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Getting Your 5 A Day

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So we all know now that even 5 portions of fruit and veg a day is a pathetically small amount for our health, and actually we should be grazing constantly on carrot sticks and celery until we’re so full we can’t even fit in a wafer thin mint at the end of the day, right?

But actually most of us don’t even manage that. Looking back over my last week in food post, which was actually a pretty good week, on quite a few of those days I still managed to not make my 5 a day. Not eating fruit or vegetables with every meal is all it takes to drop it. Pasta and pesto in a rush for dinner, and all of a sudden I only had my breakfast banana and lunch time avocado and that’s only TWO a day!

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Part of the problem is that fruit and vegetables often need cooking, preparing, and transporting in ways that are far less convenient than a simple heat and stir or grab and go. I travel a lot and fruit bruises and isn’t always easily available in motorway service stations. Restaurant and takeaway meals don’t come with portions of vegetables as a standard anymore, just chips or potato and it’s easy to forget and get to the end of the day having eaten no fruit and veg at all.

So, I’ve been having a think about ways to add more fruit and veg to your diet, the easy, no fuss, way that work when you’re super busy or travelling.

Fruit Juice and Smoothies

Yeah, so easy it’s pretty obvious. A glass of fruit juice counts as one of your 5 a day, but just one, even if you drink 5 glasses. Have juice with your breakfast in a hotel or fast food place or buy it with your lunchtime meal deal instead of a soft drink.

If you choose smoothies then you might add more than 1 portion as the whole fruit is used, not just the juice. Pre packaged smoothies are easily available pretty much everywhere, and if you make your own they make a great breakfast, and if you have a smoothie cup you can even taken them out with you in the morning. I buy prepacked smoothies the night before and drink them for breakfast the following morning when I’m travelling, or I make my own at home.

Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit is a lifesaver if you’re disorganised or travel a lot. Recently Urban Fruit sent me a few packs of their fruit. I’ve been buying their berry mix for a while, but I got a chance to try other types of their fruit too and see how it fit in with my diet. Apples and Pears made a great snack with drinks at a hen weekend I went to recently.

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Cherries are great for sprinkling over salads (in fact I am about to tuck into a cherry sprinkled salad as soon as I stop writing!), and any berries are great for sticking in my suitcase and stirring into porridge pots for a fruity hit at breakfast. Dried Mango and Pineapple are a great snack as well. I also tried Dried Bananas, which were delicious chewy and sweet,not like banana chips which are brittle and fried in sugar. The Urban Fruit dried fruits are gently baked to dry them out, so they’re still soft and chewy rather than brittle and hard. Nom.

Keep reading, as I have a tote bag full of dried fruit goodies to giveaway and I’ll tell you how to enter later!

Stock up on Tins

Not a tip for travel, but a tip for when you get home and haven’t been to the supermarket. If you have tinned or frozen sweetcorn, beans, spinach and other veg available then it’s easy to just add some to whatever you’re having for dinner.

Order the vegetables

Sounds so obvious, but it’s so easy to forget. Although most meals in restaurants these days don’t come loaded down with veg, it is easy to order more if you want them. Order stir fried vegetables with a Chinese takeaway, a side salad with a pizza or extra steamed veg in restaurants.

Know your portion sizes

Yeah, so we know a “portion” is about 80g. But if someone gives you a small pile of cucumber slices, or a bowl of olives, would you know how many of your 5 a day it contained without a set of scales? If there are items you order regularly when out and about then familiarise yourself with what a portion of it looks like so you know you’re getting enough.

Easy Peasy!

So, fancy winning yourself a tote bag full of Urban Fruit goodies to help you with your 5-a-day?

Well, I want to know what your best tips are for eating well and keeping healthy while travelling or on the go. You can tweet them to me @lettuce_lycra using the Hashtag #mangoonthemove or pop over and like my facebook page and leave your tips on the Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra Facebook page wall using the same hashtag.
The competition will be open for one week till midnight of Sunday 13th July, and then I’ll pick my favourite tip who will win this rather lovely tote bag of fruit!

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6 Responses
  • Chris
    July 8, 2014

    Great read! That kiwi/apple heart is so awesome! :p

  • Fi Phillips
    July 8, 2014

    Some great tips there. After starting a low carb/low sugar eating plan last summer, I’ve virtually cut out fruit (due to the sugar content) but because I’ve also cut out pasta, potatoes and bread, I have to eat lots of veg or there’d be only a miniscule amount of food on my plate. It can take a bit of extra effort but I now eat a lot of salad and cooked veg (have grown to love the mixture of red onion and peppers). The important thing is to get your five a day in a way that you like and that suits you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fi Phillips
      July 8, 2014

      And with regards to eating on the go, salads in a tupperware box is my way to go.

  • Jenny Andersson
    July 8, 2014

    When travelling I try hard never to pass by a market. There’s always fab fruit and veg there. When travelling in the Middle East years ago I learned that the best thing for quenching thirst is a huge beefy tomato. 🙂

  • Mary
    July 9, 2014

    My car always contains a little bag of goodies like dried fruit, almonds or apples and tangerines. I forever find myself rushing around and driving places and it’s good to have a supply of snacks of the healthy kind available at all times.

  • Eleanor Powell
    July 10, 2014

    There are quite a few drinks out there that cover 1 of your five a day – these are great when on the move as they travel easily