12 easy ways to eat more veggies!
From a health standpoint, vegetables are an unbeatable food: naturally nutrient-rich; low in calories; high in fiber and packed with disease-fighting phyto-nutrients. All types of vegetables can be nourishing and delicious – raw, cooked, blended and juiced.
To maximize your health with vegetables, nutrition experts suggest at least 3 to 5 servings per day – but why stop there? With so many ways to enjoy summer-time goodness, you could easily eat vegetables at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Personally I follow the principle:
“By volume eat more vegetables and greens than anything else.”
When I say :vegetables: I refer to the non-starchy ones. Keep in mind vegetables are all “carbohydrates”, but not all carbs are created equal when it comes to blood sugar impact. The non-starchy vegetables are your “friendly” carbs, that will not impact blood sugar and are providing you with great deal of natural water, fiber and the vibrant rainbow of colors, which are your health promoting phyto-nutrients.
Raw vegetables are your cooling and hydrating summer foods. Due to their natural high water content, when you eat them in a raw form they help your body stay cool and well hydrated. They have a cooling and detoxifying effect. Summer is indeed the best time to get more veggies in. Remember, when adding more raw vegetables you may experience gas and bloating. If that’s the case you can lightly cook, ferment, blend or juice them, to “reduce:” some of the rough fibers and allow your friendly gut microbes to slowly grow in number and digest that fiber for you.
Again, my message is pay attention and see how your body responds to the foods you are eating and embrace the changes slowly at your own pace. In some cases, adding more raw vegetables to the diet can get a person to feel uncomfortable, bloated, gassy and may trigger loose stools. My mantra is:
“One man’s food is another man’s poison”.
With that being said, here are a dozen daily ways to treat yourself to good health, starting this summer!
Asparagus: Saute in butter or coconut oil with garlic and a hit of lemon zest for a refreshing and seasonal dish. Roasted asparagus is a great finger food for snacking on!
Broccoli and Cauliflower: you can eat them raw (with a cashew cheese dip if you like) or lightly steamed, braised as a side dish, in a salad or even a slaw.
Carrots: Sweet, crunchy, good for your teeth, eyes and heart! Perfect raw (as a snack or salad) or cooked in soups.
Bell Peppers: Green, red, yellow, orange or even purple! Enjoy peppers in a salad, stir-fry, stuffed or casserole and even as a snack.
Spinach: A salad of baby spinach leaves with roasted beets and pecan can turn anyone into a real spinach lover. Add to it some Gorgonzola cheese and red onion and you are going to have a “to die for” salad.
Onions: The zesty onion family (scallions, leeks and garlic, too!) offer some powerful antioxidant nutrients. Add them to salads, marinades for meats and soups.
Peas: Fresh, frozen or even canned (BPA free only), peas are a treat to eat and they are very popular with small children. A GAPS approved starchy food as well.
Beets: If you’ve never liked beets, try them in a new way – like roasted, grilled or lightly steamed. They act as anti-inflammatory food by increasing (inflammation-fighting) nitric oxide.
Mushrooms: Just a mushroom or two adds rich flavor to a casserole, soup, stew, stir-fry or even a tossed green salad. My favorite is grilled Portobello Mushrooms.
Leafy greens and romaine lettuce: Rule of thumb for a healthy salad – the darker green or red the lettuce leaves, the more nutrients you get. Go for some arugula and dandelion greens.
Green, yellow or purple beans: Like their pea ‘cousins,’ beans offer some fiber and a little bit of protein, along with vitamins and minerals, without the starch of the dry beans.
Tomatoes: Cooking increases the availability of some tomato phyto-nutrients, such as lycopene – so enjoy them cooked in sauces and soup, as well as raw in salads.
I have noticed that many people don’t eat vegetables until dinner. Is that you?
Make a commitment to your health today, and add more vegetables to your plate– See my suggestions below and check off the new ways you want to try to enjoy more veggies throughout the day:
I can add vegetables at breakfast by:
[ ] Adding vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, onion, green or red peppers to an omelet or
[ ] Having a green blast as a breakfast 2 or 3 mornings a week
I can add vegetables at lunch and snack by:
[ ] Adding leafy greens, cucumber, carrots, celery, zucchini sticks, or peppers to my lunch and or snack
[ ] Adding different vegetables to a green salad, like broccoli, green beans, asparagus or peas
[ ] Adding a garden vegetables soup for lunch or even as a snack
[ ] Choosing kale chips or nori instead of potato chips
I hope today’s post gets you inspired to take action, gives you practical tools and also ways in which you can incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
Click the image below and get the Superfoods Resource Guide, it comes with some yummy recipes that will make it so much easier to add good, healing foods to your plate (or cup).
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