Getting the recommended amount of vegetables into your diet can be challenging with a hectic schedule. The recommended daily amount varies based on age, sex, and physical activity, but for the average grown woman it is recommended to consume two and a half cups of vegetables a day, with 3 cups recommended for men. This may seem daunting at times, however, there are simple tricks you can utilize to pack those vegetables into your day! You shouldn’t have to go without simply because of your busy lifestyle! Or maybe you have time, but you simply don’t like vegetables! Vegetables add so many nutrients to your diet such as potassium, vitamins A, K, and C, dietary fiber, and soooo much more. You are really doing your body and health a disservice by not including them in your diet. Hopefully these tips will empower you to start incorporating more vegetables into your day!
Slip them into homemade spaghetti sauce. Hmm say it isn’t so! You can make spaghetti sauce with added veggies instead of added sugar? Yes you can! Simply puree your tomatoes and add in chunks of zucchini, carrots, eggplant or any other vegetables you would like! Mix in some oregano, basil, onions, garlic, and some red pepper and you are all set!
Stuff them into meat.
Stuffed turkey, chicken, fish, and the like all taste delicious with vegetables packed in the middle. Plus it adds a little extra juiciness and flavor. Win, win!
Egg them up.
Kale, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms all make delectable additions to your morning eggs!
Give them a buzz.
Juice vegetables or blend them into smoothies! If you are the type of person that simply can’t stand the taste of vegetables but wants to at least do SOMETHING to include them in your day, juicing may be the way to go. Juicing first thing in the morning can allow your body to quickly absorb a vast amount of nutrients quickly, and it also makes it easier for you to include a variety of vegetables into your day. Just remember that you aren’t getting the fiber with them, and it is NOT a meal replacement. Adding them to smoothies is also an option, although blending broccoli can be a bit chewy at times!
Eat them raw with homemade guacamole.
Everything tastes better with guacamole. Just make sure not to go overboard because although avocados are healthy, they are still a fat that needs to be consumed in moderation. Check out this awesome and simple guacamole recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare!
Stock up on the frozen goodness!
Don’t forget that frozen vegetables are just as nutritious! Frozen vegetables are often picked at the peak of freshness and frozen quickly to help retain many of their nutrients. They are a great, convenient way to add vegetables to meals.
Be choosy at restaurants.
When out to eat, ask for a side of vegetables instead of chips or fries. Most restaurants would be more than happy to accommodate!
Appease those senses.
Buy vegetables that are numerous colors, sizes, tastes, and smells! Variety is the spice of life and makes them appear more appetizing in your fridge! Plus, variation means numerous antioxidants and a variety of nutrients.
Plan, plan, plan!
Plan out your grocery list and meals ahead of time. Consciously thinking about and planning vegetables into your meals for the week will make you more apt to actually prepare them and eat them! When your meals aren’t planned out, your odds of simply grabbing something quick and most likely unhealthy when you’re starving after work increases dramatically. Having a nutrient-dense meal planned out ahead of time and even prepared ahead of time actually helps you stay on track. Check out the veggies I usually include in my weekly grocery shopping list!
Utilize those farmers markets!
Fresh, local vegetables have WAY more flavor than anything at your conventional supermarket. Plus they are cost effective and you’re supporting your local farmers. Growing your own is also wonderful!
Be ridiculous and spontaneous!
Add vegetables into things you wouldn’t normally think of- like kale in oatmeal. Hey, I’ve done it, and it isn’t that bad. You can’t really taste it, and it adds a unique texture and wonderful vitamins to your breakfast! Just look at a meal and be like, “How can I sneak a veggie into this bad boy?”
Prep, of course.
Chop all the vegetables at the beginning of the week. This makes them a convenience food rather than a hassle. That head of broccoli sitting wrapped up in the fridge isn’t as inviting as the chopped florets in a ready to go container!
Don’t ignore your salt fix.
Make kale, beet or sweet potato chips! If you can’t live without your chips, at least consider a healthier version that still allows you to include these powerhouse foods into your snack! This website has a very simple beet and kale chip recipe!
Use kale or collards in place of buns, wraps, or bread. With gluten intolerance on the rise, why bother with bread when kale and collards taste so much better and work just as well.
Something to ponder: Is it gluten that we are becoming increasingly intolerant of, or could it be the ridiculous amount of Glyphosate that has made its way into our wheat products and food supply??? Hmmm.
Bake those bad boys!
Sneak vegetables into baked goods! Zucchini and carrots make great yet discreet additions to baked goodies and can be both sweet yet healthy if done correctly. Try my friend’s recipe for healthy zucchini donuts!
And lastly, eat them right out of the dirt like a savage!
Oh sorry, I guess this one may only sound appetizing to me 🙂