count your vegetables

We Manage What We Monitor

We manage what we monitor is a term Gretchen Rubin coined in her book about habit change Better than Before. In nutrition, it is common practice to ask people to log their food intake for a period of time. Dieters are often told to keep a food journal to increase their awareness of what they are eating. A research study was done that showed dieters who kept a food journal 6 to 7 days a week lost twice as much weight as those who did not journal.

 Other studies, including a recent one by the University of Arizona, have shown that the consumption of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily reduces the risk of breast, lung, esophageal, stomach, and colorectal cancers. I have challenged my detox groups to increase their intake of vegetables to five servings or more a day. This will increase their intake of a number of nutrients, especially B and C vitamins and fiber, all of which are needed for the liver to process toxins and then release them from the body.

So you want to eat more vegetables. How do you do it?

The first way is to have many vegetables available at home. Quick meals and snacks can be made with raw carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, bagged lettuces, and most kinds of frozen vegetables.

Next, track your vegetable eating on a daily basis. Actually count your servings. Journaling or logging increases self-awareness and strengthens self-control, both of which are needed for habit change. You can do this on a notepad, your calendar or by using an app on your phone. The free app Lumen Trails can be used to track many things, including your vegetable intake. I have set up one section to monitor my vegetable intake. All I have to do is click every time that I have a serving of vegetables. It adds up, saves the data and sets up a new clicker the next day.

 So count your blessings. Name them one by one…. And count your veggies, too!

How many servings of vegetables do you eat on a daily basis? Please share your ideas for increasing them.

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