According to the CDC, less than 33 percent of adults eat the recommended servings of fruit each day in the United States. When it comes to vegetables, Americans are even worse, averaging less than 27 percent.
Most adults should consume at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day, depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity. Eating lots of fruits and veggies has been linked to a better immune system, faster weight loss, and way too many other health benefits to count.
But...five servings a day?!?
That's two more than I eat in an entire week! I'm all about the all-meat diet (bacon, chicken, ham, turkey, and more bacon). I'll throw in the occasional carrot with ranch or a salad every now and then, but that's about it. The unhealthy stuff just tastes so much better, and it's readily available at fast food restaurants and convenience store counters everywhere.
What it really comes down to most of the time is how easily food can be made and consumed. I opt for the burrito over the burrito bowl just because I can get it into my mouth quicker. If you're like me, you probably find it hard to get excited about making a meal that takes hours to prepare. That's why microwavable and packaged foods make a killing.
But if you can set aside just 30 to 45 minutes every week to cut and peel some fruits and vegetables, you will be well on your way to a much healthier diet (and some ninja knife skills). I mean, doesn't this picture just make your mouth water?
Redditor and potential fruit photographer livebythem set out to replace her unhealthy snacks with proper servings of watermelon, tomatoes, and grapes. Peeling and cutting a pineapple or watermelon can be a bitch, but if you cut everything all at once, it's not so bad, and you'll thank yourself later.
You can also use these awesome peeling tricks to speed up the process. By dicing up and storing the fruits and veggies in easily accesible containers, you make snacking healthily so much easier for yourself. If you have more than you need to cut up right away, you can extend their shelf life by storing them properly.
And to make sure you get the serving size right every time, you can buy a bunch of one-cup storage containers. Then, when you're snacking in front of the TV or grabbing something for the road, you'll knock off a serving with each container.
If you're not sure how many servings of fruits and veggies are recommended for your demographic, you can use the calculator tool on the CDC's website to find out.