How much veg?
It’s one of those things isn’t it?
One of those things we have heard for so long we just believe it to be true.
And we all try but truly do you actually get your five a day?
And really is that enough?
There is lots of conflicting advice on exactly how much is enough and even country to country the recommendations differ.
The World Health Organisation recommend 5 portions of fruit and vegetable every day but that recommendation is 25 years old.
The five a day campaign was launched to help people increase the amount they eat, five was considered way above the amount generally eaten by most adults so although the actual recommendation should be closer to eight, five was considered more manageable.
Today we are aware of the dangers of poor diet and the health risks of not giving our bodies the nutrients it needs.
So where are you on the scale? Closer to 5 or 8?
Get the balance right too, look for more veg than fruit. Generally vegetables contain less sugar and are more nutrient dense than fruit.
To increase the amount of vegetables and fruit in your diet there are plenty of things you can do.
It really just takes a little bit of thought and being conscious of it will help you focus on what you can do.
If you are like me you tend to eat similar things every day, the thought of changing a meal can feel daunting so go one step at a time, change one meal or start by adding extra veg to your snacks then look at the next change.
Smoothies are great, you can add spinach or kale to increase veg and as much fruit as you like. This is a great way to start the day, takes minutes and is a great snack too.
This fab little infographic is good for reference.
Add veg to your eggs My freezer always has frozen cubes of chopped spinach, it goes in pretty much everything. Waitrose do a lovely one which is chopped super well so when I add it to everyday meals the kids have no idea! It also goes well in egg dishes so add it to your scrambled egg or omelette at breakfast and you start the day on a winner.
Mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and courgette are also nice with eggs so you scrambled eggs on toast can get a bit of a vitamin boost and be the perfect breakfast.
Lunch seems to be an easier meal to tackle, adding salad to your sandwich is a good start and obviously now summer is here a big bowl of salad is now more appealing. Mix it up and throw in something different to relieve the boredom.
Roasted butternut squash or sweet potato is lovely, try adding some honeyed nuts for some crunch or throw in some beans. Anything that adds colour or texture will increase your enjoyment.
Homemade soups don’t have to take much time to make and are a really easy way to increase vegetables with lunch.
A good rule of thumb is to load your plate with vegetables at dinner time. At least half the plate should be vegetables weather they are roasted, steamed or raw salad.
Heaping half a plateful can make a meal feel more satisfying and provide several portions to your daily total.
Please share your tips in our Facebook group, this I one of those questions I get asked a lot and I am always hearing that salads are boring so share your tips to make them more interesting.
I look forward to seeing you there.