Eat Your Vegetables!

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When people first come to me and they don’t know where to start, as far as nutrition, I tell them to keep things as simple as possible. Lean protein and vegetables. These two types of foods are a great starting point for learning how to fuel your body more properly. A lot of people have a tough time getting as much protein as they should be eating, but just as equally, a lot of my clients struggle with eating enough vegetables.

I did a video on my Facebook page this week called “Where are the veggies?” In it, I talked about where to sneak more vegetables into your diet. In this post today, I’m going to expand my talk. I already answered WHERE  your veggies should be in my talk, so now I’m going to answer the why, how, and when of eating more veggies.

First, here’s five reasons WHY you should be eating as many veggies as possible.

  1. Veggies are high in fiber. Not to talk potty talk, but fiber reeeally helps in that department. Plus it keeps you fuller longer. Score.

  2. They are low in calories. Veggies are really the most bang for your caloric buck, if you’re trying to reduce your food consumption or lose weight.

  3. Veggies are proven to reduce risk of disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

  4. They contain an abundance of important nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K, etc.

  5. Vegetables are, hands down, the best snack as far as cost per nutrient. Think about how much more expensive most nutrient deficient convenience foods are. Buy in-season or frozen veggies and you are saving some serious dolla bills while filling yourself up with better foods.

Secondly, here’s five ways HOW you can fit more vegetables in your diet.

  1. Roast a variety with a little bit of olive oil and salt. Voila! They become caramelized in the oven and their natural sugars sweeten them a bit and they are nice and crispy.

  2. Stir fries, fried rice and veggies scrambles or frittatas. Have a bunch of random veggies on hand? Dice em up and toss them with a protein and some soy sauce or scramble them with eggs.

  3. Stews and soups. It’s crock pot season, people! Throw a bunch of veggies in with a protein, some stock, set it and forget it!

  4. Prep veggies as soon as you buy them so you don’t have to worry about chopping or dicing when your week gets busy. Plus, it’s nice to have prepped veggies to dip in hummus or cottage cheese. Or throw in the blender with some protein powder and fruit. Yum!

  5. One of the best investments I’ve ever made is a rice steamer. Steam some brown rice and veggies while you cook your chicken, fish or whatever. Dinner in twenty minutes!

Lastly, here’s WHEN you should be eating veggies.

  1. Breakfast

  2. Morning Snack

  3. Lunch

  4. Afternoon Snack

  5. Dinner

Okay, maybe that last list makes me sound like your mom. But, for real, it is possible to include veggies in your meals and snack on them too. If you are just starting out, shoot for two servings of veggies a day. That’s how I started out! And then work to increase that, so you’re getting the recommended five servings. You’ll be surprised how routine it becomes once you start the habit. I know I’m never going back. Plus, there are so many different varieties, textures, colors, types, etc of veggies...play around and have some fun! You may just discover a veggie you never knew you loved.

So, who is with me?! WHO is going to start eating more veggies?!!