Eat more veggies! Five vegetables a day!
Every day we are bombarded with reasons to eat more veggies, from overall health to specific ailments to a longer and happier life. You know you really should eat more vegetables, but it’s just too easy to stick with the same old food routine.
I am going to help you get out of that old routine and find better ways to eat. Here are 7 easy ways to eat more veggies and have fun doing it!
Every person has a unique food personality and different method of making food choices. One of these seven easy ways to ramp up the nutrition in your diet is bound to sound appealing to you. Just keep going through the list until one grabs your attention and you think, “Yeah, I could do that.” Don’t overwhelm yourself, choose one thing that you can stick with for several months. Gradual change usually lasts longer than if you try to change too much at once.
Join a CSA (community supported agriculture). It’s easy, you join a CSA program and each week you get a box of veggies grown by a real farmer who lives near you. Think of it as Christmas happening every week when you open the box to discover what awesomely delicious veggies you get to try. Joining a CSA pushes you to try new things, and since the veggies are right there in your refrigerator, you are more likely to eat them! How do you find a CSA near you? Your state’s department of agriculture may have a listing or just Google CSA farms near your location.
- Visit a farmers market every week. The colorful displays invite you to gather up a bounty to take home with you and vendors can be a great source of ideas for preparing your selections. Every week try to find one thing you don’t regularly eat. Beth Dooley, Deborah Madison, and many others, have written cookbooks all about preparing simple meals with whatever is in season at your farmers market.
Plan all your meals to include two veggies. Carrots and peas are a traditional pairing, but a simple green salad and half a cup of roasted beets works too! Other combinations could be asparagus and spring onions, cabbage leaves stuffed with sweet potato and onion, kale and sugar peas, sweet corn and kohlrabi. You can do this even when you are dining out. Ask your server what veggies can be added on to your meal or substituted for another item.
- Take the Veggie of the Week challenge and get a friend to do it, too! Purchase enough of one vegetable to prepare it in three different ways during the week. Compare notes with your friend and rate your veggie experiments as the most creative, best tasting, etc. You might discover that although you don’t like eggplant parmigiana, you absolutely love grilled eggplant sprinkled with a bit of sea salt.
Make your salads sparkle! Salads don’t have to be lettuce, cherry tomatoes and dressing. With salads, anything goes! Asparagus, roasted beets, slivered carrots, hakurei turnips, green beans, pea pods, pac choi, summer squash, green onions. Just about everything can be used as a salad. The list of greens you can use is endless: lettuce, spinach, kale, mustard greens, chickweed, mache, dandelion leaves, etc. Throw in some fruit, too. Or make it a meal by adding tofu, cheese, bacon, grilled chicken, roast beef or sliced lamb.
Add one raw, one cooked to your daily routine. One raw veggie like cucumber, tomato, carrot, radishes, salad turnip, kale, or spinach requires little more prep time than wash and munch. One cooked does not require you to cook every day, as many veggies can be cooked and refrigerated for later consumption. When I cook, I usually make enough for several meals. A sautéed veggie mix is a side for one meal, tucked in a wrap with greens and cheese for another, and added to an omelet for a third meal.
- Throw together simple veggie snacks to replace sugary or salty empty calorie snacks. Wrap a spinach leaf around an apple slice or a cube of cheese. Slice a kohlrabi and sprinkle it with salt. Dip sugar peas in vanilla yogurt.
Bonus Tip: If this is still too challenging, find a juice bar or an organic juice company close to you that uses lots of fresh veggies and drink your veggies on the go!
Add some fun and some veggies to your life today!