Welcome to the first installment of New Year, New You! Hallie of Daily Bites and Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen have organized an inspirational blogging event with the goal of encouraging all of us to “Take the Pure Living Plunge”!
What does Pure Living mean? Every Thursday in January you’ll hear from various gluten-free bloggers who will encourage you to take your current definition to a deeper level.
How can you fit more produce into your diet without eating salads at every meal? We’re not asking you to become a rabbit, but there are very balanced ways you can beef up your daily percentage of fruits and veggies.
An easy way to start your day with produce is to add a serving of fruit to your breakfast. Having oatmeal? Top it with fruit. Yogurt? Top it with fruit. Toast? You guessed it. Fruit. Add strawberry slices instead of jam. Worried about the extra calories? Ignore them! With just over 40 calories in a half cup of blueberries, the health benefits far outweigh the calories. (Take the stairs instead of the elevator if it makes you feel better!)
But my favorite trick to is add greens to your smoothies. Greens? There are three nutrient-rich greens that are almost unrecognizable by even the most discerning palates when hidden in a smoothie. Go ahead, toss in a fistful of spinach, kale, or swiss chard. Paired with a few power fruits, you won’t even taste them. Promise.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Do you eat eggs for breakfast? Saute chopped veggies in olive oil and then pour your eggs over top. You have an easy veggie omelet in minutes.
Lunch is by far the easiest meal for me to get my produce in. Salad, salad, salad. But don’t get locked into the same salad day after day. Mix it up. Look for color. Pair veggies with fruits. I have a lovely Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad below to share with you. If your taste buds are happy, you aren’t going to mind Eating More Produce.
I’m a huge snacker, so I need to make sure my snacks are nutritious and satisfying. I want to challenge you to replace anything in a wrapper with produce. I’m not asking you to be excited about gnawing on a celery stalk instead of a granola bar. But you can get creative, wake up those taste buds, and Eat More Produce! How about an apple and peanut butter? Hummus and veggie slices? Cucumbers topped with salsa? Or choose your favorite seasonal fruit and add some nuts. When you reach for a package, think again, and find something that grew from the ground instead.
I love the Meatless Monday movement. I loved it so much, in fact, that meatless meals slowly replaced our meat meals, and we are now vegetarians. When I started tasting the incredible flavors in meatless dishes I found that I wasn’t missing meat at all. Two of my favorite resources are Ricki’s Wellness Weekends and Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays. Do a little surfing and try some new recipes. Start with one night a week.
Whether or not you’re eating meat, a good rule of thumb is to make sure that 2/3 of your dinner plate is filled with produce. Sound overwhelming? Aim for half. The most important part is that you Eat More Produce.
I love a good stirfry for dinner. You can toss practically any chopped veggies in a wok, and with a nice sauce or a few spices it tastes amazing over brown rice.
The bottom line is that you can easily Eat More Produce at every meal of the day and in between. I just takes a little forethought.
Fennel Orange and Sesame Salad
- 1 small head of green leaf lettuce
- 2 clementines
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 T. chopped fennel fronds
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 T. toasted sesame oil
- 1 T. white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black sesame seeds
- fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Layer lettuce at the bottom of a salad bowl.
2. Add cucumber, fennel bulb, and clementine slices.
3. Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.
4. Sprinkle with fennel fronds.
And here’s the schedule for the rest of the month of January:
- January 12: Kim from Cook It Allergy Free, Alisa from Go Dairy Free, and Silvana from Silvana’s Kitchen
- January 19: Amy from Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, Maggie from She Let Them Eat Cake, Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs, and Iris from The Daily Dietribe
- January 27: Shirley from Gluten-Free Easily and Brittany from Real Sustenance
- Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love hosted by Lisa of Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery
- Wellness Weekends hosted by Ricki of Diet, Dessert & Dogs
- Sugar Free Sunday hosted by Raj and Sonia of Flip Cookbook
- Fat Tuesday hosted by Jill of Real Food Forager
- Gluten-Free Wednesdays hosted by Linda of The Gluten-Free Homemaker
- Real Food Wednesdays hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop
- Whole Foods Wednesdays hosted by France of Beyond the Peel
- Friday Foodie Fix hosted by Diane of The Whole Gang