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Tips for Adding Fruits & Vegetables
to Your Meal Plate

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Previous Page | Catskills Diet Index Page

Healthy Foods Mirror a Healthy Body Image

Think back to your last meal. How did your plate look? Was it filled with a healthy protein such as a serving of beans? Did it also hold a dairy selection such as a wedge of reduced fat cheese?

What about a whole grain - such as a serving of whole grain pasta or a slice of rye bread or a tortilla? You most likely enjoyed a dessert; did it contain fruit?

What about the vegetables on your plate? Was this area as well as the fruit section left bare? If this sounds familiar - or if you're searching for ideas that will assist in getting more fruit and vegetables on your daily plate, we've got some excellent suggestions right out of the gate.

Fruits and vegetables in their raw states are mined with essential vitamins and minerals that our body requires - and they are exceptionally low in caloric values and minimal in dietary fat content.

How Many Fruits & Vegetables Per Day?

Strive to eat a minimum of three cups - and include those all-so-important red, orange and leafy green shades of health as well as the citrus choices. Some individuals will require six or more cups per day, depending upon their current weight, height, muscle mass and state of health.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables it's also about textures that can entertain the mouth and palate. For a crunchy texture grab an apple or a raw carrot.

For a smooth silky texture, grab a banana or steamed asparagus.

It you want to challenge your mouth - opt for an ear of corn on the cob or a juicy mango.

How to Get More Fruits & Vegetables Into Your Daily Diet

- It's time to dust off your neglected grill. Vegetables and Fruits that adapt well to the grilling process include: peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, corn on the cob, potatoes, pineapple, banana and apple.

Mix chunks of your favorite fruits and vegetables with lean proteins as a kabob. Pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes and lean chunks of ham work exceptionally well on the skewer together. Use a light glaze to compliment the flavors of the chosen foods.

- Mix vegetables into your casserole recipes. A good mixture is: mushrooms, onions, bell peppers of all colors, whole grain pasta, lean chicken; add your favorite low calorie sauce or grab your spice rack.

- Add bite-sized vegetables for soups and stews. Or liven up your next omelet by adding color and texture along with a good dose of healthy by adding the following sauteed vegetables: bell peppers, onions, mushrooms.

Even fruit like pineapple can compliment your omelet recipe. Double that egg white and leave the yolk as a single to save cholesterol grams and to increase the size of your omelet without adding significant calories.

The white contains a skinny 17 calories.

- If you're preparing spaghetti or pasta and sauce, and if you're opting to use one of the commercially prepared sauces, get out your non-stick pan and sauté some fresh vegetables to add to the sauce.

Vegetables that taste great with commercially prepared tomato-based sauces include: mushrooms, onions, peppers, spinach and cherry tomatoes.

- The next time that you prepare a salad, gourmet-it-up with sliced strawberries, whole blueberries, orange segments, sweet English peas, watercress and baby spinach. Allow the creative genius inside of you to come out and shine.

- One of our best tips for dieters is a very common tip; rather than dine on heavy-calorie desserts, enjoy sweet fruit along with a serving of light whipped cream.

- Add vegetables to your stir-fry recipes as well as to hearty sandwiches prepared with whole grain breads. Or add to wrap - or even a tortilla used as a wrap; both corn and flour tortillas work well when they are warmed.

- Add chopped fruit to your favorite bread and dessert recipes - and use mashed fruit to replace high calorie cooking oils. Or, pop that fruit into a blender and create a snazzy smoothie.

Let's move on to the second menu of the Catskills Diet Plan.

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