You’ve been hearing it since you were a kid, “eat your veggies!” and you probably have said it you your own kids! The big question is how do you put it into practice and make it enjoyable? Most Americans score sub par so don’t feel you are in the minority if you’re not making fruit and veggies a part of your daily routine. If you start by taking small steps to add a little more to each meal and snack in time you will reap the rewards. Whole, plant foods are nutrient dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water. They provide structure to your diet and will help to balance cravings, will keep you full longer, reduce inflammation so you feel better and have greater sense of wellness. Plus when you focus on adding more of the “good” in time some of the “bad” will begin to slip away!
As a community we can focus on making it fun and exciting! Make a commitment for the next 30 days to increase fruits and vegetables in your diet. It’s important to set a specific goal that’s attainable and realistic. Write your goal down and record your fruit and veggie consumption. Don’t go it alone! Partner with your spouse, a neighbor, coworker or friend and check in with each other daily to hold each other accountable.
Here are some 3 tips to get you started! Try at least one and let me know which ones become a part of your food choices.
1) Add Fruits and Vegetables to Breakfast
Start your day off right with a Green Smoothie (see recipe below); add sautéed spinach or zucchini, peppers & onions to eggs; add fruit to warm oatmeal; in a hurry grab an apple and some raw nuts to eat on your commute.
2) Add Veggie Soup
Now that winter is approaching add veggie soup as a lunch option or as a starter for dinner. If you are making it at home increase the amount of veggies the recipe calls for. Atwater’s with various locations around Baltimore always have vegetable soup options with like veggie lentil or gazpacho .
3) Easy on the Sauce!
When preparing chicken or wild salmon for your next dinner party instead of making a sauce, sauté chopped onion, mushrooms, peppers and zucchini to serve over with a shake of sea salt and chopped parsley.
Drink Your Greens Juice
8oz water or nondairy milk like almond, coconut, hemp or rice
1-2 frozen bananas
1c fresh or frozen fruit like blueberries, pineapple, mango, peaches, apple, pear
1-2c greens or veggie option like spinach, kale, chard, dandelion greens, celery, zucchini, cucumber , canned no sugar pumpkin
Combinations to try
Banana-strawberry-celery or cucumber
Banana-pumpkin and 1t pumpkin pie spice, ½ t vanillia, 1T maple syrup or 1 date