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How to increase your servings of fruit and veg

Some research suggests that we need to eat more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. For our diet to be alkalizing, which is important for health and our bones, we should be eating 9 portions a day.

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 Here are some easy ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet.

  • Add lemon, lime and/or cucumber to your water to add flavour – and then eat them.

  • Snack on vegetables as you’re cooking.

  • Add extra fruit to your breakfast smoothie.

  • Snack on trail mix – with different dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

  • Double-up the salad and vegetables in sandwiches.

  • Use lettuce leaves as a wrap for sandwich filling.

  • Slice a cucumber lengthwise, hollow it out and use this for your sandwich filling.

  • Make vegetable soups and juices.

  • Make a cauliflower crust pizza and add lots of vegetables.

  • Make cauliflower rice and have with a plant-based chilli.

  • Spiralize courgettes to replace spaghetti.

  • Make a salad dressing with olive oil – 1tbs is a portion.

  • Have a baked sweet potato.

  • Add a head of garlic when roasting vegetables.

  • Have fresh fruit for dessert.

  • Or bake an apple, pear or peach.

Exercise (2)

To help strengthen our bones it’s important to do weight-bearing exercise. The easiest way to do this is walking. It doesn’t really matter where you walk although somewhere green like the local park is ideal. But you do need to walk briskly, so that you’re slightly out of breath, for at least 10 minutes every day.

Weight-bearing exercise places a stress on our bones, which stimulates the production of bone cells. Being underweight means that I don’t place enough stress on my bones, so I wear a weighted vest. ‘Don’t you look stupid?’ my sister asked. Well, I could choose to look stupid (possibly), or risk a fracture!

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Exercise

By our late 40s we begin to lose an estimated 1% of our muscle mass each year so some weight training is crucial. Resistance training at least twice a week will help to strengthen both muscles and bones. Use hand weights, I bought my hand weights after fracturing my wrist; or use food tins or 500ml bottles of water.

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Alarm

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A shrill alarm in the morning means that your body wakes startled and tense. The ‘fight or flight’ response is triggered. Not a good way to start your day. Try setting your alarm to some soothing music, or try a dawn-simulator alarm.