If you’re signed up for the #FedUpChallenge and have decided to get the sugar out of your diet – at least for the next 10 days – it will be easier for you if you have plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables to eat. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables will help lower your sweet cravings and balance out your blood sugar.
When you’re at the grocery, purchase a variety of fruits and vegetables so that you can make your own creative dishes that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will fill you up.
Here are ten tips for getting more fruits and veggies in your diet:
1. Keep It Simple – Cubed cucumbers, sliced cherry tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, parsley and a little salt and pepper go together to make a crunchy salad that you can put together in less than 10 minutes. Experiment with the fruits and vegetables that you have on hand to make winning combinations.
2. Choose Kale and Spinach – Rather than buying iceberg or head lettuce, use kale and spinach as the base for your green salads. These leafy greens will bump up the nutrition and the flavor. Both are superfoods that have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and fiber. This Kale and Pomegranate Salad is tossed with a light dressing and feta cheese. It is perfect for a quick side salad for your family and pretty enough for guests.
3. Veggies + Quinoa + Shrimp = One-Dish Meal – I sauteed a mixture of veggies that I had on hand – mushrooms, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms and asparagus – in a skillet with olive oil and garlic. Then I added a few currants (raisins) for a little sweetness. (Remember naturally occurring sugars are okay.) Mixed with shrimp and quinoa, this is a hearty one-dish meal that packs a nutritious punch. Shrimp Quinoa is a family favorite:
4. Wrap It In Lettuce – You can reduce your overall carb intake by using lettuce as a wrap in place of a tortilla. If you’re like us, you’ll find that you like them better because the crispy lettuce leaves enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. Asian Lettuce Wraps can be made in a few minutes for a quick dinner or rolled as an appetizer for guests.
5. Holiday Salads – Memorial Day weekend is coming and you might be looking for a salad to take to a picnic. This Edamame Salad is perfect. It has black beans, corn, onion and lemon juice that blend together for a delicious combination.
6. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – There are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without indulging in processed sugar. Sweet potatoes, prunes, raisins, and fruit smoothies are all ways to get a sweet ‘fix’ without eating something that has three or four teaspoons of sugar. This Butternut Squash Soup is sweet, creamy and filling and will satisfy your sweet craving.
7. Try A Smoothie For Breakfast – Breakfast can be a challenge. Think of all of the breakfast foods that are loaded with sugar. Waffles, syrup, jelly, bagels, donuts, lattes, and on and on. If you make your own fruit smoothie for breakfast you can get a full day’s worth of nutrition in a blender. Greek yogurt, fruit, low-fat milk, and a handful of spinach makes this a breakfast meal that will keep you satisfied until lunch. Karen’s Low-Fat Green Smoothie is a super-food!
8. Replace Sugary Desserts With Fruit – You can appeal to your sweet tooth with the sugar that is found naturally in fruit. Summer and fall are the best time of the year to shop farmer’s markets and the local grocery for seasonal fruits that you might not be able to find at other times of the year. Fresh berries, cherries, peaches and plums in a pretty glass or bowl can replace fully loaded sugary desserts like cookies and pastries.
9. Try Something New – If you have a habit of buying broccoli, carrots and green beans every week at the store, take a look at some of the other, less popular veggies and give them a try. Leafy greens like collard and bok choy are easy to prepare and supply nutrients that you’re probably not getting in the more common vegetables.
10. Add Fruits and Vegetables To Water – Beyond adding citrus fruits to your water, you can toss in watermelon slices, berries, and cucumbers to give your water some zest along with added flavor and nutrition. Cucumber water is one of my favorites.
Over To You
What tips do you have to cut back on sugar and add fruits and vegetables to your diet?
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