Are You Up For The Challenge?

Hey! I’m not sure if you know this, but the month of September is Fruit and Veggies More Matters Month! I am super excited and you should be too. Why? Because this provides such a great opportunity for us to cultivate physical wellness together, with others around the country by including more fruits and veggies in our diets.  It is recommended that we consume between 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. However, only about 1 in 10 Americans consume these recommended daily serving amounts. Most people only eat about 1-2 pieces of fruit a day and maybe 1 vegetable serving with each meal. That’s a start, but its not even close to giving us the proper nutrients our bodies need. With such high rates of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in our country, it's time we take charge of our health and do the best we can to keep our bodies well. Let’s set and achieve high goals for ourselves! As an advocate for better eating habits and nutrition, I have decided to join the Produce for Better Health Foundation in motivating Americans to eat more fruit and veggies during the month of September and beyond. Therefore, I would like to introduce you the Cultiv8 Challenge!!!!


I am challenging myself and you (and everyone else) to eat 8 servings of fruit and veggies a day. Maybe you’re thinking, I can barely eat 1 piece of fruit a day and you want me to eat 8! Wait! Before you count yourself out, allow me show you what this looks like. I'll give it to you, 8 servings can be intimidating. It was to me too, that's before I understood what a serving size consisted of. For most produce, a serving size is 1/2 cup or a whole piece of fruit, which is rather small when you really think about it. So 8 servings is 4 cups of fruit and veggies. Checkout the picture to right to get a visual understanding of a what I'm explaining. And if you notice from the diagram, your servings doesn't have to only come from whole fruit and veggies. You can also get nutrients from healthy juices and dried produce.


Here is an example: If you're someone that likes to eat 3 meals a day, this can be as simple as having a piece of fruit and a side of veggies with each meal and snacks in between. That's a whole banana and 1/2 cup raisins with oatmeal for breakfast, apple and carrots next to your sandwich at lunch, and peas and potatoes next to your protein at dinner, which if I remember my basic arithmetic correctly, is equal to 6. Get your last 2 servings by having a healthy snack of mixed fruit salad! The USDA has also done a wonderful job at showing us what a healthy plate looks like via the my plate diagram shown upper right. If you're a smoothie lover, you can easily get half your servings by tossing some spinach, blueberries, banana, and carrots into your blender and guzzling that down at the start of your day.

So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? If so, join me and others by Cultiv8-ing!!! Challenge yourself to eat 8 servings of fruit and veggies a day. And if you're as excited about this as I am, join us on social media for a chance to win a prize at the end of the month. To win you must post pictures of your Cultiv8 journey on social media (FB, IG, or Twitter) using the #cultiv8, #cultivatingkerri, #cultivatingme and also tag me in your photos. I am @cultivatingkerri on IG, @KerrionnePhillips on FB, and @CultivateKerri on twitter. Post everyday and be sure to tag me to win the prize.