The start of a new year is an ideal time to rein in bad holiday eating habits and make 5+ A Day part of your diet for a healthier you. Whether you’re back at work or one of the lucky few still on holiday, the 5+ A Day team have some great tips to help get you back on track this year.
5+ A Day spokesperson, Claire Turnbull, who runs Mission Nutrition and is the Nutritionist for Healthy Food Guide Magazine and Newstalk ZB, encourages people to make eating fruit and vegetables daily a new year’s resolution.
“Including fruit and vegetables in your regular routine has greater health benefits than simply gorging on them once or twice a week,” says Claire. “It’s as easy as keeping the fruit bowl filled and grabbing some on your way out the door in the morning.
“Summer is a great time to indulge in seasonal favourites such as berries and stone fruit,” adds Claire. “It’s so quick and easy to take a small bag of fruit to work to munch on throughout the day or chopping up fruit into a salad if you’re heading to the beach.”
Claire recommends making the most of fresh and tasty seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, tomatoes and cucumber. Mix them with salad greens and dress it up with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a delicious salad.
Coleslaw is another quick and easy salad idea. Simply shred cabbage, carrot, a little red onion and add parsley. Mix through a homemade dressing made with plain yogurt, lemon juice, mustard and a little olive oil – delish!
“These great salad ideas are perfect to take to work for a healthy and yummy lunch,” says Claire. She suggests varying salads with a range of fresh seasonal vegetables, adding in nuts such as pinenuts or chopped walnuts, a teaspoon of cottage cheese or feta cheese to add interest and flavour.
For your next barbecue, instead of the tried and true bowl of chips and dip try a platter of sliced vegetables such as carrots, cucumber, celery and capsicum served with a low-fat dip such as a homemade salsa (tomato, red onion, avocado, coriander and lime juice) or natural yogurt mixed with lemon juice, cucumber and a little crushed garlic.
Claire says, “On a smaller scale, this works perfectly as a late afternoon snack and is ideal for eating at your desk when the munchies hit.”
Keep vegetables in an airtight container to maintain freshness and in the fridge to keep cool.
For some healthy snack ideas that will work towards your 5+ A Day servings of fruit and vegetables, try mixing chopped up stone fruit through yogurt or adding slices of avocado, tomato, salsa and light cottage cheese to crackers.
“It’s easy to fall off the wagon on the weekends,” adds Claire. “So, try and start breakfast each day with some fruit to maintain a regular intake of fruit and vegetables throughout the whole week.”
For more fresh seasonal ideas about how to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to five or more servings a day, visit http://www.5aday.co.nz.