Since I’m one of those people who prefers chocolate covered peanut butter cookie bars to celery, it is even harder for me to adhere to a healthy eating plan than it was for me to quit smoking 15 years ago. So I’d love to have readers of this blog share their irresistible veggie recipes.

Following are some ways I’ve found to sneak fruits and veggies past my lips.

12 Painless ways I achieve my daily 3-5 servings quota

  • Add a glass of orange juice to my breakfast (one fruit serving).
  • Add a small salad to either lunch or supper (one or two veggie/fruit servings, depending on what I add to the salad).
  • Turn a ho-hum sandwich into a Dagwood by piling on lettuce and slices of tomato, onion and cucumber (one veggie serving).
  • Cook up enough vegetables for each meal to ensure leftovers. This means I can create a veggie plate from time to time (several veggie servings in one meal).
  • Snack on raw vegetables rather than chips (one veggie serving). Baby carrots dipped in hummus makes a great snack when I have that irresistible urge to nibble.
  • Replace my afternoon soda with an 8-ounce glass of V-8 juice (two veggie servings!).
  • Throw chunks of frozen fruit and yogurt into a blender – adding some Splenda if necessary – for a delicious smoothie (one fruit serving).
  • Sip a “Baptist sangria” (one fruit serving). To make this yummy drink, I fill my glass with equal parts cranberry or pomegranate juice and sparkling water, then garnish with orange, lemon and lime slices.
  • At restaurants, order a side serving of veggies a la carte. There may be an “upcharge,” but it’s usually not much (one extra veggie serving).
  • For restaurant meals that include fries or chips, ask if it would be possible to substitute cole slaw, fresh fruit or no-sugar-added applesauce (one extra veggie serving). 
  • At a buffet-style restaurant, fill up the plate with several kinds of veggies (three or four veggie servings in one meal).
  • Bring a fruit or veggie plate to family gatherings or church potlucks for pre-meal snacking (one extra fruit or veggie serving).