29 Jan Linda’s Blog #3 – Top 10 healthy diet tips (even if you’re not a veg lover!)
This week I am making healthy changes to my diet to boost my weight loss. Although I’m doing well at reducing my portion sizes, I’m worried I’m not eating enough fruit and veg, the foundation of a healthy diet.
Healthy weight loss is all about having a healthy diet, and that means fruit and veg. But, unfortunately, I can’t say I am a vegetable lover. And my kids particularly pull a face if there is too much green in sight. So it’s not that easy. But it must be possible, right?
I’ve got a few friends who seem to be on top of the healthy diet wave and are always going on about the latest recipe they’ve come across, posting pictures etc. So I’ve been asking around for advice on how to get more fruit and veg into my diet. So without further ado, here are their top 10 tips.
Top 10 tips on how to eat more fruit and veg – even if you’re not a natural lover
1. Put it in plain sight
One thing I know is: a lot of what I crave to eat is prompted by me seeing it (be that during TV adverts, while shopping at the counter or in the supermarket entrance).
So I have switched things around at home. The fruit bowl is now in the kitchen rather than the dining room, because that’s where I go when I fancy something. It’s so much easier to grab an apple or a satsuma when it’s right there in front of you.
2. Have a piece of fruit handy on the go
A friend of mine always talks about having a bag of apples in the car. I thought I’d try that. So I now have a few apples sitting on my passenger seat and also a satsuma in my handbag. Simple really. So when I’m peckish on my way home from work it’s right there, and I’m not starving while preparing dinner.
3. Make a deal with yourself – Fruit first, sweet treats second (or not at all…)
I have chosen to make a little deal with myself: “when you feel like a sweet treat have a piece of fruit first” (or a handful of grapes). So I’ve started trying that. I wait at least 30 minutes to see if I still crave sugary things. More often than not the fruit actually fixes my craving. Surprising!!
4. Don’t buy fruit filled yoghurt – have plain yoghurt with fresh fruit instead
You know what – I was skeptical about this one. But I’ve tried it twice so far this week. And I am actually finding it tastes so much nicer. Had plain low fat Greek yoghurt with a bit of fresh mango yesterday. DELICIOUS. This is definitely a keeper. And even my kids liked it.
5. Smoothies – a good way to increase your veg intake as well as fruit
Now smoothies are actually quite nice. And something that my kids love also. But if you’re starting to look at calories having lots of fruit in there might not be the best way.
One of my friends suggested I try a few recipes that are 2/3 veg and only 1/3 fruit (with plenty of water or low fat milk). Again – surprise!!
6. Have some cut up some veg ready in the fridge
I find a lot of eating changes have one thing in common: PREPARATION. One friend suggested cutting up a selection of veg and having it handy and ready in the fridge. That makes it so much easier to add in something like carrot sticks to your lunch or to rustle up a quick vegetable stir fry. This one will go into my weekly calendar for a Sunday I think. Or if you’re really short of time lots of supermarkets sell pre-cut veg. It’s a bit more expensive, but can be really worth it for the time you save!
7. Stack up on frozen veg
Another PREPARATION tip was to have a bigger selection of veg in the freezer. I didn’t realise this, but frozen veg is not only cheaper but it also tends to have more vitamins because the veg gets frozen straight after being harvested rather than taking weeks to get onto the supermarket shelf. It’s easy to portion up and doesn’t go off. What’s not to like?
8. Increase the amount of veg you prepare
Have you ever noticed at Sunday Roast dinner that the vegetables get eaten up nicely even by the kids? I have decided to simply cook more veg – not just at Sunday dinner. And guess what – if there is more veg and less of the carbohydrate-rich spuds or pasta (thinking calories) – even the kids start eating more of it. Bingo. I actually love the way it brings more colour to your plate. Who knew a healthy diet could be so pretty?
9. Veggie burgers rock
Ever tried to make kids who don’t like veg much eat more? I think veg burgers must be one of the best ways of doing that. Just grating up some carrots, sweet potato or swede for example with 2 tablespoons of flour and an egg can be brilliant. Just add some salt, pepper and some spices (like paprika) or herbs and fry off in the pan as a veggie burger.
10. Pureed veg can make a super cheese like–sauce
This one came as a surprise from a vegan friend of mine. As vegans don’t eat dairy she mentioned making a cheese substitute sauce. She uses cooked or roasted butternut squash (3/4) and sweet potato (1/4), combines it with a bit of garlic and a milk substitute, salt and pepper. I tried it with some semi skimmed milk and a dollop of reduced fat crème fraiche and served it up with pasta. My family LOVED it – and they still don’t know they had veg rather than cheese… Oh what innocent bliss!
I have to say: just writing this blog is getting me more and more excited about the prospect of more fruit and veg. Healthy diet here I come! Why don’t you join me in trying out some of my top 10? Why not share how you get on via our Facebook page or post a food photo on Instagram.
Looking forward to seeing your photos. And stay tuned for some veg-heavy recipes this week!
Ps for a handy way of keeping track of your fruit and veg intake, why not write it all on our downloadable wall planner?