If you’re conscious about your health, you know that you need to eat more veggies. Veggies for breakfast, veggies for snack, veggies instead of bread…. Everywhere you look, nutritionists are recommending that you boost your vegetable intake for optimal health.
So how do you add more veggies to your diet?
1 – EAT MORE SALAD
The easy thing to do is eat more salads. To avoid getting bored with the same-old-same-old, try different variations of leafy greens and blend different herbs into your salad dressings. Here’s a basic formula for you to simplify your salad intake.
Start with a base – any leafy green… the darker, the healthier! Place 2 to 3 cups of baby spinach, arugula, romaine, mesclun, kale and mache or a mixture of these in the bottom of your salad plate or bowl.
Add ½ cup of fruit or 1 cup of veggies. Get creative here. Anything works. Carrots and radishes. Blueberries and cucumbers. Strawberries and asparagus. zucchini and avocado. Here’s your chance to have some fun.
Topping. This is where you can add some healthy fats to your salad. Add 2 oz of either nuts, seeds, cheese, or olives. 2 ounces is the size of 2 ice cubes. Tasty items could be black olives and feta cheese. Bocconcini cheese and toasted walnuts. You get the idea.
Bonus. Here’s where you can either add a protein or a superfood. If your salad is intended to be a meal, you could a 3 to 4 oz of protein like chicken, tofu or salmon. Otherwise, think of some superfoods to boost your nutrition. Superfoods include: sprouts, hemp seeds, goji berries, pomegranate, shredded cabbage, almonds or coconut.
3 parts oil – Stick to the healthier oils like flax, walnut or olive oil.
2 parts vinegar – A change from your balsamic vinegar might be just the change you need to give you salad a new look. Try red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar. If you’re on a specific diet that requires you to remove vinegar, you can easily add lemon or lime juice as a replacement.
1 part flavor – Here’s the fun part. Flavor can include sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, herbs like basil or coriander or anything that might change it up a bit. Think mustard, tamari or parmesan cheese.
2 – ADD VEGGIES TO YOUR SMOOTHIES
If you don’t mind drinking your veggies this might be the answer to boosting your veggie needs. Add 2 cups of baby spinach to your next morning smoothie and we guarantee you won’t taste the difference. You can also try kale, leftover steamed carrots, squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes or even beets. Many of these vegetables are undeniably sweet when cooked and can add a different spin to your smoothies. Combinations to try include:
- Blueberry and spinach
- Pumpkin and mango
- Zucchini and apple
- Sweet potato, cinnamon and pecans
- Beets, ginger and orange
3 – REPLACE YOUR PASTA WITH ZOODLES
Refined grains and white foods are one of the top foods we encourage you to eliminate. Swap your white, or even whole wheat, spaghetti noodles to the popular zucchini noodle alternative. Easy to prepare, zucchini noodles are versatile and super healthy. You can eat them raw or lightly sauteed depending on your tastes. Substitute with zoodles knowing that you can now enjoy 3 cups of “pasta” with no guilt.
Not sure where to start? Here’s one of our recipes for inspiration: Anchovy Zucchini Noodles
4 – REPLACE YOUR TOAST WITH SWEET POTATOES
With gluten becoming more and more recognized as a neurotoxin, many kitchen commandos are creating alternatives to bread. One trend that we’ve recently admired is sweet potato toast. Rather than using bread as your base, you use baked, or “toasted” sweet potatoes. It’s seriously that easy. Slice your sweet potato lengthwise into ¼ to ½” slices. You want the slices to be thick enough to hold up your favorite toppings when they are cooked but thin enough to cook quickly. There are different options to you for cooking. The easiest is to place the slices in your toaster and cook at 5 minute intervals until they are tender enough to eat but not so cooked that they will end up being mushy. Some prefer to bake them in large batches at 400F for roughly 20 mins. You can then store these slices in the fridge and reheat in your toaster for a convenient breakfast. Top with avocado slices, smoked salmon, baby spinach or even a fried egg.
5 – CREATE SOME NEW DIPS
What’s the best thing for fresh veggies? Dips. Creating some new recipes to dip your veggies into might just encourage you to eat more veggies. Here are some tasty foods you can easily blend together to boost your desire for dipping. Start with the first ingredient and add small amounts of the following ingredients to taste. Add sea salt and pepper. You may need to add some water to create the consistency that you enjoy.
- 1 whole Avocado + Goat Cheese + Lemon Juice + Garlic
- 1 whole Avocado + Tomatillo + Garlic + Jalapeno + Onion + Cilantro
- 1 whole Avocado + Wilted Spinach + Tahini + Lemon Juice + Cumin + Cilantro
- 1 medium Roasted Eggplant + Tahini + Lemon Juice + Garlic
- ⅔ cup Cashew butter + Garlic + Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon Juice + Sweetener + Dijon + Parsley
We hope you try some of these new methods to adding more veggies to your daily life. Make yourself some non-negotiable rules around how many cups of veggies you’re aiming to eat daily and ensure that you complete your goal before you retire for the night. Vegetables are loaded with beneficial nutrients and fiber. Two things that your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
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