BOOTCAMP CHALLENGE: Embrace the Vegetable

by Amanda Lanum 

Ideally, we'd all be getting 3-5 servings of vegetables daily. That can be three cups of raw leafy vegetables; 1 1/2 cup of other vegetables, raw or cooked; or 2 1/4 cups of vegetable juice, according to's food pyramid. Doesn't seem like much... until you actually plan what you're going to eat for the day.

Why are veggies important? The CDC says, "Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers."

By now you may have guessed this week's challenge; get your 3-5 servings of vegetables as many days this week as you can.

It's tough to fit in these good-for-you foods because when you're really hungry, you're probably craving something a little more carb and fat loaded. So don't wait until you're starving to eat! Plan ahead and know that you're going to have that cup of salad or 1/2 cup of green beans for lunch no matter what.

Let me know how you incorporate the right number of servings into your diet. And if you've got any great ideas to make veggies taste better (for those who aren't fans), share those too!


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