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No Excuses: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

9 reasons you're skimping on fruits and vegetables – and how to overcome them.

Excuse No. 8: Other snacks are more convenient.

A lot of people think it’s easier to buy a bag of chips or to go to the vending machine and grab a candy bar. But with a little forethought, fruits and vegetables can be just as convenient.

How to overcome this excuse:

  • 100% fruit juice couldn’t be easier. Pack a frozen 100% juice box to keep your lunch cool, and it will be refreshingly slushy by high noon. Instead of buying a soda or chips from a snack bar, buy a bottle of 100% fruit or vegetable juice instead.
  • Try single-serving veggie packets. In some grocery stores, you can find single-serving veggie packets, like carrot and dip packs, celery and peanut butter, and sugar snap peas and dip. Pop one of these in your lunch or grab one on your way out in the afternoon. Remember, 6-8 carrot sticks (about 3-inch long) equals a serving of vegetables.

Excuse No. 9: Fruits and vegetables cost too much.

Thaete says many of her patients have the erroneous idea that fruits and vegetables are too expensive.

How to overcome this excuse:

  • Buy in-season producewhenever possible. The prices are usually more reasonable.
  • Buy frozen (or canned) fruits and vegetables. They're often less expensive than fresh produce – and they're available year round.
  • Find stores that have great prices on fresh or frozen produce. Some stores offer better prices than others. It could be your local farmer’s market, or a specialty chain like Trader Joe’s. Spend a little time researching this, and you’ll know where to get the best deals on fresh and frozen produce, dried fruit, and 100% juice.
  • Buy a little fresh produce at a time. Don't waste money throwing out spoiled fruits and vegetables. Be sure to choose items that you really want to eat.

Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

Here are three simple recipes using fruits and vegetables to add to your repertoire. 

Black Bean Vegetable Stir Fry

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 1/2 cups vegetables without added fat

16-ounce bag frozen Oriental Style vegetables

2 tablespoons bottled black bean sauce

2 tablespoons water, chicken broth or beer

Garnish:

1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds or

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds or thinly sliced green onions (just the green part)

  • Begin heating a nonstick wok or large skillet over high heat. When it’s good and hot, add the frozen vegetables and let cook over high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Meanwhile, blend the black bean sauce with water, broth, or beer in a small cup and stir until smooth. When vegetables are just lightly cooked, stir in the black bean sauce and turn off heat. Let sit for about a minute to warm the sauce.
  • Sprinkle toasted almonds, sesame seeds or green onions over the top and serve.

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