Happy Monday! Do you get today off to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Kevin has to work today, so I’m considering it a “work day” as well. Regardless of your work situation, I hope you take time to reflect on what an amazing leader MLK Jr. was and what amazing things he did for our country and our world! (picture source)
Yesterday, I headed to the Farmer’s Market to stock up on fruits and vegetables, and I had an absolute blast. I loved talking to the farmers about their crops (apparently, it’s a great year for produce in Texas, but people are not coming to the Farmer’s Market as frequently as usual since it’s been a bit cold), I loved selecting exactly what I wanted (and yes, I definitely bought a lot more than I planned on since I’m such a sucker for hardworking, kind people who are proud of what they do!), and I loved coming home to unload my goodies and plan out what I could make during the week.
Just the act of going to the Farmer’s Market made me so much more excited about eating my fruits and vegetables for the week. I savored a fresh orange for a snack … I didn’t load up on football appetizers because I was excited to come home to add in extra kale and zucchini to Amy’s delicious soup … I enjoyed some pomegranate seeds on top of Laura’s mouth-watering dessert. In fact, I loved my fruits and veggies so much that I got thinking about how this could apply to you for Motivation Monday.
There have been many studies showing that when you choose your food, you are more excited to eat it. Many experts suggest involving children in the grocery shopping and allowing them to pick any produce they choose so they get more excited about consuming fruits and vegetables (this awesome report also shows several other strategies to get kids to default to fruits and veggies). Well, maybe this means I am childish, but I can tell you firsthand that this works!
On a more practical day-to-day note, I encourage you to keep fruits and vegetables in plain sight so that you are more apt to grab them when you’re looking for a snack or a meal addition. Did you know that you are three times more likely to eat the food that you see first on your counter, in your refrigerator, or in your pantry, as opposed to the food you see fifth? And that the average person will eat 92% of what is on their plate, regardless of the caloric content of what is actually served? (picture source)
So, simply making healthy foods more visible to you, or getting excited about them, can encourage you to eat more healthily, without any additional effort. Today, I challenge you to:
- Put produce at eye level in your refrigerator. I play this trick on Kevin all the time and I’m not even sure he realizes it. When I have some tomatoes or avocados (his favorites!) that are close to going bad, I move them from the vegetable/ fruit drawers to the eye-level shelves. You know what? It works!
- Set out a bowl of fruit or vegetables to bring some color to your kitchen. See one of these articles to find out where to store your produce. If you have some produce that should be stored at room temperature, keep it in plain sight!
- Rearrange your pantry. If you have a snack drawer or section of your pantry, move the healthier snacks to the front, so that you see them first.
- Toss some fruit into your bag. I always have some “emergency snacks” with me in case I get hungry and can’t find quickly accessible options. If I toss an apple into my bag instead of a candy bar, I am much more likely to enjoy the fruit!
- Place some fruit or pre-cut veggies on your desk at work. You may not even realize you’re hungry (and then end up so hungry that you eat anything in sight), but having healthy options within reach will encourage you to snack on them!
- Try something new. If you only buy iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, week in and week out, you’ll think of your salads as a chore. If you switch it up and try out a new fruit or vegetable every week or every month, you’ll be much more excited to consume it! (picture source)
So tell me in the comments … What strategies do you use to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption? Does anyone else get so excited to go to the Farmer’s Market? What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?