Harley Pasternak: The Right Way to Eat Fruits and Veggies

07/16/2014 at 03:01 PM ET

Harley Pasternak
Laurianne Garraud/Getty

Harley Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. Tweet him @harleypasternak.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you have probably been told to eat more fruits and vegetables. That’s a great start, but remember that weight loss isn’t magic — no matter how healthily you’re eating, at the end of the day you need to make sure you’ve taken in fewer calories than you’ve burned.

This idea is affirmed in a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (June 2014), which found that simply adding more fruits and vegetables to a person’s diet didn’t translate to weight loss. Researchers emphasized the importance of combining a higher fruit and vegetable intake with reduced total energy (calorie) intake. The good news: Fiber-rich fruits and veggies are the perfect weight-loss partners because they help you feel full and satisfied even when you’re eating fewer calories.

Other perks: Fruits and vegetables are an amazing source of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, and they add variety and interest to meals.

Check out some appetizing ways to include fruits and vegetables in your meals and snacks — while still keeping portion sizes under control!

Mexicali Light Guacamole
Serves 6-8

¾ cup plain fat-free greek yogurt
½ cup chopped red onion
3-4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (plus a sprig or two for garnish)
½ medium jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeded
Juice from one lime
1 tbsp. ground cumin (save a dash for garnish)
½ tsp. salt
3 ripe peeled Hass avocados, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Garnish with the sprigs of cilantro. Serve with cut veggies or bean chips.

Pineapple Kale Smoothie
Serves 1

8 oz. water (more or less, depending on preferred texture)
Juice from 2 lemons
1 scoop unsweetened protein powder
1 medium apple, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1 knob fresh ginger, chopped
½ cup frozen pineapple
Optional: Ice

Place ingredients into blender in the order listed above. Add ice if preferred. Blend until desired consistency is reached, adding more water to thin out if necessary.

Spring Vegetable Salad w/ Grilled Chicken
Serves 2

2 cups green beans, ends trimmed
2 small zucchini
6 cups mixed salad greens
4 tbsp. low-fat vinaigrette
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 thin slices red onion
4 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced thin or chopped.
2 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring 4 quarts salted water to boil. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for about 1½ minutes, then plunge beans into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking and chill. Remove from cold water, pat dry, and set aside, keeping cold water for next step.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin ribbons of zucchini that are thin enough to curl or fold over without breaking. Place ribbons in cold water until ready to use.

3. Toss greens lightly with ½ of dressing in large bowl. Season with pinch salt and pepper. Divide between two dishes.

4. Toss remaining dressing, carrot, onion, zucchini and chilled green beans. Season with salt and pepper and place on top of greens.

5. Add grilled chicken, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serve.

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

sign me up

Thank you for signing up!

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 10 comments

Michelle Kitma-Ofiana on

Reblogged this on Homewriters Hub and commented:
This post is very helpful especially for those who are decided to start eating clean – Less of the wheat and more on fibers like fruits and vegetables.

JEM on

Headline writer: too lazy to write out vegetables?

Tink on

What is “1/2 a cup” how is that a measurement?

dthomas74 on

Tink–do you not own a measuring cup? 1/2 a cup is measurable.

Jen on

High-Five dthomas! Jem, they are the writers, let them write it how they want. Besides, ‘veggies’ is a bit more eye catching than vegetables. Find something more important to worry about.

Skiiy on

LOL at the person who doesn’t think 1/2 Cup is a measurement. Where I come from it is. DUH on the taking in less calories than you burn. That is the weight loss equation plain and simple and most of us out here get that without being told Harley, or paying exhoribant fees for the info – don’t insult us!

Lisa on

well no kidding we need to eat more fruits and veggies and exercise more…was anyone else thinking that this article was going to contain some info as to what time of day is best to eat fruits/veggies, or was it just me?

Sharon Skillen on

fascinator turquoise on

Thank you so much for giving everyone an extremely brilliant opportunity to read from this blog. It is usually so pleasant and also jam-packed with amusement for me and my office peers to visit your blog at the least three times in a week to see the fresh issues you will have. And lastly, I’m just actually astounded with all the attractive guidelines you serve. Certain two points on this page are rather the finest we have all ever had.


coffee pot not heating on

certainly like your website however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I will definitely come back again.


Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters