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How to Get 5 servings of Vegetables a Day without Trying

October 24, 2012

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Getting the proper nutrition by eating vegetables is difficult for some people, to say the least.  According to a New York Times article, only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day.  French fries are not included in this number, of course. 

Why is it so hard to get adults to eat their vegetables? Perhaps it’s the fast food nation mentality that we as a society have adopted.  We want things that are quick, easy, and essentially hassle-free to get us through each meal.  Pre-washed lettuce and baby carrots, along with microwaveable bags of produce, line the shelves in an effort to get Americans to opt for healthier meals.  Unfortunately, people have become so sensitized to flavor, that when cooked, some vegetables come off as bland.  In a land where every flavor of chip imaginable can be found, some folks choose Doritos over broccoli.  When making dietary changes, it may take some time to adjust taste buds to the flavor of fresh food that isn’t processed with chemical flavorings. 

Taking the time to prepare fresh vegetables for each meal isn’t something that most people are inclined to do.  But, if you adopt the cook once eat two or three times method, you can increase your vegetable intake.  For example you can bake several sweet potatoes and keep them in the refrigerator to enjoy all week.  You can also invest in a vegetable steamer and some delicious condiments options to create simple, healthy, and delicious meals quickly. 

As we can see from the article eating habits of Americans aren’t easily changed; however, if we change our view of what mealtime is all about, we will get our RDA (recommended daily allowance) of vegetables without even trying.   Our meals will go from quick acts of sustenance to enjoyable events that connect us with our environment and others around us. 

How do you get your RDA of vegetables without trying?  Leave your suggestions in the comments to help others who find it difficult to eat healthy balanced meals.

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.