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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How We Add Fruits & Veggies to Our Diet

Good day, friends! I have been doing a whole lot of this...

And a bit of this while my lil' Bro Bro is visiting us for two weeks!

So I have been a bit busy but enough of that, onto our post for the day!

5 Ways to Add Fruits and Veggies to Your Diet

Fruits and vegetables, especially raw, should be an integral staple in your diet. There are live enzymes found in raw fruits and vegetables that aid your body in digestion. Antioxidents and vitamins are at their highest level when the food is consumed raw. Heat destroys some of the nutrients of these foods which is I why I aim to feed my family at the very least five raw fruits and veggies per day. I do not feel a meal is balanced without the consumption of raw fruits or veggies. Here are five easy ways to add fruits and veggies to your diet.
1. Green smoothies.
What's all the rage about green smoothies? Nutrients in fruits and vegetables are found in the cell walls. In order for our bodies to properly assimilate these nutrients, the cell walls must be broken down. Chewing your food is how we break these cell walls down however, blending or pureeing breaks down the cell walls of the food  more effeciently than chewing alone which allows for better nutrient absorption. Green smoothies are best enjoyed first thing in the morning before your digestive system gets clogged with a lot of other foods that are more difficult to digest. It is also best to add a healthy fat to your smoothie to help your body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients. I usually add coconut oil, almond butter, sun butter or avocado. I have developed a unique take on the typical green smoothie found here.

2. Carrots for mid morning snack.  
Raw carrots not only balance your hormones as discussed in this post but they also support ocular health. The beta carotene has been reported to slow down development of cataracts.
3. Replace a cooked side with a raw veggie or fruit at dinner.
We serve both a raw veggie and a raw fruit with lunch and dinner. This helps momma tremendously because I know my family is benefiting from life giving nutrients found in these living foods but it is also easier to plate up fresh, raw veggies  and fruits than cooking an additional side dish. Some great options are sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and  asparagus. I simply wash, cut the ends off and assemble a few on each plate. For fruits, a small cluster of grapes, cherries, sliced apples, strawberries, sliced avocado or cantaloup. Of course, a small side salad frequently graces our plates.

4. Sweet treats.
My husband says that frozen grapes are almost as good as ice cream! Have you ever tried this easy, fun treat? Just place a few in a bowl and pop them in the freezer for a few hours. My husband and children are delighted when I serve this sweet snack on a hot summer day. Speaking of ice cream, we love Banana Ice Cream. We have all seen the pins like this one floating around Pinterest but have you tried adding a little avocado to your banana ice cream? We enjoy 1/4 avocado, 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 banana , 2 Tsps. Cocoa Powder and 1/2 almond milk puréed and frozen. The avocado adds a creamy texture and contains large amounts of vitamin E for beautiful hair, skin and nails. It also contains high quantities of oleic acid which helps prevent breast cancer. As if one needed an excuse to consume the avacodo it also contains high levels of lutein which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. 

5. Over the top salads.
When my husband and I were first married I learned what a delicious salad looks like. His grandmother would add sunflower seeds, avocados, small pieces of broccoli, finely chopped onion and sweet peppers. That opened my eyes to the delicious world of beautiful salads. Now we add artichokes, chives, olives, fresh jalapenos and feta. Sometimes we have a sweet spinach salad with strawberries, grapes, avocados, pecans and chèvre. We have found the combinations are endless and the more eclectic the better.
We hope you find this information helpful and the ideas fresh. Please comment your favorite ways to incorporate raw fruits and veggies into your family's diet :)
Grace and peace,


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