March is National Nutrition Month. We all know we should be eating more fruit and vegetables, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how. And let’s face it; some vegetables are just hard to love. Today we’re pleased to welcome an expert from Adventist Health’s LivingWell Bistro to talk about recipes and strategies to get increase our intake of fruit and vegetables.
In this Episode
- CJ Anderson
- Dr. David Hall
- Lidia Berheane
The Standard American Diet is SAD
- 75% of Americans do not eat a single piece of fruit every day.
- 90% of Americans do not reach the minimum recommended servings of vegetables each day.
- 1 in 1000 US Children have a diet with less than 12 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
- Eating habits are killing more Americans per year than smoking.
The Full Plate Diet
Dr. Hall as personally found the principles from this popular diet to be helpful. The Full Plate Diet promotes plant based-whole foods as they appear in nature. When you eat this way, food takes up a lot of space on your plate. You can eat a lot of these foods, only consuming a few calories, but score big points for vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
How do I incorporate better food choices into my busy life?
Now that we know what kinds of foods are best for us Lidia has some tips for making them easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and popular with the whole family.
Are you the kind of person with little to no appetite first thing in the morning? Maximize what you are putting into your body by starting the day with a nutrient packed smoothie that goes down easier than a giant plate of fruit and vegetables.
- Start with some tasty fruit or berries to add sweet and tart flavor
- Add some dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
- Even try throwing in some peeled beats, cucumber
- Add some tofu or almond milk for protein
- Top it off with some chia seeds and/or flax seed
Smoothies vs. Juicing
The advantage to making smoothies over juicing is that you keep that fiber your body really needs. The average American is only getting about half the fiber the need each day. Why separate the fiber from the juice in your fruit and vegetables? Bring on the smoothies for a more complete start to your morning.
Pack a power lunch
Start with those dark leafy greens and some fiber-rich quinoa then add other favorite vegetables (and fruit) a few nuts and some beans or tofu. Top with your favorite dressing (a berry vinaigrette will help balance out the flavor of the kale).
Eat like a child
When kids start eating solid foods everything is new. Often kids are uncertain about new foods and flavors. But by consistently feeding our kids certain kinds of food they warm up to them. The same rules apply to adults. If we can consistently embrace eating healthy for even a couple weeks our tastes will start to change.
Getting your kids to eat healthy
- Let them help.
- Embrace the wonder “science” of the cooking process. How are different foods transformed when we cook them?
- Kids will be excited to eat foods they cook themselves (and share them with others).
- Model the healthy behavior. Eat what you preach.
- Make the healthy option the only one available
- Be persistent. Let your kids get hungry enough to eat what’s available.
- Discover favorites and providing options and choices (multiple healthy options to choose from).
Powering your meals with plants
- Focus on eating lots of plants, make your priority to capture those key nutrients and add as few other things as necessary.
- You don’t have to do it all at once. Set small goals and celebrate your successes along the way.
- Hall says an investment of 50 cents per day on fruits and vegetables may reduce your mortality rate by 10 percent.
Learn more about how the right food choices can affect your health
Get tools and resources for eating more plant based foods at
Other LivingWell Podcast episodes about healthy eating
Author: LivingWell PDX Blog
Adventist Health is committed to creating a healthier Portland community.