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By Shannon Pierce
Think about it. Do you often see a veggie tray at your work meeting? What about a fruit tray at your morning meeting? Are vending machines stocked with celery sticks, apples, and carrots? The facts are out people, America is not eating enough vegetables, which means you might not be either.
It is likely that your morning meeting is abundant with croissants and muffins, coffee and bagels. It is likely that your conference room may be filled with energy drinks, juices, and sodas to “refuel” you between presentations. Don’t even look at the vending machine, because it’s carrying mini donuts, crackers, and Snickers bars. With all the junk around us, it can be difficult to meet the daily requirement of two or three cups of veggies, and a cup to a cup and a half of fruit, unless you are packing your breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the whole day.
NBC reports on a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. Researchers found that 87 percent of Americans are failing to eat enough veggies, and 75 percent are failing to eat enough fruit.
Of course, the benefits of eating fruits and veggies are huge, ranging from lowering heart disease, diabetes, and cancer risks, not to mention they keep us full and regular. Studies show Americans typically get one serving of fruit a day, and about 1.4 servings of veggies.
So, what can we do to fix it? It is crucial to start with our children, who are going to set up habits for themselves and impact the lifestyles of their future children for years to come. Setting a good example, such as by packing family lunches rich with wholesome foods, is a start. If your worksite is a problem, try to seek out someone you can talk to about offering healthier options either at the cafeteria, the lunchroom, or during events.
Preparing veggies in different ways can make them more appealing to you or your family. Test out your options to see what you like best, such as steamed, broiled, grilled, or sautéed. For instance, try roasting broccoli in the oven with olive oil at 400 degrees with salt and pepper. Broccoli and other veggies become crispy and salty in the oven under high heat. You may be surprised to learn the various textures and flavors vegetables can gain with different cooking methods. Yum!
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