The Centra 5-A-Day Challenge #LiveWell
As you may know I recently kicked off the Centra 5-a-day challenge on Ireland AM.
The whole aim of Centra’s challenge is to encourage the nation to increase their intake of fruit and veg over the space of 3 weeks – as it takes 21 days to create a habit.
Though it seems that everyone is on a health buzz at the moment, research shows that as a nation we are only getting half of our 5-a-day. To be completely honest, before I took part I really wasn’t getting my 5-a-day because I was always on the go and not paying attention to what I ate! I was however, really motivated to make a conscious effort in increasing my intake. Taking on board Centra’s consultant dietician Sarah Keogh’s hints, tips and recipes on www.centra.ie, has made it surprisingly very easy for my family and I.
Myself and Sarah Keogh with presenter Sybil Mulcahy kicking of Centra’s 5-a-Day challenge at Rush’s Centra, Stillorgan.
In week one I found it hard to get into the habit so a good tip from Sarah was to always keep fruit in sight in a fruit bowl so I was more likely to think of eating it when I saw it. Sounds like an obvious one but it really works! For snacking I kept sliced fruit or vegetable fingers at the front of the fridge which also helped stop me from reaching for chocolate!
In week two I added lentils to soups and stews. Not only are they high in fibre and a great source of iron, a ½ cup of cooked lentils (about 1 dessert spoon of dried lentils) counts as one of your 5-a-day. I also used my NutriBullet to make some yummy smoothies, I never realised that frozen berries are just as good as fresh. I blended them with a banana and some fruit juice for an easy breakfast smoothie.
Coming into week three, I am having cravings at nighttime for something sweet. Rather than reaching for the tub of ice-cream, I sliced a banana, topped with a little peanut butter and froze on a tray for 2 hours. Eaten straight from the freezer, they taste yum and count as one of your 5-a-day.
I’ve tried out a lot of Centra’s recipes so far. Some of my faves include the avocado & egg (an avocado counts as 2 of your 5-a-day by the way!), hidden veg meatballs with tomato sauce (Ollie loves this!), and I’ve been adding a dessertspoon full of blueberries to my porridge in the morning, which counts as 1 of my 5. You can see all of the recipes here. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.
Incorporating all of these simple tips and recipes into my day-to-day lifestyle has really helped up my veg and fruit intake and I feel a lot better for it too. I’ll be back on Ireland AM next Tuesday 16th February to give an update on how I got on with Centra’s 5-a-day challenge, so be sure to tune in then.
Did you take part in the challenge? If not why don’t you have a go and let me know how you’re finding it in the comments below and using the hashtag #LiveWell