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Thread: Getting enough veg and fruit

  1. #1
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Getting enough veg and fruit

    Lately I'm having trouble with eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables (6-10). I'm buying them and they just go to mush in my fridge. And when I do eat them, it's usually stuff like tomatoes and cucumbers. I'm barely getting any leafy greens.

    Any quick ideas? This is kind of embarrassing. It's not like I'm going days without fresh vegetables, but I'm not eating them like how I should. Especially as a vegan, IMO.

    (Please no juices or smoothies)
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  2. #2
    Bearshark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Sorry if any of this is obvious, I thought I'd say it anyway just in case!

    What I personally do is every time I want a snack or something, I'll have a piece of fruit, which means that apart from my main meals, all I eat is fruit. Maybe also incorporate some more into your meals? For example, porridge for breakfast with banana and sultanas and berries or something? I also go crazy with my tea when it comes to veges, I have less of each type but loads of variety. For example, tonight I had seitan with gravy, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, kumara, mash, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, beans, spinach and mushrooms. I'm always worried I'm not getting enough veges so I'll add them to stuff, even when the recipe doesn't call for it.
    I'm also low on iron (always have been) and so if I have sandwiches for lunch, I'll put spinach in there, as well as some avocado and mashed chickpeas and tahini, and instead of having crisps I'll have a piece of fruit or two.

    I hope this was of some help

  3. #3
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Maybe plan your meals roughly before going shopping, then buy the vegetables that you need for the dishes you've planned?

    Or is the problem that you decide at the last minute you can't be bothered to cook what you'd planned? (I know that feeling!) In that case making a batch of something that will do you for a few days might help, e.g. a big pan of vegetable soup or stew which you can keep in the fridge and reheat in portions.

    Big main-meal salads are also good at this time of year and don't take a minute to prepare.

  4. #4
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    if you pre-prep a salad ready to eat and keep it in a crisper box you will always have a snack or extra 'green' item to eat with a main meal but without having to prep it freshly. make a different one up as soon as you finish the first one but use different ingredients. don't dress it though - add a dressing when you eat it or it will go all soggy and mushy - not nice!

  5. #5
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Bearshark: I like the idea of having fruit for snacks. It's not something I normally do, actually, because I'm always craving something carb-a-licious like toast or cereal. But I should try it, it will definitely help with the waistline too.

    Harpy, I do get lazy. I will plan to make a curry or something and then totally get lazy when it's time for supper. I think I will start cooking loads on my days off and then freeze into portions.

    Cedarblue, I like that idea have making a salad without the dressing and keeping it on hand. I like that idea the most, actually!
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  6. #6
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Quote Tigerlily View Post
    Bearshark: I like the idea of having fruit for snacks. It's not something I normally do, actually, because I'm always craving something carb-a-licious like toast or cereal. But I should try it, it will definitely help with the waistline too.

    Harpy, I do get lazy. I will plan to make a curry or something and then totally get lazy when it's time for supper. I think I will start cooking loads on my days off and then freeze into portions.

    Cedarblue, I like that idea have making a salad without the dressing and keeping it on hand. I like that idea the most, actually!
    I'm lazy, too, and also like to cook huge batches (slow-cooker is great for that), then store them in tupperware containers for easy meals (just need to heat it up!) to fall back on.

    I eat a piece of fruit with almost every meal (and that's 5 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, snack, supper, snack), so that's 4-5 servings.

    I also try to have a salad at supper, every night. In practice, we usually go one or two nights without, as we run out of salad greens before we get around to shopping again. We buy those containers of organic salad greens - not the cheapest thing, but they're easy and they're organic (our stores don't sell other organic greens, typically ). Making your own is also a great idea - I've been meaning to do this, too, even though the greens wouldn't be organic in that case. So, anyway, the salad makes another 1 to 2 servings of produce.

    There are also other vegetables in our meals: things like broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, etc. in things like stir-fries, stews, curries, spaghetti, etc. I think that brings us to the recommended amount of servings.

  7. #7
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    I like those tubs of salad greens. Super convenient. I hate chopping and washing.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  8. #8
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Quote Tigerlily View Post
    (Please no juices or smoothies)
    i know you said the above but i have a fruit smoothie each morning containing 3 - 4 peices of fruit & sometimes some spinach greens - if you could face one of these maybe a couple of times a week thats 4 of your min 5 a day just from breakfast!

  9. #9
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Quote Tigerlily View Post
    Cedarblue, I like that idea have making a salad without the dressing and keeping it on hand. I like that idea the most, actually!
    score!

    ...is my prize on it's way??

  10. #10
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    I like smoothies a lot, it's just that my blender sucks. And it's a pain to clean. It's definitely not a quick and convenient breakfast option for me.

    I guess your prize is some broccoli cookies!
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  11. #11
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    perhaps you could buy one of those little stick hand blenders - that's what i use. they're quite cheap in the UK, i don't know about canada though.

    pop all the fruit/greens in the container, stick the blender in, whizz it up, rinse the detachable whizz head under the tap - done!

  12. #12
    Kimberlily1983
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Quote Tigerlily View Post
    I like smoothies a lot, it's just that my blender sucks. And it's a pain to clean. It's definitely not a quick and convenient breakfast option for me.

    I guess your prize is some broccoli cookies!
    I highly recommend saving up $150 or so for a half-decent food processor. We finally got around to getting one (I was also fed up with a crappy $10-15 blender), and I use it several times a week, sometimes several times a day. Usually to make smoothies, but also to make hummus, bread crumbs, etc. Along with my slow cooker, it's my favorite kitchen appliance.

    Quote cedarblue View Post
    perhaps you could buy one of those little stick hand blenders - that's what i use. they're quite cheap in the UK, i don't know about canada though.

    pop all the fruit/greens in the container, stick the blender in, whizz it up, rinse the detachable whizz head under the tap - done!
    I haven't found the immersible hand blender to be great for smoothies, but it is perfect for pureeing soups in my slow cooker. These are not so expensive (I think we paid around $30 for ours?) and definitely worth having as well.

  13. #13
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    It's mostly the clean up that annoys the heck out of me. Ha.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  14. #14
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Quote Kimberlily1983 View Post
    I haven't found the immersible hand blender to be great for smoothies, but it is perfect for pureeing soups in my slow cooker. These are not so expensive (I think we paid around $30 for ours?) and definitely worth having as well.

    no, they are not 'perfect' for smoothies but definitely still smoothies and smushes it all up and if you keep going for a minute gives a perfectly adequate one, albeit a more pureed one if you don't water it down a bit. a quick rinse under the tap and you're finished!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Do you work well for greens?

    I've tried doing green smoothies but my blender just chopped them finely and I wasn't pleased with that.
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  16. #16

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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    I know this reply is really late, but just thought I'd let you know what I do.
    I plan how much fruit and veg I'm going to get at each meal, so each time I get to that meal I make sure I eat the no. of servings of fruit/veg planned. It was part of a meal plan when recovering from an ED, and though I no longer need the MP I still keep to the same fruit and veg portions!
    I always eat fruit/veg with meals so I don't shun veg in favour of something else. (Because if I had to choose between, say, a sandwich or a salad for lunch, I'd have the sandwich every time and never eat the salad. Since I can have both then I'll happily eat both.)
    I aim for 3 fruit and 4-5 veggies per day, plus a portion of beans or lentils.

    So, the plan goes...
    Breakfast: 1-2 portions fruit (if only 1 have the other with one of snacks later)
    Lunch: 1 portion fruit, 1 portion veg
    Dinner: 3-4 veggies (I usually have the lentils/beans here too)
    I prefer more veg in the evenings, but obviously you would make your own plan to suit your eating patterns, so you could have salad for lunch and get the veg in there instead or whatever- I just massively craves carbs during lunchtime so eat more of those instead (not enough room for more veg!)

    One of the portions of fruit is quite often dried, so it won't go out of date quickly.
    I make batches of food on Sundays for evening meals that are high in veg (veggie soups, chilli with lots of veg, veggie and chickpea curry etc.) and freeze in single serve portions. Take one out in the morning or night before and let thaw in the fridge, then just reheat in the evening. That way you only have to make an effort to get enough veggies into your evening meal once a week.
    For lunch, I nearly always have an apple (easy to carry if part of a packed lunch) and keep a couple of types of veg in the fridge that are quick and easy to use on sandwiches or quick pasta salads, such as cherry tomatoes, avocado or pre-bagged salad leaves. I'm more likely to reach for veggies to add when making lunch if they're available to just throw into the lunch right away.

    HTH

  17. #17
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Thanks Peanuts!

    Since I made this thread, I've made a conscious effort to include more fruit and veg. Although I seem to have broken out with some *mild* acne, my skin overall looks more vibrant and healthy. The pimples could be a detox effect or something completely unrelated to my consumption of fruits and veg.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  18. #18
    vegan unicorn mmmorgans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Tigerlily - glad to see you are making an effort to include more greens. I also have a hard time eating enough greens. As Bearshark suggested having fruit or sliced veggies for snacks is a great way to up your intake. It may not be in the cards now but I would highly suggest investing in a better blender so you can make smoothies. That is the easiest way I have found to introduce greens. As long as you put a banana and some ginger in the smoothie I can't even taste the greens, be it spinach (my fave) or kale...If you are interested I have a blog where I post super easy recipes, they usually have a good greens ratio! Message me if you want the link (I don't think I am supposed to post it here?)
    Last edited by mmmorgans; Aug 26th, 2010 at 02:45 AM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
    Mew Mew Mew! Kitteh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    I use a hand blender at work and a regular blender at home. The hand ones work almost/just as well and it's a great way to get a bunch of greens without having to actually sit and chew them all.

    I'd suggest have a green salad w/ lunch & dinner and eating it first, before the rest of the meal. I like the idea of always snacking on fruit, if you have a piece of fruit and are still hungry then have one of your regular snacks afterwards.
    cupcakekitteh.blogspot.com

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    I usually have fruit for snacks, and vegetables with lunch. I find what helps me with the veggies is eating things like carrots that are sweet, and having things like celery with a dip like hummus. I put tomatoes and a dressing on salads because although romaine lettuce is okay without it, things like kale I find icky without a dressing. I try to get my veggies at lunch so I don't need to worry about them for the rest of the day. I usually get between 3 and four cups of vegetables (including beans) and at least three or four servings of fruit.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Getting enough veg and fruit

    Since I've been increasing my fruit and veggie consumption, my mother has started buying more fruits and veggies too. I live at home but I still buy a a lot of my own groceries (because I like it, mostly). But right now, we have so many vegetables in the fridge, I don't even know where to start!

    I can't wait until the weather starts getting cooler and I can make huge pots of soups and stews.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

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