DIET FREE Habit 3 -Eat Often and Include A Fruit or Vegetable Each Time
Happy Thanksgiving! Wow—a DIET FREE Thanksgiving—now we’re talking!If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have been working on including one of American dietitian ZonyaFoco’s DIET FREE habits into my life each week for the past twoweeks. Last week was a hard one for me (Include breakfast and STOP EATING 2- 3 hours before bedtime). I did pretty well, though. I was guilty of late night munching only 1 day (and my sin was eating plain Cheerios, so that’s not too bad!). I think I am finally overcoming the late night eating habit!
This week, the habit I’ll be working on is “Eat Often.” I can really get behind this one! In her video, Zonya asks if you have ever been so busy at work that you barely had time to eat. When you finally dragged yourself home at 6 PM, were you starving? Did you think you could eat a horse? And, like me, did you?! It happens. That’s why Zonya wants us to eat often—so we don’t get so out-of-control hungry. Small portions, eaten often, help maintain blood sugar levels, which also impacts mood control. Shifts in blood sugar levels can make a person cranky. Do you know anyone who should eat more often?
Zonya doesn’t like the term “grazing” because it implies constant eating. Instead, she suggests a light breakfast, a mid-morning snack, then lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. She suggests you make the habit work for you. For example, I am usually starving at about 3 PM, and then go rummaging around the office looking for a co-worker who has candy, or looking for left-over sweets from a teacher education session. This would be a good time for me to have fruit or vegetable snack, don’t you think?
The second half of the habit is “always eat a fruit or vegetable with each snack or meal.” If you crave chips and eat an apple first, chances are you will probably eat way fewer chips. And did you know that most Americans (and probably Canadians) don’t manage to get even the minimum amount of recommended fruits and vegetables? The Canadian Food Guide recommendsadult women eat 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The American Institute for Cancer Research believes in fruits and vegetables so strongly that they have upped the recommended servings to 9-11 per day! Most Americans average a pathetic 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.If you include a fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack, you will get at least 5/day, and if you have 2 at dinner, you’re getting even closer to recommendations.
So this week, let’s focus on the habit: Eat Often and Include a Fruit or Vegetable Each Time:
• When shopping this week, make sure your cart is at least ½ full with fruits and vegetables (frozen are okay, too—they can be used in meal preparation at the end of the week when you start running out of fresh).
• When you get home, immediately clean and cut up vegetables and store them in CLEAR containers in your fridge. That way you can see them (they won’t be rotting in the crisper compartment!), and you will be more likely to reach for them.
• For snacks, think: apples, oranges, bananas, pears, carrot sticks/baby carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, broccoli & cauliflower florets, etc.
• Carry the snacks around with you, so you don’t reach for sugary or fat-laden treats.
• Eat the fruit/vegetable FIRST—the fibre and water content will help fill you up!