Studies have shown that diets high in fruit and vegetable intake have a much lower risk of heart disease. I don’t know about you, but I find getting more than enough fruits in daily to be very easy, vegetables, on the other hand… let’s just say green is not my color. I aim for at least 5 servings of veggies every day. As a result, I’ve had to get rather creative in coming up with ways to make sure I’m getting enough. I figured if I was struggling, you might be too so today I’m going to share my suggestions for easy ways to increase your veggie counts:
- Raw vegetables taste yummier with dips. The problem is that dressings, such as ranch tend to be high in fat and other not so good ingredients. As a substitute, you can make your own ranch dip at home using fat free greek yogurt and a dry ranch pack, or dip your veggies in hummus.
- Out of sight out of mind really is a thing. Keep raw, pre-cut vegetables in a see through container in your line of sight in the fridge. When they’re just shoved into your produce drawer unwashed and uncut, you are less likely to pull them out and eat them as quick snack.
- Serve veggies with every meal and eat them first! I learned when I was growing up that eating vegetables at dinner was not optional (ask my sister about being traumatized by peas as a child). Mom served at least one vegetable every night and you were required to eat a sufficient serving, like it or not. I have kept that practice as an adult (luckily I get to choose the vegetable now, so it’s guaranteed to be one that I like), but I learned as a kid to just eat it and get it over with so I can finish my meal with food that was more enjoyable to me.
- Bulk up your foods with spinach. Ok, hear me out on this one: spinach pretty much tastes like nothing, but it packs a huge crunch and nutritional value! I add it to everything. Making a basic salad? Add spinach. Making a sandwich? Scrap the lettuce, top it with spinach. Pasta? Sauté spinach and add it to your sauce. If you make shakes or smoothies for breakfast, blend some spinach in, you probably won’t even notice the difference!
- Hide the veggies. Sometimes it’s just easier to trick ourselves and our kids (or in my case: my husband), and hide the vegetables in foods they already like. Mash cauliflower in with your potatoes, top baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese, make your spaghetti sauce from scratch using unsalted, no sugar added tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and other veggies. It really is easier than you think to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables without them even realizing it.
So there are my quick tips to eat more vegetables. Do you have any you want to share? Let me know if you tried any of these and found them helpful!