>> Monday, April 12, 2010
Getting my daily intake of fruits and veggies is a struggle for me. I've been vegetarian for over 14 years, but I hate salad. How is that even possible? I'm not really sure, but I'm just not a fan -- especially of lettuce. And I have trouble getting myself around in the morning (we covered this last week in the chocolate-peanut butter oats post), so crafting an on-the-go veggie feast is somewhat difficult.
I surfed over to Fruits and Veggies Matter (http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/) and discovered that at my age and sex (26/F) and activity level (over 60 minutes per day), I should be consuming 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables every single day.
Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts -- as part of a healthy diet -- are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. These diseases include stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and perhaps heart disease.
Eating your 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables a day is easier than you think.
Easier than I think, eh? Yeah, I realize I'm just being lazy. I could choose to make meals ahead of time. I could create a salad with ingredients I like, like spinach and beans. But I came up with another method that suits my current situation well. I call it (drum roll, please) The Sack Method.
The Sack Method is just that: A ton of raw veggies -- chopped and thrown into a sack. Two of my favorites have been radishes and carrots because they crunch. They also go well with that super-easy hummus recipe from last week. And when I bring a gigantic sack of the good stuff to work with me, I'm less tempted to hit the vending machine or coffee kiosk for a late afternoon snack (of cookies and candy bars). I almost always have leftovers that can carry over to the next day.
But, you might be thinking, what counts as a cup?
One cup refers to a common measuring cup (the kind used in recipes). In general, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or 100% vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the vegetable group. One cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the fruit group (from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/). To find out more, check out this chart.
You're just dying to know, I'm sure. Exactly how many fruits and veggies you need daily? Just check out the handy-dandy calculator on Fruits and Veggies Matter. And tell us: How do you get in your daily requirement? Any tips to share with the group? Just leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news, Stephen and I ran a half marathon in Ithaca, NY, yesterday morning. I PRed and Stephen maintained his lightning-fast pace -- and we weren't even racing. Stay tuned for a full race report, as well as our upcoming race calendar! We signed up for a crazy one over the weekend!
ALSO check out this month's Blog Love Fest. It's a special edition because we're not only sharing the links in a list this month. We're creating a categorized blogLOVEroll. For all the gooey details, just visit the BLF post.
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