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Are You Eating Your Veggies? June 18, 2012

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

It’s a good question: “Are you eating your veggies?” Enough of them? Nutritionists say the average American is not eating enough vegetables. But, we can change that. It’s a matter of paying attention to our daily diet and the things we like to eat.

A single week's fruits and vegetables from com...

A single week's fruits and vegetables from community-supported agriculture share: peppers, okra, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, garlic, eggplant, squash. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Working for Arizona Farm Bureau and connecting with farmers and ranchers on a daily basis I’ve become even more aware of the value of making sure you have a blend of vegetables and fruits with your other food items on your plate. My personal strategies for eating more leafy greens follow.

1. Take Inventory: List the food items you and your family generally eat in a given week. You’d be surprised at what you’re not including in a balanced diet.

2. Reassess Your Eating Habits. Once you’ve taken inventory ask yourself what you should eat less. Are you eating too much sugar? Too many processed foods? Too many fast-foods?

3. Redesign Your Weekly Diet. This is where you recreate your weekly menu and blend in a balance of grains, meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Basically all the array of healthy foods we should be eating on a regular basis. Arizona Farm Bureau’s “Stretch Your Dollar Menus” Can help you here.

4. Consider Joining a CSA, Even if Only for a Season. A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm helps you retrain the way you eat. You’ll certainly obtain a good mix of vegetables. Great CSAs will even provide weekly recipes to help you figure out how to cook more vegetables and make them tasty!

5. Finally, Make it fun! Discover new ways to cook vegetables. Once you do your food shopping, prepare your vegetables for the week including cleaning, peeling and even cutting up and putting in bags for a “grab on the way” snack.

 

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