By Reagan Dean, CWCC Member
Many people think that if they exercise, they are “fit”. But, did you know that most people are not “nutritionally fit”? Peak performance deserves an excellent diet, yet in today’s busy world, it’s hard to get enough of the good stuff on a daily basis.
With all good intentions, most adults only consume a fraction of the recommendation of 7-13 servings of raw fruits and vegetables daily. As a nation, we average around 1 1/2 servings per day. You may have heard “more matters” and it really does.
Did you know that there are over 25,000 phytonutrients available to us in plants? Tossing down a handful of vitamins in an attempt to make up for the lack of eating right will never come close to making up for whole food deficiencies. Science knows how to extract a few dozen nutrients and put them into a vitamin pill. The fat soluble sources (A, D, E, K) are not secreted if unused by the body. They are stored in the fat cells and create oxidative stress. When we eat produce, our body does a magical job of converting and compounding a perfect blend of nutrients and enzymes that meet the specific needs for each of us individually. The remainder is then safely excreted. In simple terms, our bodies know what to do with food. The challenge is that we actually have to eat the fruits and veggies. The idea is to cascade a choice into the body and let it do its job. Man-made vitamins are useful for filling up the tanks when one has a deficiency, but the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is really the best advice.
Some tips to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet:
- Start your day with a fruit and vegetable smoothie.
- Snack on raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
- Eat a large salad for lunch and dinner.
- Plan ahead and make grab bags filled with your favorites and stock in the refrigerator.
- Put the leftovers in the refrigerator drawers and the colorful produce at eye level.
- Disguise and pulverize in your favorite recipes.
- Serve carrots with hummus vs. chips and dip. Try apples with sunflower or peanut butter.
- Buy a vegetarian cookbook and replace two meals per week. (The Vegan Table is my family’s favorite).
- Eat salad first while you are hungry then bring out the main dish.
- Take a WHOLE FOOD supplement.
Reagan Dean is a Certified Health Educator and National Marketing Director for Juice Plus+ nutritional products. She is a National speaker and loves that she gets to help people get and stay healthy! For more information, please visit http://www.healthybodiesusa.com