We're getting right to the point today. Here are 8 tips to help you get more veggies into your diet!
1. Keep veggies on hand that are preserved in a variety of ways
When we do this, we not only have backups, but often quick and easy ones. Fresh and whole veggies, pre washed and chopped, frozen, canned (look for options without added sugar, salt and fat) and dried. I keep dried veggies on hand for making quick soup when my fresh or frozen produce is low or out.
2. Quick and easy is key
Keep washed and chopped greens and veggies in the fridge and add them to every dish. If doing this prep work isn’t realistic for you, go for the pre chopped variety in the store!
3.Store your produce in visible places
Keep them near eye level in the fridge. When chopped, store them in clear containers (I often use wide mouth jars or my clear-ish reusable silicone bags). Additionally, have a bowl of produce on the counter.
4. No meal is complete without produce
Add this to your belief system around food and you’ll be golden!
5. Blend, puree, chop, shred, crush, pulverize…
You get the idea, in this way you can easily “hide” veggies in damn near any meal. Sauces are possibly the easiest to do this with, blend carrots, greens, mushrooms, etc. in tomato sauce. Blend cauliflower in cream bases, blend potatoes, squash, mushrooms and carrots in cheese bases (veggie loaded mac and cheese anyone?)
You can also think of how you can make a vegetable the same texture as the rest of the food you’re adding it too. For example, chop cauliflower for cauliflower rice, have it solo or with rice. Cauliflower can also be mashed with potatoes, again, have your mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes or with them. (This is not to say “don’t eat potatoes or rice” we’re talking about adding veggies in here!)
6. Get creative and question the normal routine
If you find yourself thinking that veggies don’t go with a certain meal, examine your thought process or consider what other veggies would accompany the meal most seamlessly.
7. Eat the rainbow
Not only are colorful meals beautiful, but they also offer us a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Adding more color is also a valuable way to make meals more fun and entice reluctant parties.
8. Dress your veggies any way you like
There are of course optimal ways to enjoy one’s veggies. Namely, low in added sugar and fat. BUT, if using chocolate syrup gets big or little kids alike to eat kale or some other veggie they’re leery of, GO FOR IT. Over time our taste buds change and adapt, if this helps normalize kale etc. then it’s a good thing and we can work on cleaning up the dressings later.
A note on fruit: Fruit is not a replacement for vegetables and dark leafy greens.They are higher in complex sugars than most veggies, but let’s also keep things in perspective here. When processed foods and foods with refined sugar are still part of one’s diet, then fruit is not the bad guy. (Unless you have a specific allergy.) Fruit is deeply valuable as a healthy alternative to sweets and for nipping cravings in the bum.
PS If you're looking for help with your veggie intake, increasing your energy, or losing weight, CLICK HERE to book a free, no-commitment consult with me!