If you’re interested in the least surprising story to lead the 2012 health headlines, it's this: we're not eating enough fruits or vegetables. We're eating plenty of other things, like processed foods, laden with sugar, saturated fats, sodium and excess calories. These items are ensuring that we remain one of the sickest countries in the nation.
A new study in the Nutrition Journal found that fruit and vegetable consumption was directly linked to socio-economic levels. My clients have many reasons for why they don’t include fruits and vegetables in their diet, including not knowing how to cook them, failing to use the produce before it rots, and viewing them as not "convenient."
What if you looked at your fruits and veggies in a different way and treated them more like an herb in your culinary creations than an addition on your plate? This year, I'm challenging Dr. Oz viewers to purée fruits and veggies and add them to everything. For example, on Sunday, purée baked apples and add them to your yogurt, oatmeal, even peanut butter sandwiches. Purée broccoli, spinach or kale and add it to pasta sauces, soups, stews and casseroles. If you purée and add these items to foods you already like and eat regularly, you'll be getting your fruits and veggies without even knowing it.
Public health campaigns, magazine articles, blogs and TV shows have tried to change our habits – it hasn't worked. Maybe this tactic – the same one you may use to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies – will work for you. Are you up to the challenge?