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Caring Cuisine…Are you eating your rainbow?

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat anywhere from 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, depending on their age, gender, physical activity and overall health. The reason is that fruits and vegetables have essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals our body needs to function at its best.  However, our soils are so depleted that a bowl of spinach today, does not have the same mineral content that it did in 1940.  That’s another article…check back later. So….it is very important to get our fruits and vegetables eaten!

On any given day, 46% of people do not eat even 1 fruit and 18% have not eaten even 1 vegetable.  Choose to not be part of the overfed yet undernourished. Here are a few tips to improve your intake.

  • Add some berries or banana to your breakfast protein smoothie.
  • Add some berries or banana to your hot or cold cereal.
  • Add sliced banana to your PB toast.
  • Add spinach, mixed greens or kale to your smoothie.
  • Carry a snack zip-lock in your briefcase or purse with baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, sliced celery with PB, sliced apple or pear…get the picture?
  • Carry a piece of fruit and raw almonds or walnuts with you as your mid-day snack.
  • Add tomato and lettuce to your sandwich PLUS have a side salad.
  • Enjoy diced cucumber, tomato and basil-feta with some rice vinegar & olive oil with your lunch or dinner.
  • Instead of spaghetti, enjoy some spaghetti squash with your sauce and meatballs.
  • SOUPS….great way to add numerous vegetables. Great because it can be prepared in large batches and frozen in single meals.
  • Use thinly sliced zucchini instead of pasta to make layered lasagna.
  • Enjoy warmed berries with a tablespoon of granola for dessert.

Hopefully the ideas above have helped your creative juices get moving!  Do your best to eat fresh fruit and vegetables in their original for, you reap the most nutritional benefits.  Also, remember to eat a variety. Does your plate look like the desert…beige and tan? I’m sure hoping not!!! The deeper the color, the more phytonutrients they contain.  The vitamins and phytonutrients that give fruits and vegetables their color work as antioxidants, immune boosters, and anti-inflammatories.

What creative ways have you mixed in your fruits and vegetables in your day?

I’d love to hear about it…please share!