Saturday, January 24, 2015

Veggie Power: How to Have More Vegetables Every Day

The delicious power-salad I made for lunch today. It included 10 vegetables - romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, celery, orange bell pepper, Portobello mushrooms, carrots, green onions, and broccoli. My green smoothie included kale, spinach, strawberries, pineapple, 1/2 small banana, wheat grass, and about 12 oz of water. I feel super-nourished!

As important as vegetables are to our health and well-being, I don’t always get enough. Here’s my brainstorm for doing better: 

  • Eat Salad for Breakfast: The earlier I eat vegetables in the day, the more likely I am to have enough. The first time I had salad for breakfast, along with my oatmeal, I felt a little silly, but I actually liked the sense of satisfaction it gave me while eating and after. I did not feel hungry all morning. I need to eat salad for breakfast more often. 
  • Prepare Veggies in Advance: I am far more likely to eat enough vegetables if they are prepared ahead of time. So are my kids. The best time to prepare them is right after a grocery trip. As I’m putting the groceries away, I set the vegetables on the counter to rinse and cut up. Some like to put their prepared veggies in baggies. I love to fill up a large shallow Tupperware container with a rainbow of vegetables. The only problem I have with preparing veggies in advance (other than finding the time) is that my kids may eat them before I’ve had my fill.
  • Purchase Bagged Salad: As much as I love freshly cut up romaine lettuce in my salads, I have more salad if I keep a bag of triple washed salad in the fridge. On the days I’m running short on time, it takes just seconds to pour some salad into a bowl and go.
  • Take the Seven-Veggie Super-Salad Challenge: Years ago, a woman challenged me to include at least seven vegetables in my salads. Some of my favorites include cubed jicama, tomatoes, two or more varieties of lettuce, kale, spinach, colorful bell peppers, green onions, cucumbers, and celery. Sometimes to change things ups, I throw in some blueberries, tangerine sections or strawberries. 
  • Dive into a Delicious Dip –I can only eat so many celery sticks plain, but with a good dip, I could probably eat an entire head. I love Hummus, and White Bean, and want to try Baba Ganoush. Click HERE to see my go-to recipe for Hummus.
  • Tank up on Tomato or Vegetable Juice: When I’m short on available vegetables or especially short on time, I pump up my veggie quotient with a bottle of tomato or vegetable juice. It’s nourishing, cuts the cravings, and ties me over until I make the trip to the grocery store.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for increasing the veggie count in our lives.  Here's to Veggie-Power!

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