January 8, 2020
Happy New Year, athletes!
It’s Megan here, ready to crush fitness and nutrition goals with you in 2020! Here we are…getting ready to kickoff another nutrition challenge that begins January 17. The goal for this challenge? Consume at least 800 grams (g) of fruits and vegetables every day for 28 days. Sounds easy right? You think, “I eat tons of fruits and veggies. This will be a piece of cake!” And then you pull out the food scale and start to weigh your produce before you eat it. You then realize that 800 g is actually a lot of volume, and it’s going to take some work to meet that target each day. It is a nutrition challenge, after all!
If you’re like me, you eat some fruits or veggies with every meal. I consider myself to be someone who eats more fruits and veggies than the average person, but I’m certainly not hitting that 800 g goal each day! So, here’s the question. How can we adjust our daily food intake to accommodate for so many fruits and veggies and to crush this challenge? Here are a few tips and suggestions I’ve read about in articles, heard on podcasts, and have learned along the way!
Eat what you know. Gravitate towards the fruits and veggies you already know you like. Is it okay to try new things? Absolutely! But as you adjust to this increased volume of fruits and veggies, stick with what you know you enjoy eating!
Meal prep is everything! Find a time that works for you to hit the grocery store and then come home to prep the food you just bought. Maybe it’s Saturday morning after the WOD, or it’s Sunday afternoon while you watch sports. Whatever works for you is great, but make sure to make grocery shopping and food prepping a priority. If I go grocery shopping and buy all the healthy and fresh foods but don’t prep them ahead of time, I’m far less likely to choose those for meals or snacks throughout the week.
Leave it out! If you see a fruit or veggie sitting in front of your face, and it’s already sliced or prepped, you’re more likely to eat those foods instead of going in the pantry for a processed or “quick” snack that may feel more convenient.
Try a new method! Not a fan of fruits or veggies? If you’ve always steamed your vegetables on the stove and must choke them down to finish, try roasting them in the oven instead. Drizzle a little (and I mean little!) bit of olive oil, add pepper, salt, or other spices (think: garlic, onion, herbs, etc.), and get them nice and roasty-toasty. You can also mix them in with other foods you enjoy. Keep it interesting! Healthy food certainly doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless.
Become a more mindful and aware eater. What does this mean? As you begin to eat more fruits and veggies, pay attention to how your body responds to this change and listen to how it feels. Do you feel less bloated? Are you more satisfied after a meal and don’t feel the need to snack? Do you crave less processed and refined foods? I have found that when I choose to eat fresh foods consistently (including for snacks), my cravings for sweets, treats, and chips almost disappear.
As always, I am in this with you and am rooting for you along the way! For more suggestions, support, or guidance with this challenge or with any fitness or nutrition goals, email one of our nutrition coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
I cannot wait to crush this Nutrition Challenge with you!
Ackerman, J and Fernandez, J. (2019, May 5). Best Hour of Their Day, Episode 12: “Coach like you are teaching a five year old” [audio podcast].