By now, we all know that we should be eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every single day of the week. It’s been drummed into us for years, and there’s no denying that there are so many health benefits that go hand in hand with a diet that’s packed full of nutrients.
Some things are easier said than done though, and this is definitely one of them. Generally speaking, I love vegetables and tucking into big fresh salads, but if I’m not really on the ball with things, it’s easy to miss that 5 a day target. What it really comes down to is creating the right kind of routines, so it’s easy for you to succeed.
Here are the tactics that I use to ensure that I’m consistently getting 5 a day…
Start with breakfast
No one wants to get to dinner time and then suddenly realise that they haven’t even looked at a vegetable all day, so have to choose between eating a mountain of greens, and admitting defeat. Start your day off the right way by making sure that you have at least one portion with breakfast. I love adding sliced banana and grated apple to my cereal, with a little sprinkle of cinnamon. It helps to keep me full until lunchtime, and definitely decreases the chances of me reaching for the biscuit tin!
Always plan your meals in advance
Meal planning has so many different benefits, and they really can’t be overstated. It can help you to save money, reduce waste, and also ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet. Once a week, I’ll sit down and plan my grocery shopping, and exactly what I’ll eat each day. When I’m choosing recipes that are full of fruit and vegetables, it makes hitting my 5 a day a done deal.
Experiment so you find the fruit and vegetables you really love
If you absolutely hate spinach with a passion, then there’s no point in forcing yourself to eat it. It’ll suck all the joy out of your mealtimes, and you definitely won’t stick with it for very long. Getting your 5 a day isn’t about eating stuff that you don’t like. It’s about finding an approach that works and that you find delicious. Make an effort to regularly try new things, so you find what you really love.
Try juices, smoothies, and soups
Juices, smoothies, and soups are amongst my favourite ways to get my 5 a day. Whatever your tastes are, you can find a combination that ticks all your boxes and provides a beautiful and nutritious meal. During the autumn months, I’m a huge fan of this pumpkin soup recipe from BBC Good Food. I have a NutriBullet that I’d highly recommend, though in my personal opinion, there’s no need to splash out for a fancy soup maker. A pan on top of your hob will do the trick just fine!
Keep a healthy snack box in your fridge
I love snacking, and it’s really easy to find yourself reaching for a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate if you’re not prepared. This is why I keep a healthy snack box in my fridge. I fill it with carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, diced apple, and orange segments, and I graze on the contents throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll whip up a fresh hummus dip too, made with plenty of garlic. I can easily consume a couple of my 5 a day with this approach, and it also helps me to keep the pounds off.
How do you make sure that you get your 5 a day? I’d love to hear your tips, so leave a comment below with your best advice!