Fruit – Should You Eat It?
I get lots of questions about fruit. Should you eat it? How much should you eat? When should you eat it?
The Food Pyramid tells us that fruit is essential…more essential even then meat and beans.
While fruits do have vitamins and minerals and many have antioxidants that are good for you, fruits are all carbs….
So essential to your diet?…Honestly, not really.
Vegetables can really give you the exact same nutrients you will find in fruits.
For instance, we always turn to oranges or orange juice for Vitamin C. But bell peppers actually have MORE Vitamin C than oranges do.
HOWEVER, fruit is delicious and nutritious so can be included in moderation.
Here are my guidelines for including fruit in your diet.
- Eat seasonally and locally. Eat fruits that are in season and local. When fruits are in season, they are going to be at their peak…aka pack in the most nutrients. And when they are local, you are also get them the freshest.
- Eat organic if thin-skinned. If your fruits have a thin skin that you don’t peel off or can be easily penetrated by pesticides, buy them organic. Or from a farmer’s market since most of the stands there carry local produce even if they can’t afford to pay for the label.
- Treat it as a treat and snack. Fruit is sweet and higher in carbs. Use it as a sweet treat to curb cravings. It can also be a decent snack especially when paired with a fat to help hold you over so that you don’t just get hungry a few minutes later. Try an apple and almond butter…Or a banana and almond butter…YUM!
- Don’t make fruit the basis of the meal or treat it as an “unlimited” food. I personally try to avoid smoothies for breakfast unless mixed with fats and protein. Alone fruit won’t keep you feeling full for very long, which can cause people to consume more calories than they actually need. And again…It has lots of carbs and those add up quickly, which makes it a food you can’t just eat as much as you want of….unlike vegetables…and even protein. It is hard to eat “too much” protein or vegetables. It isn’t hard to eat too much fruit.
- Make lower carb fruit the fruit you consume most often. Just like proteins, vegetables and carbs in general are not created equal, neither are fruits. There are some fruits that should be included more often than others. Tropical fruits, for instance, should be included only every so often. While berries can be eaten more often. They are lower in carbs and are super nutrient-dense with lots of antioxidants. Choose your fruits wisely. As with all foods you consume, you want to get the most bang for your buck possible!
- Eat fruit on carb days. Fruits are great for carb days. They are healthy and nutrient-dense. Cycle your fruit consumption just like you cycle your carbs.
- Fruits and fruit juices are not the same thing. Consume fruit in its natural state. Juices with anything added, even if they say all-natural, contain way more sugar and crap. And it is way easier to consume way too much fruit when it is in liquid form. Avoid juices as much as possible.
The fruits I indulge in most often are berries and apples. They are my favorite…especially apples and almond butter.
What fruits do you include in your diet?
Summer time – Farm fresh food
So I love the start of summer and all of the delicious fruit that starts being in season.
I don’t really eat much fruit during the winter so when summer comes around and the farmers market is loaded with fruit, I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation that sees a berry bush and just devours the entire thing…and then lays out in the sun just relaxing…(Not really sure if this analogy even makes sense…Didn’t look up if bears eat berries….)
But anyway, I love when certain fruits are “in season.” And I love it even more when those fruits are local and organic.
So I won’t go on about fruit and I won’t even spend a long time RAVING about farmers markets and how much I love them, BUT I do just want to clear up a few misconceptions about farmers markets that I’ve encountered when talking to clients about them.
For one, THEY ARE CHEAPER THAN REGULAR STORES especially if you were to try to get the same quality product. Everyone seems to think that farmers markets are super expensive, but they aren’t. And what you get at the farmers market is extremely fresh and naturally raised. (Shoot we even get way cheaper fish at the farmers market than we do at any other market and it is caught fresh that day!)
Two, I’ve encountered people who say they only buy ORGANIC and therefore won’t buy from the stands without the label.
UHM…ORGANIC is a label you have to BUY! Many small farms can’t afford to do that but follow all organic processes! So at a farmers market, don’t worry about the label unless you are going to a super commercial one.
Three, local matters most. If things are local that means everything was picked at the peak of freshness. It is honestly better to buy something local and fresh than it is to buy organic from a foreign country. That organic produce has to be picked and shipped a far distance, which means it can’t be picked at the peak of ripeness – AKA it isn’t going to have near the nutrients that a local piece of produce has!
So honestly, if you can, support your local farms and get the best possible quality food for a very reasonable price! Your body will thank you!
Do you shop at a farmers market? What is your favorite food in-season right now!?!
Breakfast is overrated
So in my opinion breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day, especially as we know it.
The worst thing you could do is force down breakfast if you aren’t hungry. The worst thing you could do is start your morning with simple sugars, a ton of carbs and gluten.
Am I saying you should skip breakfast? Yea if you want.
I’m just saying breakfast isn’t the be all and end all of meals especially as we are advised to eat by conventional wisdom.
So should you skip breakfast? And if you do eat it, what should you eat?
So I skip breakfast except on the weekends. I mostly skip it because I’m not usually hungry until about lunch time. I also skip it because it feels super unnatural to force down food at 4:30 a.m. Also, I feel too lazy most of the time to prepare breakfast food for the next day.
AND I’ve also never been a big fan of breakfast food. I love the occasional pancake binge, but other than that I’ve never LOVED breakfast.
So I only eat it on the weekends. And then I make omelets or scrambles or even some almond butter protein pancakes. I eat breakfast when I can actually sit down and enjoy it.
BUT if you are a breakfast fan or just feel like you don’t function as well if you don’t eat something in the morning, you do have options (even if none of them are cereal!).
You can make hard-boiled eggs, omelets, scrambles, hashes, protein (no gluten) pancakes. You can make steak and eggs, bacon and eggs, veggies and eggs. You can have nuts, and smoothies (delicious with frozen berries, protein and kefir!).
There is so much out there you can eat so STOP FOCUSING ON THE FOODS YOU CAN’T EAT! Shoot you can even have steak and bacon and some potatoes (if you eat them) for breakfast! Breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional breakfast food! It can be anything you love!
So once I’ve told clients they don’t HAVE to eat breakfast. And once I’ve told them all the good things they can eat that AREN’T carb-laden, they usually come back with, “But nothing is as easy to grab and go as cereal!”
Yes cereal is easy to grab and go, BUT if you make hard-boiled eggs (aka stick eggs in a pot of water for about 10ish minutes) on Sunday, you have breakfast for a few days! You can also make individual egg scrambles in the oven using a muffin tin (they can have veggies and bacon or anything else you want!). Or you can make the protein pancakes and store them in the refrigerator for breakfast or snack all week! Shoot you can even grab some macadamia nuts, fruits and some leftover meat that you made for another meal if you want! That is definitely an easy grab and go meal!
Yes most of these things do take some prep time, but they are easy to take with you once they are made and you can make enough for the entire week. PLUS THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOU!
Do you eat breakfast? And if so, what is your favorite dish!?!