. Start as early as possible and nibble throughout the day on raw veggies.
BONUS TIP – Smoothies and Salads are a great way to get 2-4 servings of veggies in at once. Also, eat as many raw vegetables as possible to get the full nutritional value.
My Favorite Smoothie Recipe
1 ½ c spinach
½ c carrots
½ c low fat Greek vanilla yogurt
1 c frozen berries
¼ c juice (apple, tomato, or orange)
Having the life, body, and health you want is not just an impossible dream. It doesn’t take magic. It takes YOU!
DREAM it. DO it. LIVE it.
Did you know that your physical health may be threatened by a lack of spiritual and emotional health? Have you finally had long term success in incorporating healthier habits into your lifestyle by exercising and eating right? Have you reached some fitness goals and finally giving up soda or fast food? You’ve done all of that, yet something is still missing. So you keep striving for higher levels of fitness and health, but soon discover you’ve done all you can do for your body. Or maybe your healthy lifestyle is still a work in progress. Either way, at some point you may say “Now what?”
The answer to that is simple. Your physical health is only one aspect of your overall well-being. If you’ve only focused on the physical, then there is still work to be done. In order to have complete health, a person must possess spiritual, emotional, and physical health. If you have taken poor care of your spiritual and emotional health, your physical health probably will not last. Medical studies have shown that one’s spiritual life affects their emotional health which in turn will definitely affect the physical health, lending itself to disease and chronic, medical conditions. It is important to care for each part of the whole to enjoy total long term health.
Spiritual Health > Emotional Health > Physical Health
We all understand what it takes to be physically healthy. It is a combination of:
- Avoiding the things that are hazardous
- Absorbing the things that are good
- Moderating the things that may pose a threat.
The same is true in your spiritual and emotional health. You must nurture and protect them. A strong faith has been linked to a reduction in depression, improved blood pressure, and a boost in the immune system. All of these things directly affect your physical being. If you have focused entirely on your physical health and have not been deliberate about taking care of your spiritual and emotional health, it might be time for some balance. Click in next week for more on this topic.
DietDreamer wants you to know. Having the life, body, and health you want isn’t just an impossible dream. It doesn’t take magic, it takes YOU.
DREAM it. DO it. LIVE it.
“ITS HARD TO BE A LITTLE GIRL IF YOU’RE NOT” is the tagline attached to a controversial childhood obesity ad in Georgia. The ad depicts a young overweight “little” girl. There are several other ads not quite as harsh, but still questionable at best according to many health experts. The state of Georgia reports that 40% of their children are either obese or overweight and parents are in denial. In an effort to fight this serious dilemma, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has started a Strong4Life campaign depicting a series of overweight children. They bring up issues that come with being fat such as bullying and health problems. But some would say the ads are fighting the children and not the obesity. When first hearing about the controversy of the ad prior to actually seeing it, I thought, “I’m sure someone is being over sensitive and taking something out of context.” Then I watched the video in its entirety and saw several ads. (see link at the end of this article)
Here are my thoughts. There is no argument that the ads are indeed effective. The goals of any public campaign are to 1) bring awareness to the problem and 2) get people to act on the problem. In that sense the ads will likely be successful The ads are great eye openers for parents, but at what cost. Will the ads also succeed in doing the following?
- Make obese children even more ashamed?
- Send the message to other kids that overweight kids should lose weight if they don’t want to be bullied?
- Further perpetuate the idea that obese people are somehow inferior to “normal” size people?
It is no secret that the childhood obesity problem is on the rise across America. And because obesity is a serious problem and leads to many costly health problems for the individual as well as overall healthcare, I applaud Georgia for taking some type of aggressive approach to this issue. Something definitely needs to be done. And the reality is, it starts with the parents since these children have very little control over what is brought into the house. But if the parents are slow to victory over their own stronghold, how can we as a culture encourage children to make healthy choices on their own?
I love what Michelle Obama has been doing on the Disney Channel to motivate children to eat healthy and exercise. Beyonce’ even has a youtube video encouraging kids to “get moving”. The point is, there are many methods to encourage children to make personal health choices. I am just not sure the best method is to have pictures of fat kids with tag lines that say, “BEING FAT TAKES THE FUN OUT OF BEING A KID”. That statement is not true for all kids. It is like telling overweight children, “You shouldn’t be happy because you’re fat.” What if an overweight kid who leads a relatively happy and bully-free life reads the ad. I wonder how that might change his or her view of themselves and the life that he or she “thought” was happy.
Having said all that, hopefully the Strong4Life Campaign will do well. And even though some of the taglines may make some a little uncomfortable, it personally made me take my children’s health a lot more seriously. The reality of children getting adult diseases is a striking awareness. It’s just unfortunate that the 25 million dollars spent on the campaign couldn’t have been better spent on some after school fitness classes or something. Just a thought…
Please view the video in its entirety up to the point when the reporter begins her segment on the correlation between working moms and overweight children. Take a look at the ads and “weigh in”. We’d love to hear what the readers think.