How to Start Eating More Vegetables

Sep 29, 2020

 

How many vegetables have you eaten today?

Did you know it’s recommended to eat 8 cups of vegetables for optimal health? Yup, 8 cups!

 

Frequently, my first recommendation to my clients is to increase the amount of vegetables they’re eating. And just doesn’t count because you want ALL the fiber.

This is especially important if you’re struggling with any inflammatory issues like an autoimmune condition, digestive issues (think IBS, SIBO, GERD, bloating, or irregular bowels) or even hormonal issues (like PMS). 

After reading this post you will feel motivated and empowered to get those full 8 cups a day because you’ll learn these simple tools to easily add more veggies on your plate for better health! And enjoy eating them too!

Side note: If you’re barely eating any vegetables, don’t go up to 8 cups overnight. Slowly increase your consumption overtime so you don’t shock your system. 

 

 

  

1. Stock Your Pantry

Imagine coming home and having nothing in the fridge. Or maybe you want to put out the least amount of effort for dinner. What do you do? Make a bowl of pasta with butter or plain old bowl of popcorn? Yes, it happens, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

If you’re running low on fresh produce or you’re looking to make the easiest meal, stock your pantry and freezer too. Just reach in your pantry, open a jar, box or can and add it into your bowl for one less thing to prep.

Jarred tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, coconut milk, capers, and roasted red peppers are some of my favorites and are de-licious in a pasta. As for that bowl of popcorn, make it a snack plate with olives, jerky and popcorn. Yes it’s random but it’s one step closer to a balanced meal.

Look for vegetables packed on glass jars or bpa free cans with water or extra virgin olive oil. Boxed bone broth based soups and frozen vegetables are great to have on hand too!

2. Prep Them!

You can go to the grocery store and buy more vegetables, but then what? You’ve got to prep or cook them to eat them!

Having more vegetables prepped and ready to go with make it so-much-easier to eat them! Make it easy easy for yourself.

The best way to do this is to batch cook. Think of it this way; if you make a tray of roasted carrots for dinner, make 3 times more than you’d usually make so that it lasts another 3+ meals.

I’ve laid out my ultimate low stress meal prep strategy in this Free Guide, Meals Made Simple.

Download it now to get the full guide for easy meal prep techniques including a done for you plan and customizable templates! This will make your life so much easier!

 

3. Put Them on Top as a Garnish 

Do you always put a big dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese on your chili? 

Yes, it’s delicious, but next time try using avocado, radishes, cabbage and cilantro instead. Plus a little bit of sour cream.

You can top off  any meal with some extra veggies. Bagel and cream cheese? Add a few slices of tomato, red onion and cucumber. 

Don’t forget herbs too! Herbs and sprouts/micro-greens are the perfect way to add nutrient rich vegetables to literally any meal. And be generous. Do more than a sprig of parsley like you’d find at the diner.

 

4. Get Saucy!

Sauces don’t have to be all cheese and oil. Who doesn’t love a good pesto or tomato sauce!?

Lean into different sauces and dips for an extra scoop of vegetables.

Get creative and blend different vegetables to make some delicious sauces. Or stick to the classic like pesto, romesco, salsa, and or course, guacamole!

Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you started!  Spread them over anything & enjoy!

Dandelion Walnut Pesto – toss in vegetables, as a spread, dip or dressings.

Butternut Squash Hummus – this hummus makes an amazing dip or spread!

Vegetable Bolognese – a veggie forward take on a classic bolognese sauce. You’re going to love it!

 

5. Hide Them 

Pretend you’re a child and see how many vegetables you can sneak in without noticing. Seriously! Treat it like a challenge to get up to those 8 cups a day.

Smoothies can easily hide spinach, cauliflower, avocado and even zucchini.

Soups, stews and tomato sauce can always sneak in extra veggies too. See some of the recipes above.

Think, “can I add spinach to this recipe?” What about an extra celery stalk, shredded zucchini or clove of garlic?

Make my Chunky Sweet Potato & Bacon Chili or my Creamy Chicken Vegetables Soup recipe for the perfect examples. 

 

6. Make a Swap

Pasta is delicious, (Can you tell I like pasta…) but it’s all about balance. So for every bowl of grain pasta make two bowls of vegetable pasta.

You can find a many vegetable based alternative to swap for the grains and processed foods.

I recently discovered heart of palm noodles to swap for pasta and I LOVE them! You can also try some of these other switches too:

Cauliflower rice instead of white rice

Spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or heart of palm noodles instead of pasta

Jicama tortillas or cauliflower wraps instead of corn or flour tortillas

Cauliflower pizza crust instead of the real thing.

Remember it doesn’t have to be all the time but switch it up and find more balance and vegetables on your plate! 

 

 

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