“Strive for Five”

Enjoying five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a good start if you are barely eating two servings per day. For optimal health, especially to halt or reverse chronic conditions, eat nine servings per day.

What is a serving?  An adult sized serving is generally one cup of raw food, except for leafy greens which is 2 cups. The serving sized for cooked fruit and vegetables is ½ cup. A child sized serving is about the amount that will fit in the palm of his hand. One half to two thirds of the produce you eat should be green and the rest varied. This should come as no surprise as about 50% of the produce in the store is green.

One way to ensure that you eat more fruits and vegetables is to eat these foods before eating any protein and grain or starch at each meal.

Some suggestions for getting produce into your breakfast (which I’m told is the hardest meal to do so):

  • Sauté extra vegetables for dinner and put them over scrambled eggs or fold them into omelets.
  • Eat leftover soup. (This is my winter time favorite.)
  • Cinnamon apples, sliced peaches, or berries sprinkled with toasted nuts, whether alone or over yogurt or on warm millet or oatmeal are a tasty breakfast.
  • Make breakfast burritos. Use beans, seasoned ground meat, or eggs for the protein. Then add tomatoes, avocadoes, onions, peppers, greens, and/or whatever your taste buds call for.
  • In the summer, make a smoothie. Be sure your ingredients are room temperature so you’re not putting too much cold in the stomach.

Note: If you don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, increase your intake gradually to allow your digestive system to shift to process this change in your diet.