A little while ago, I made it my mission to try and eat more vegetables. How? Really easy: by making vegetables part of almost every meal I ate during the day. Whether I was having a snack, a smoothie, breakfast, lunch or dinner: I made sure there were vegetables involved. And this is how I did that.
Everyone knows that vegetables should form a large part of your diet, but I think few people really eat enough of them. I changed that round by adding them into everything. Some methods could fool even hardened veggie haters, other methods probably wouldn’t. The easiest way to get an extra dose of vegetables is to add them to smoothies. The sweetness of the fruits will mask the vegetables, but you will have had some extra vegetables in the process. Also, because all you have to do is drink, and no chewing is required, the flavor of the vegetables hardly comes through. And the best part is: you don’t even have to see that it’s there.
Zucchinis can be added without changing the color of your smoothie as long as you peel them beforehand. Just like avocado, they are a great way of replacing bananas in smoothies for added thickness, but you up the nutritional value at the same time. If you put beetroot with red fruits, the color of your smoothie will only be enhanced and look more delicious. If you want to go all out and make a green smoothie I find that spinach goes best with pineapple and kale goes best with mango.
If you like raw veggies than snacking on them straight up is a great way of getting more veggies into your system. I snack on anything from celery sticks, to bell pepper, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes. If I want to make it extra yummy, I will make some hummus (chickpeas!) for some extra protein and starch that will fill you up for longer too. It’s something I’ve been doing for years and I have used vegetables to replace snacks such as rice cakes and snack bars which are high in sugars most of the time.
Sticking to the topic of hummus: I find that making your own veggie spreads like hummus or baba ganoush are a great way of using vegetables again. I love making them to spread on bread or crackers and then top that up with alfalfa or other types of sprouts. Again, that will give you double the amount of vegetables.
Another way of doubling your vegetables is by going 100% vegetables for your dinners. You can easily substitute a cream sauce by adding some blitzed up boiled cauliflower and you can create lasagna leaves and taco shells by getting creative with zucchini or eggplant slices. I often use zucchini to make zoodles to replace pasta and cauliflower to make a pizza base.
Other ways of adding some veggies into your system is by simply adding them. Are you frying up eggs for breakfast? Why not whisk them up and add in some defrosted spinach from the freezer? Would you like to have a meaty texture, but not eat the meat? You can do that by adding fried up mushrooms. I once even made burgers and replaced the buns with grilled portobello mushrooms: that was one of the best meals ever.
Now the last tip I have for you is also the most hardcore tip. And that is to drink veggie juice. You can squeeze your own, or buy it from a store, but I find that having half a glass of veggie juice at the start of my day, not only kick starts my metabolism, and thus my day, but it also means I am fuller for longer. I tend to have half a glass of beetroot or carrot juice first thing in the morning with a piece of fruit and only have a real breakfast a few hours later. It no longer requires me to carry a mid morning snack and I stay full until lunch time.
How do you eat your vegetables?