4 easy ways to eat more vegetables
by Shelley Langenhorst
So how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? If you made a resolution to lose weight, remember: One of the most important components of weight loss is cleaning up your diet.
If you made a resolution to eat better this year, one of the best things you can do for your health and your waistline is to increase your vegetable intake.
Check out our easy ideas for adding veggies to your day.
Pump up your breakfast
Breakfast doesn’t have to be about eggs, bacon and fruit. Sure, a sweet breakfast is a delicious way to start the day, but a healthy breakfast is a great chance to start off on the right foot. Instead of loading your body with sugars in the morning, consider switching to vegetables for a more filling and nutritious start.
The easiest way for most of us to eat veggies for breakfast is with a vegetable omelet – spinach, tomato and mushrooms are all great additions. Or chop up a veggie-rich home-made salsa for a flavorful way to spice up your scrambled eggs.
Adding grated carrot or zucchini to your oatmeal is another easy way to increase your veggies. Throw in a few raisins, a drizzle of maple syrup and some vanilla extract and we promise it takes like carrot cake.
For the most veggie bang for your buck at breakfast and beyond (they make great snacks!), consider adding green smoothies to your diet.
In its most basic form, a green smoothie is simply a favorite fruit smoothie with spinach, kale or other dark leafy greens added in. Think strawberry-banana-spinach or mango-pineapple-kale.
If you want to step it up a notch, limit your fruit to low-glycemic choices and drink one every morning for such benefits as better digestion, weight-loss and clear skin. Green smoothies are an easy way to make sure you get your daily recommended amount of fresh vegetables and fruits.
If a green smoothie sounds like too much to handle, consider investing in a high quality greens powder. These nutritional powerhouses can mix with plain water or your favorite juice for an easy way to infuse your day with vegetables. Typically, one teaspoon equals about one cup of greens.
Sneak it in
Have picky eaters at home? Hide your veggies! Puree cooked butternut squash for a fibrous and vitamin-loaded addition to baked macaroni-and-cheese. Pump up the nutritional profile of mashed potatoes by mixing in mashed cauliflower – not only will you lower the calories of this favorite dish, but you will add such benefits as vitamin C and folate.
If you don’t need to sneak in veggies, at least consider a few easy substitutions like spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta or beans instead of ground meats.
Other articles you might like:
Staying healthy in the winter
Tips for a slimmed down Super Bowl
The best clothes for your workout
How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions
Four greens to spice up your salad
Improve your home with a home gym