Friday, August 26, 2011

Power Up

Are you someone who naturally snacks on fresh cherries or grape tomatoes, instead of popsicles or frozen yogurt?

Do you find it easy to get in your daily requirement of vegetables and fruits?

If you answered no to these questions, then these tips just might be for you... whether you are interested in weight loss/maintenance or whether you are just trying to fuel your daily workouts and keep up with your busy life.

At a recent Weight Watchers meeting we talked about how to ‘power up’ our meals with zero or low P+ fruits and vegetables.

Here are some of the ideas we came up with:

1. Add vegetables to meals and snacks wherever you can to bulk them up and increase nutrients.

Cut up peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onions and add to omelets; chop cucumbers and onions into your tuna salad; shred carrots and celery into your soups.

2. Plan your meals around vegetables. 

Try grilling kebabs made of onions, peppers, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, along with a few shrimp. Make vegetable sauces for your pasta and shredded cheese. Plan spinach salads with fruit and chicken for dinner. Stir fry veggies with pork to eat with brown rice.

3. Snack on dried fruit.

Keep boxes of raisins and other dried fruit in your purse or desk drawer and reach for them instead of a cookie or doughnut, or stopping for an ice cream cone while driving.

4. Purchase convenient pre-packaged veggies and/or veggies with sauce.

There are lots of different brands and styles of frozen veggies available. All you need to do is add the protein of your choice for a complete meal.  

5. Eat fruit for dessert.

Top yogurt or ice cream with blueberries, or diced bananas. Or, top a brownie with sliced strawberries. Freeze banana chunks and whiz them in the food processor to make a banana-flavoured soft serve. Grill pineapple chunks on the BBQ.

6. Drink your fruit and your veggies.

Make smoothies with bananas, berries, spinach leaves, kale, milk, yogurt or protein powder.

7. Have fresh, cut-up veggies in the fridge for between-meal snacking.

Snap peas, green beans, grape tomatoes, carrots sticks, pepper slices, cucumbers… and they all go nicely with a low-fat hummus or a fat-free sour cream dip.

8. When you are in a hurry, stop at your local deli or salad bar to pick up freshly made salads or even just an assortment of vegetables.

Buy sliced peppers, broccoli, and carrots to make up a stir fry or diced tomatoes and spinach for an omelet or frittata.

9. Mix fruit and vegetables in new cominations.

Add strawberries, pears, or blueberries to spinach salads with feta or blue cheese crumbles. Mix grains with chopped apples, onions, green peppers, and dried cranberries.

10. Try experimenting with vegetarian 'meatless' meals.

Try stir-fries with tofu, meatless chilis, Moroccan stews.  Have grains and beans with vegetables for dinner salads.

How do you add more vegetables and fruits to your day’s food plan?

Do you ever have meatless meals?


  1. Sunshine salad looks amazing! I do plan a lot of meatless meals and center a lot of my meals around vegetables. Unfortunately my hubby is a total carnivore...however, he works most nights so I do get to eat whatever I want. I am finding there are so many amazing recipes out there that don't call for meat! I love it.

  2. Great tips! I am so into fruit for dessert with all the yummy peaches and watermelon on the stores now. So good!

  3. great tips! and now I want to go make an omelet because I saw yours and now I want one!

  4. I was a vegetarian for about 15 years so I know about adding the veggies! Even now that I am eating meat again, meat is really the tiniest portion of my meals. Veggies and fruit are easy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack foods!

    I tend to eat a big salad for at least one of my meals -- with beans, corn, cottage cheese and tons of veggies!

  5. All of that looks so good! i do not usually do meatless meals, my husband would FREAK out, lol

  6. I love doing a vegetable fritatta for breakfast, and adding frozen fruit to my smoothies. Your recipe for the Creamy Lemon Pie is right up my alley this weekend!

  7. big fan of having frozen pepper varieties handy to add into eggs, stir fry, and other dinner dishes.

    dried fruit is tricky if you're not careful w/ portion control with all that sugar, so I have to mindful when reaching for that

  8. Thanks for the tips! Thanks for the great quote on my blog :)

  9. Great tips. The salads look fantastic. I love meatless meals.

  10. Great tips and ideas. This year I joined a Consumer Supported Agriculture farm and not only am I getting wonderfully fresh veggies I was also forced to start planning my weekly menus around vegetables. Now it's habit! And with summer fruit being my favorite eating it daily is easy. Winter months? Not so easy.

    I rarely eat meatless meals. I need the protein.

    Thanks for linking up :)


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