The "Sack" Method: Eat Your Veggies

>> 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 ( 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 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

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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