8 -12 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

You cannot get bored given the wide range of fruits and vegetables that exist.

You cannot get bored given the wide range of fruits and vegetables that exist.

I read all the mainstream press about eating 4-5 servings of fruits or vegetables a day. I say that’s bunk. I think the better number is 8-12 servings of fruits and vegetables. If you eat more whole, complex grains — for example, quinoa, brown rice, black rice, millet, you can keep that number closer to 8. This is my recommendation if you are an active person. If you sit all day and rarely exercise, your body does not require as much nutrition.

I am speaking from experience and knowledge. I have read so many books and magazines regarding health and nutrition over the years, I am a minor expert. When my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I spent 40 hours researching foods and supplements that could help him heal. I was on a mission. (More on that one day, in a completely separate post.)

As you move through the holidays and festivities, notice how worn down you feel from the pastries, fried foods, sugary or alcoholic drinks. Try eating 8 – 12 servings of raw, steamed or sauteed vegetables the next day and see how you feel. Enough said.

It is actually relatively easy for me to consume 8-12 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I am NOT a salad eater. I feel like a fricking rabbit. I can occasionally eat salads, but every day, multiple times a day is my idea of food hell. I love the taste of delicious food and my body actually does better with cooked food.

So how do I manage to consume so many fruits and veggies? I start my day with a smoothie. My smoothie typically contains 4-5 servings. Later I may eat an apple, orange or dried nori (seaweed) as a snack. For lunch I’ll have 2-4 servings of vegetables because I usually eat left overs from dinner. If not, I’ll add a side salad.

For dinner, I’ll have another 3-4 servings of vegetables. And for dessert I may slice mangoes with bananas and Greek yogurt. Although I may a go a few days without meat, I’m not a vegetarian. I do occasionally eat organic beef, buffalo or chicken. I also eat wild caught fish and canned tuna and sardines.

Sugar Depleted or Worn Out? 10 Juices / Smoothies for Energy & Health

Sugar Depleted or Worn Out? 10 Juices / Smoothies for Energy & Health

Because I eat 4-6 times per day, I have no problem getting all this in. I am very muscular and active so I burn ~2,500 calories per day. Because I eat whole grains and veggies, I can actually eat a large amount of food since these have much fewer calories. Vegetables are nutrient dense and fiber rich but calorie light.

Example: One Trader Joe’s regular sized bag of chips has 7 servings at 150 calories each. That’s 1,050 calories. But 7 medium baked potatoes without butter or sour cream are only 600 – 700 calories. You may be able to knock out the entire Trader Joe’s bag of chips in one or two sittings but I doubt you can do the same with the baked potatoes! So you see, eating all those fruits and vegetables has its benefits!

In addition, when you focus on eating all those fruits and veggies, it’s much easier to eat well. Your mind is focused on what you CAN have instead of what you CANNOT have. It just feels better. And you eat better naturally. You think, “What will go with my spinach, sweet potatoes and squash?” You choose baked chicken or fish instead of buffalo wings with sweet and sour sauce!

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