health

How many of you ACTUALLY do five a day?

Think back to the last time that you honestly had five servings of veggies and two servings of fruit in one day.

Okay, it’s time for a bit of honesty.

I want you to think back to the last time that you honestly – cross your heart – had five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit in one day.

Can you remember a day? I’ll be honest – I can’t. And I’m supposed to be the damn fitness and health writer, which is really embarrassing.

We’re all very aware of the statistics. Along with the food pyramid, they’ve been shoved down our throats since we were in kindy. We know what the recommended daily fruit and veg intake is. We know that we should be eating those apples and spinach leaves and peaches and tomatoes and strawberries and cucumbers and mangoes and broccoli.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Medibank. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

And yet – for some reason – barely any Australians do. In fact, some research conducted by Medibank Generation Better last month found that less than 15% of Aussies eat even two serves of fruit and veggies per day. This means that we’re significantly behind in the worldwide health stakes in meeting the daily fruit and veg intake as recommended by experts – everyone from the UK to China, even the US, eat more of the fresh stuff than we do.

Interestingly, according to recent survey results, we’re also the country with the second highest proportion of people who never exercise (a quarter of us).

Our reasons? We don’t have enough time. And when we do have enough time… we’re too tired to actually do any exercise, or go shopping for those veggies. It’s far easier to grab takeaway, go home and put our feet up on the couch.

And look – I know what life is like. Healthy living and eating does require an element of organisation, and organisation requires time – which can be incredibly difficult to find sometimes. And we don’t all have personal trainers and chefs to answer our every beck and call and keep us in line.

So here are a few ways to easily meet the daily fruit and veg intake recommendations this summer…

Cool down in summer with a homemade fruity iceblock.

1. Blitz up some fruit and pour into ice-block moulds to make tasty but healthy ice-blocks for the summer.

They take less than 2 minutes to make, and they’re so good to have as an afternoon snack or as dessert on a warm summer evening. My current favourite combinations are watermelon/kiwi and peach/pineapple.

ADVERTISEMENT

2. Start your day with a green smoothie.

Green smoothies are a genius way to get, like, three serves of veggies in before you’ve even really started the day properly. Go with kale or spinach and balance out the flavours with berries, bananas and coconut water.

Load ’em up!

3. If a recipe calls for veggies? Double them.

Load ‘em up in pastas and on pizzas. Include a little salad with every meal – even if it’s just lettuce and tomatoes. Add some feta or haloumi too – cheese makes everything taste good.

4. Incorporate veggies into your baked goods.

Carrot cake? Sweet potato biscuits? Yeah, it’s not a full serving of veggies but at least it’s something.

5. It’s all about fresh produce.

Visit a new farmer’s market or grocer in your area (or wherever you’re going on holiday) when you have a spare Saturday morning. Seeing all that fresh produce might just inspire you to get it back into your life.

Cut up some vegies and eat them with your favourite dip.

6. Snacks.

At the beginning of the week, cut up a bunch of veggies – celery, carrots and tomatoes – and pack them up with some nice dips and some cubes of cheese. Then have them next to you at work and snack on them throughout the afternoon. If you’re short on time, supermarkets often have pre-packaged and pre-cut veggies that you can buy.

7. On the run?

Grab a healthy juice or a healthy snack. I like Emma and Tom’s muesli bars for a great hit of fruit & superfoods. Cherry and goji is good, as is cacao and orange.

It’s like you’re not even eating fruit!

8. Embrace fruit as dessert more often.

Frozen grapes and bananas are amazing. Or dip things in dark chocolate – you want the 70% or over stuff.

9. One word for you: guacamole.

Mash up an avocado, add some tomato and some seasoning, grab some organic corn chips (hello Coles) and boom. Summer sorted. Alternatively, make your own veggie chips – beetroot and carrot are good for this.

Medibank Generation Better is a movement to help Australians take achievable steps towards healthier, happier and better lives. It encourages everyone to share their steps via Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube using #GenBetter.

More information can be found at www.generationbetter.com.au

 

Comments on this post are for this post only. If you have questions or comments about this product or about sponsored posts in general please email [email protected] or visit our frequently asked questions page here.

00:00 / ???