Keeping Your Resolutions

Originally written for Fruits & Veggies More Matters : Keeping Your Resolutions : Health Benefits of Fruits & Vegetables.

Keeping Your Resolutions

 Happy New Year! Make [2014] the year for better eating and increased activity. Need help with where to start? Here are the rules of the road and some inspiration to get you and the family on the road to better eating this year!

 Keep it easy.

  1. Start small.
  2. Set realistic goals that are challenging yet reachable.
 Fruits & Veggies—More Matters

In addition to delicious fresh fruits and veggies … surprise … there are other convenient ways to get those delicious and nutrient-packed servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and veggies in dried, canned, frozen, 100% juice forms all count!

Visit mypyramid.gov for information on serving sizes and best bets from each group – but really, just start eating what you like. There are no “wrong” choices. And yes, the deeper, darker colors have more nutrients – but the lighter colors provide nutrition, too; and if that is the family’s favorite, serve them up … and add in othercolors to boost nutrients.  Here’s how to incorporate more yummy fruits and vegetables – quickly and easily …

  • Busy Weeks. Stock up the snack drawer with dried fruit in re-sealable packages, canned fruit (packed in juice or water) and veggies with pop-top lids, low-sodium vegetable juices, or natural applesauce in individual containers.
  • Fast Dinners. Keep the freezer full of frozen fruits and vegetable choices for sides, soups, stews, and casseroles. This saves prep time and … bonus … no waste! You can also buy in bulk and serve/cook just what the family needs – and the rest of the bag can go back in the freezer.
  • Stocked Refrigerator. Stock up with fresh favorites and pre-cut fruits and veggies to save prep time in the kitchen. Taking these steps ensure that no matter what the week may bring, fruits and veggies are always within reach. Read labels to know what each choice provides and to help monitor sodium or other “extras.”
  • Wash & Eat! Even if you don’t know how to cook, fruits and vegetables are super easy to prepare. It’s really as easy as washing and enjoying. How great is that?

Fiber Up with Beans! 
Canned or dry legumes (black beanschick peas, etc) are an economical food choice bursting with nutrition. Add to tacos, salads, soups, or enjoy with salsa and baked chips.

 Get Active! 

Remember to check with the doctor before beginning any new exercise program or making dietary changes. To make it easier to incorporate into your daily routine, you should enjoy the activity. The good news is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), burning 150 calories can be as easy as washing floors or windows for 45 – 60 minutes, and ballroom dancing counts as “moderate activity”!

 Recipes

Salsa/Seafood Ideas
Baked Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
Mango Avocado Salsa
Catfish with Tropical Fruit Salsa 

 Kid-Friendly: Fun to Make … and Eat!

Apple Snack Paks
Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

 Beans!

Corn and Black Bean Salad
Veggie Chili

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