Investing in Health: A Recipe for Success

I am trying to eat as healthfully as possible right now. Fruits; vegetables; whole grains; everything that the doctor recommends is going into my mouth in an effort to get all the nutrients I need. This sounds simple, but as anyone who’s ever counted calories, carbs, food groups, or elephants knows, getting to ideal numbers is hard work! I have found a few awesome tips, though, so let’s take a look at how to eat more of the good nutrition that your body needs.

Finding Your Ideal Numbers

First, before we jump into the tips, let’s review how many servings of each food group are needed daily. For a person on an average 2,000 calorie diet, you will need: 6 to 11 servings of grain; 3 to 5 servings of veggies; 2 to 4 servings of fruit; 2 to 3 servings of milk; and a total of 5 to 7 ounces of meat per day.

Those with lower calorie goals need to aim for the lower end of each food group goal, and those who are very active should aim for the upper end of the food goal range. Sounds simple, right? It really is, but actually getting all of those servings into the day can be hard work.

Tips and Tricks

Because I found it so difficult to eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies, I kind of cheated. Well not really cheated but found some ways to reach my goals without feeling like I was forced to clear my plate of veggies before I got desert. Here’s what I found.

Make it a Stir Fry

One of my favorite ways to eat my veggies is to lightly toss them with a little oil in a wok for a few minutes. This keeps them crisp, lends them some flavor, and makes it easy to grab a bowl as a cold snack or heat it up for a hot meal. Bonus: I can make a huge batch every week and keep it in the fridge for the snacking.

Make it a Smoothie

Now, in case you don’t already know, I’m a little strange. One of my oddities is that I love vegetables but dislike fruit. Strange, huh? Well, as a non-fruit-lover, I really didn’t eat enough of the sweet goodness, so I devised a little trickery to help myself along: I blend my fruit into a smoothie and drink my way to health.

This trick makes fruit consumption more bearable for me because I can easily get my fruit needs out of the way with one simple smoothie. Rather than taking the time to eat three apples, I can toss a few cups of berries, some yogurt, and some milk into my blender, pour it into a cup, and go. Bunus: they actually taste good.

When Life Hands You Tomatoes…

I love salsa, and I absolutely love pico de gallo. So whenever tomatoes are in season, I make a big batch of pico. This helps me get all those veggies into my diet in the most delicious way possible. Here’s my pico de gallo recipe:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 to 4 tomatoes
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ½ bunch of cilantro (I use a lot because I love it!)
  • Dice all and mix! So simple and so delish.

That’s all the trips and tips I know for now. Basically, work with what you like. My stir fry, smoothie and pico tricks could work for you as well, but if something else works better, go for it!

Please feel free to share your own tricks below; we look forward to hearing from you!

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Anonymous's picture

Melissa wrote:

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 11:47 Comment #: 1

This is definitely one of the things I struggle with when it comes to eating right. I know it sounds weird, but it's not the eating well part that I have a hard time with, but just eating enough! Diet plans always seem to come with so much food—who has time to eat it all! And I'm always so busy throughout the day that sometimes I forget to sit down to lunch altogether. It's a terrible habit.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 14:01 Comment #: 2

Melissa, very true -- eating all of the fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. you're supposed to in any given day can seem like an overwhelming pile of food! I always skimp on the whole grains...maybe that will be my newest focus! Good luck cramming all of your dietary needs in every day ;-)

Anonymous's picture

femmefrugality wrote:

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 15:13 Comment #: 3

Veggies are my bane. That's right....I'm a 3 year old kid at heart. I try to buy veggies disguised as something else. Like pasta that has however many servings of veggies in it but tastes like pasta. Or V8 drinks. Summer smoothies are fantastic!

Anonymous's picture

Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter wrote:

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 14:57 Comment #: 4

Great post. We do many of these ourselves. We have smoothies every morning for breakfast and we love it. They are quick, tasty, and healthy. We also eat a lot of stirfrys. It is amazing how you don't tire of them. You can change them up so much while keeping them nutritious.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 17:38 Comment #: 5

Femmefrugality, I know many adults who are kids at heart, myself included! I think I will forever have trouble eating fruit unless it's in a smoothie form...just one of my child-like quirks! Great tips on how you can trick yourself to eat veggies!

Miss T, I think smoothies and stir fries are the absolute best creations in the world! Great job on your own healthy eating!

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