April Goals and All About Fruits and Vegetables

Now that I have completed my burpee goal, I need a new goal to focus on this month. I’ve been reading Angela’s (Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat) monthly goals and decided to work on 5 small goals. These goals are in addition to my water and workout habits.

Goals:

  • Cook at least one new meal a week.
  • Every Monday spend some time, at least 30 minutes, on our budget.
  • Finish Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and my notes on the book.
  • Run a 8:55 minute/mile. I really want to improve my speed.
  • Increase my blog readership by 10%.

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Beef SaladAs you can see I have been completely lazy this week and have taken all of my photos with my iphone. I have neglected my dslr.

Anyways, this is a picture of my lunch today. I topped leftover beef and green peppers on romaine lettuce, spinach (my fave), carrots, cheese and gold fish crackers. This is the first time I have added gold fish crackers to my salad. It wasn’t too bad, but I think I will stick with my usual sunflower seeds.

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I wanted to share some information on the importance of adding fruits and vegetables to our daily meals. This is a continuation of the post, 7 Tips for Balancing Your Meals, I wrote a few weeks ago.

What are fruits and vegetables?

A fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seed.

A vegetable is the edible root, stem or leaf part of the plant.

We often think of certain fruits as vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, green beans and eggplant. We also think of a mushroom as a vegetable, but it is actually a fungus.

What are the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables?

There are many benefits to adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to our daily meals such as:

  • Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber.
    • Fiber helps keep our digestive tracts healthy, help manage body weight by keeping us fuller, lowers blood cholesterol and slows the rise of blood sugar after eating.
  • They are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
    • Antioxidants inhibits reactions of free radicals, unstable chemicals that damage or cells, before they are able to do any damage.
  • They are abundant in phytochemicals.
    • Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants that can prevent inflammation, prevent toxins that can damage DNA and cause cancer, inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, decrease the loss of calcium from our bones, encourage growth of good bacteria and discourage bacteria that causes diseases.
  • Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and will assist in hydration.

Benefits of Chemicals in Fruits and Vegetables

How much fruits and vegetables should we eat?

Consume fruits and/or vegetables with most of your meals.

Here are some tips to adding them to your meals.

Breakfast:

  • Grab a fruit with your usual breakfast.
  • Add berries to your cereal.
  • Add fruits and spinach to make a super smoothie.
  • Add chopped peppers, mushrooms, onions and spinach to your omelet or scrambled eggs.

Lunch:

  • Add vegetables, such as tomatoes, romaine lettuce and spinach, to your sandwich or wrap.
  • Add banana to your peanut butter sandwich.
  • Choose vegetable based soup and add extra spinach.
  • Grab a fruit or a handful of carrots to eat with your lunch.

Dinner:

  • Add chopped vegetables to you casserole.
  • Add chopped cooked vegetables to your mashed potatoes.
  • Add shredded zucchini to you salad.
  • Grill tomatoes, yellow squash and corn the next time you make hamburgers.
  • Bake a potato and add broccoli and salsa.
  • Instead of using pasta to make spaghetti, try spaghetti squash.

For other tips, check out Add Veggies to Any Meal by Greatist.

If you are concerned about eating organic fruits and vegetables, check out EWG’s Shopper Guide to the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.

If you want to add a variety of fruits and vegetables to you daily meals, but don’t know what to choose, look at the list from The World’s Healthiest Foods. There are many more fruits and vegetables than what is listed, but this should give you a good starting point.

Source

McGee, H. On Food And Cooking. New York: Scribner. 2004.

Red heartRed heartRed heart

What are your favorite toppings on a salad?

-I love chickpeas, red onions, egg, sunflower seeds, broccoli, carrots, green peppers, dried cranberries and spinach.

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