You probably have heard that eating more fruits and vegetables is a healthy habit. You may have seen the MyPlate graphic, which depicts a picture of a plate that is 50% covered in fruits and veggies.

So why don’t you eat more of them?

Better Health, Better Mood

Did you know that people who eat fruits and vegetables regularly report being more satisfied with their life in general? They also report feeling better with a better mood and more happiness.

Wait, what? Eating fruits and vegetables can make people happy? Yeah, they can. We aren’t sure exactly how or why, and it may involve both the nutrients they provide, and also the healthy behaviors that go along with them.

Taking Time for You

There may be many reasons you don’t eat the fruits and vegetables that you should. Maybe you don’t have the time to prepare some of them? Or, maybe your experience eating some vegetables have been unpleasant. Or maybe you don’t know how to cook them or prepare them to make them taste good?

I’d like you to consider reframing a goal to eat more vegetables and fruit. Think about it as “me time”. Think about doing just a little bit more food prep can result in a healthier and happier you. A you that feels good, has more energy, has more control over life, and is generally happier. Sound good?

A New Perspective

Try these ideas to reframe your outlook on eating more fruits and veggies.

  • Don’t think about the extra 30 minutes it may take to create a veggie dish as a chore. Instead, enlist others in the house to help, and think about how this time in the kitchen can reduce stress, and the end result brings healthy food to the table.
  • Make use of frozen and canned vegetables and fruit. Grabbing a cup of frozen blueberries is quick, and the fruit will keep longer in your freezer, so you wont’ have any food waste. Keep frozen petite peas in your freezer for a quick side dish or to add to pasta or rice. Canned beans can provide a fiber and nutrient boost to soups, chilis or other mixed dishes.
  • Use frozen corn to add to salads or mixed dishes. Or, if you have leftover freshly cooked corn on the cob, use a knife to remove the kernels and mix into a tomato salad. Top with leftover chicken or beef for a quick, inexpensive meal.

  • Keep dried fruits on hand to add to salads or a grain dish. Make your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and pretzels. Add dried fruit to oatmeal or any dry cereal.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to make “ribbons” with carrots or zucchini. This is an easy way (an alternative to “zoodles”) to add thin strips of the veggie into a stir fry or to add to salads.
  • Make fruit into dessert! Use a homemade or frozen pie crust to make a rustic pie called a Galette. Simply place 3-4 cups of chopped fruit onto a rolled out pie crust. Pull some of the crust over the fruit, around all edges. Brush the crust with an egg wash (beaten egg mixed with water) and bake for 40 minutes in a 350F oven, or until golden brown.