Last week I talked about snacks and how to manage their existence in your household. Today we’re going to talk about fruits and vegetables.
You all know how important eating 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies are, don’t you?
And you do eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies each day, right? If the answer is yes, great job and keep it up. Your body thanks you. If, however you did some quick math and are coming up a few or more servings short I can help you with that. It’s an easier fix than you think.
Step 1: Loiter in the Produce Section
When I walk into a grocery store I start in the produce section. For a fruit and veggie lover like myself it’s heaven. Ripe, red apples, juicy strawberries, plump green and red grapes, and rows of leafy green lettuce call to me. I love how orderly and organized the produce department is and it makes me want to buy and eat it all. And that is the point.
The next time you go shopping, start with produce. And instead of zipping your cart through like a NASCAR driver, take a deep breath and wander. Meander. Linger. Check out the apples and see which ones look good to you. Sometimes I grab Fuji out of habit but there are a lot of apples out there. Granny Smith have a tart and sweet bite to it and are great with cheese or in a salad with some butter lettuce, pomegranate seeds and some crumbled feta. Honeycrisp are firm, fresh, crisp and also a tad pricy but sooo worth it!
At the berries pick up a container and look at the bottom, are they smooshed and icky or are they all plump and firm? Next grab a pineapple and take a big whiff. Does it smell, well, pineappley? If not, put it back. I know, this will take you a bit of time but soon enough you’ll be able to pick the best produce more quickly. Just by touch, sight and a squeeze here and there.
Step 2: Shelve It!
This one seems to make so much sense but it took me FOREVER to figure out. I would buy a ton of produce at the grocery store and then try and cram it all into those teeny little crisper boxes in my refrigerator. Then I realized (duh) that if I took half of the produce out of the crisper and moved it to the shelves I would see it more easily and therefore use it. Less wasted food, less wasted money. Score!
Step 3: Crisper Management
One other “crisper” trick is to take your apples, berries, oranges etc. out of those plastic bags and put them in square plastic containers (don’t use the lids) so they are organized look more appetizing. Going back to the grocery store experiment, think about how nice the apple display looks at the store.
To show you how easy it is, here’s a photo of my crisper. Having my little pretties lined up and sorted makes me want to eat them. Studies show that we eat with our eyes first so entice your peepers with a little food porn.
Give one or more of these simple tricks a try and watch your fruit and veggie intake rise.
Remember, the goal is 5-7 servings every day!
Now go run!