You wake up and commit yourself to having your 5 a day. You’ve done the vegetable shop so there’s no excuse and yet by the end of the day you are lucky if you’ve managed 1 a day much less 5… It happens, I know, been there and got the t-shirt! So here are 5 ways to get your 5 a day no matter what…
It has been said to change a habit we need to do the ‘new action’ repeatedly for a minimum of 21-66 consecutive days. At that point, the action becomes a new habit and any pressure to remember to do it eases. So with that in mind consider the next 1-3 months as retraining time, taking small steps to move towards your ultimate goal.
Motivation: Be clear on what is driving you to have your 5 a day. Is it the bombardment of articles ‘telling’ you, you ‘should’? Or do you actually want to feel better, have more energy? If you feel like you ‘should’ that might be more of a pressure than a motivator… and pressure rarely wins the day long-term. So find a positive reason to get a positive benefit. Your 5 a day benefits include (not a conclusive list):
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale can help build bones
- Five portions a week including tomatoes, watermelon and red pepper, can reduce the risk of lung cancer by a quarter
- Studies have shown that people who eat diets high in fruit and vegetables that contain vitamin B6 (ex. bananas & avocados) find it easier to handle stress
- You’re less likely to suffer from minor infections like colds and flu if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetable (in particular kiwi fruit, raspberries, blueberries, red peppers and citrus fruit)
- Here are more positive reasons
One small step can beat one big leap: Not everyone is focused enough to make big lifestyle changes in one go. Some smokers give up the habit by reducing the number of cigarettes they smoke daily whilst others just stop. So you need to figure out what works for you. If you’ve attempted 5 a day time and time again in the big leap formula (instant change from none a day to 5) without the desired success, focus on smaller daily changes over a period of time. Spend a week having one or two servings of your 5 a day, before introducing another serving. This gradual approach could be what works for you.
Variety is the spice of life: The list of recommended fruit and vegetable goes way past the list we often carry around in our heads. It is the variety that will provide the nutrients required by the body and it is the variety that is likely to inspire you to keep having your 5 a day (reduce boredom). Check out the many fruit and vegetable you have to choose from: Check out the A-Z of your 5 a day
Juicing: Juicing is a great way to get a lot of fruit and vegetables into your diet if you are on the go (saving time), if you dislike cooking or if you just want quick and easy access ways to get the nutrients your body needs. If this is something that works for you, get a decent juicer that can blend foods into a smooth liquid form (some are better than others so shop around) and experiment with blends. You can get a whole lot of benefits in one good shake!
Some is better than none: If you consistently miss your 5 a day target, do not write off having fruit and vegetables as an ‘I can’t do this’ exercise or begin feeling like a failure. Whatever change you manage to make in the right direction will have an impact on your well-being and that’s a good thing. If you’ve not been having your 5 a day regularly then having it twice per week is an improvement; remember that!
So, a quick review:
- More motivation, less pressure
- More steps, fewer leaps (unless leaping is your thing!)
- More variety, less boredom
- More juicing, less time-consuming
- More improvement, less failing
5 Ways to get your 5 a day and don’t forget to integrate superfoods into your healthy eating plan… Download our FREE Superfoods list.
Live Healthily, Live Well!