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Eating More Fruits and Veggies

TOP TIPS FOR SNEAKING IN FRUITS AND VEGGIES


 

 

CHRIS ROSENBLOOM, PHD, RDN, CSSD

We all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables, yet he average American eats about 1 serving of fruit and 1.5 servings of vegetables each day. The minimum amount we should be eating is 5 servings a day (with the goal of eating 9 servings!). So, here are some sneaky ways to get more fruits and veggies without sacrificing taste:

Mix it with Mushrooms 
Mixing ground beef with finely chopped mushrooms is a hot trend in the culinary world. Mushrooms have a meaty taste and a unique characteristic called umami (a Japanese term for flavor) that pairs well with meat. Making your own mushroom blend is easy (about 1/3 chopped mushrooms to a 1 cup of ground beef) for healthier burgers, tacos, meatballs, or meatloaf. The benefits are many: increased serving of veggies, decreased sodium and fat, and delicious taste. Some restaurants are selling mushroom-blended burgers with the name “umami burger,” so if you see it on a menu, give it a try.

Fruity Sparklers
While most nutritionists prefer that you get your fruit in its fresh, natural state, 100% fruit juice is another way to boost fruit intake. Instead of high-sugar soft drinks, mix your favorite fruit juice with club soda or sparkling water for a refreshing drink that is heathy. Grape, cranberry, apple, tangerine….any fruit juice will do as long as it is 100% fruit and not a fruit drink that is high in added sugar.
 

Let the Lettuce Work 
Lettuce wraps are favorites of the low-carbohydrate crowd, but lettuce wraps are great snacks for swimmers on rest day or easy training days when carbs aren’t needed in large amounts. Lettuce leaves (try soft lettuce, like butter lettuce) make for great wraps for ground meats, chopped veggies, and rice. Tasty and crunchy, it is a different way to wrap your sandwich or leftovers.
 

Super Soup

Soup is a great food for swimmers:traisoupmushoor comforting, hydrating, and sodium-rich for those who sweat a lot. One way to pump up the veggies in your favorite soup is by adding a cup of frozen or canned veggies to the soup. I like to add garbanzo beans to chicken noodle soup or mixed veggies to lentil soup to add an extra serving or two of veggies.
 

Jazzed Trail Mix
Ditch the chocolate M&Ms in your trail mix and replace with chopped dried fruit for a sweet taste. Try dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, dates, pineapple, or apples to jazz up your trail mix and increase fruit intake. Nuts and dried fruit in trail mix make a great post-workout snack or in-between class treat.