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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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What's Your Number?

The 5 a Day web site just got a face lift and it’s looking goooood! On the home page you can enter your age, sex, and activity level to find out how many cups of fruits and veggies YOU need each day in addition to what “counts” as a cup (such as 1 small apple, 2 to 3 medium plums, 1 large ear of corn, 1 large bell pepper, etc.). But that’s not all. This site is an amazing resource! It provides complete profiles of 24 different fruits (from apples to watermelon) and 25 different veggies (artichokes through winter squash). Each profile includes a Nutrition Facts label, info about how to select and store the fruit or veggie, a summary of each variety (for example, there are 9 apples listed, complete with photos), and even recipes to boot.

In the Flavor Savor section you can search the recipe database by vegetable or fruit and 10 different meal types (appetizers, beverages, breakfast, desserts, dips/spreads/salsas, entrees, finger food, salads/slaws, side dishes, and soups). I searched for broccoli under side dishes and found 9 great recipes, most 30 minutes of less (like Broccoli with Shallots – yum!). I especially love this tool because over the years, countless clients have told me that they buy broccoli (or other veggies) with every intention of eating it, but it rots in the crisper because they just don’t know what to do with it (I’ll even admit, plain steamed broccoli is no culinary delight). Click on My Cookbook and you can even create a printable cookbook you personalize by selecting your favorite recipes. And it’s all free!

When I find tools like this I feel like a kid on Christmas! I mean, if you read this blog, you know I’m produce’s #1 fan. In my opinion, eating the right number of a variety of fruits and veggies is the single most important dietary change you can make. So I’m thrilled to tell you about this resource! I actually saved this post for today (my last of the week) to make this suggestion – if you can, set aside some time this weekend, even if it’s just 10 minutes to “play” on this site, bookmark it on your computer, and re-visit often. If you’re ready to get started now, click here.

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. I just polished off a delicious organic Fuji apple – a basket of apples and an apple slicer makes a great last minute holiday gift!

Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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