The FDA has recently recommended that we eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day (or 7 servings). If we look take an honest look of what the average American diet serves up everyday, can we honestly say we’re eating 4.5 cups, the minimum recommended amount? Let’s say there’s 0.25 cups of fruit and we’ll include 0.5 cups of veggies if you have hash browns.
Now for lunch, we’ll add another 0.5 cups of vegetables for toppings like lettuce and tomatoes on your entree. If you have something like a ministrone soup, we can probably add a cup. Now we’re up to 1.25 – 1.75 cups of fruits and vegetables!
On to dinner, now we’re cooking! The typical American diet usually makes up for the lack of vegetables at dinner time. Usually there are two servings of vegetables, maybe a salad and a potato or green of some kind. Let’s add a generous 1.5 cups.
Hmmm… we’re still at around 3 cups. We’re getting close!
Dessert? Sure! If you throw some blueberries on that ice cream, underneath the gorgeous chocolate crust of Magic Shell, you’ll be up to around 3.5 cups. Every diet is different, but what I’m trying to show is that the standard American diet does not usually meet the minimum recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day. It is usually meat and grain heavy and while those are important to have in your diet they are eaten in the amounts prescribed for fruits and vegetables.
Here’s a great way to do it that I wanted to share. Start your day with extra energy so that you won’t need that Choco Grande Mix Latte with extra shots of Espresso by mid-morning. Get yourself a good blender and make a veggie, fruit and protein shake in the morning instead.
Here are some ideas of what to include: collard greens, spinach, kale, bell peppers, carrots, celery, apples, blueberries, bananas, cucumbers, oranges, strawberries, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, cantaloupe, acai berries, walnuts, brazil nuts (1-2), cinnamon, ginger, chia seeds, flax seeds, almond milk (or coconut milk), vanilla, lemon juice and anything else you can think of. Don’t go too heavy on the fruit either. You do want to sweeten it, but not get a sugar high.
Put it all in a huge blender. If you have a good blender, there’s no need to chop it up or slowly drop it in. Take out the seeds, make sure there’s enough liquid and blend away.
And do blend well! No one wants to drink chunks of carrot.
I usually make enough for two days for myself and the kids.
Enjoy your veggie and fruit filled mornings!