Monday, April 30, 2012

Incorporate Fruits & Veggies into Every Meal & Snack- A to Z Weight-Loss Tips for Long-Term Success - Tip I

Fruits and Veggies into
EVERY Meal and Snack

Eating whole fruits and vegetables will add super nutrients to your meal, bulk and fiber to your diet, and may help fill you up more quickly and for longer periods of time.  Enjoy a banana with your cereal, have a whole apple with lunch, and eat broccoli or a quick spinach salad with your dinner. Eating these fruits and veggies first, BEFORE you eat the rest of the meal, may help you reduce the amount of calories you eat at that meal. Also, incorporating fruits and vegetables into snacks help you curve cravings between meals, making your weight-loss journey easier and more successful.

Try these easy ideas to incorporate fruits and veggies into meals and snacks.

  • Simply add a side veggie or fruit to your meal and eat it first to help you fill up before you eat the higher calorie foods.
  • Use vegetables as pizza toppings: try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini. 
  • Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with skim milk, frozen strawberries, and a banana. 
  • Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla. 
  • Prepare instant oatmeal with skim milk in place of water. Top with raisins and almonds.
  • Stuff an egg-white omelet with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat cheddar cheese. 
  • Jazz up your PB and J sandwiches with sliced bananas or apples. 
  • Top a baked potato with broccoli crowns and low-fat cheese.
  • Microwave tomato, butternut squash, vegetable, or minestrone soup for lunch.
  • Sneak them in: add shredded or chopped vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, spinach and carrots to meatloaf, casseroles, lasagna, and pasta sauces.
  • Make your main dish a salad with dark, leafy greens like kale and other colorful vegetables. Add  edamame (fresh soybeans),grilled chicken, or albacore tuna for some high quality protein.
Snacks and Desserts:
  • Enjoy celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes or peppers instead of chips with your favorite dip or low-fat salad dressing. 
  • Banana split: Top a sliced banana with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts. 
  • Stuff a small whole grain pita with ricotta cheese, apple slices, and a dash of cinnamon.
  • Add blueberries or raisins to 6 ounces of low-fat yogurt.
  • Dip a banana in yogurt, roll  it in crushed cereal and freeze for a healthy after-dinner treat.
  • Make ants on a log: spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins. 
  • Make a fruit parfait: Layer vanilla yogurt and berries in a tall glass. Top with a sprinkle of granola.

Recipes for incorporating more fruits and veggies into your daily diet: