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One of my biggest tips for ways to change your diet to lose weight is simple – eat more vegetables. Instead of worrying about what you should be cutting out of your diet, focus on the things you should be bringing in!
Even if you (or your kids or your spouse) don’t like vegetables right now, the more you eat them, the more your taste buds will learn to like them. I’m a proven case study on that one!
Vegetables provide a powerhouse of nutrients that your body needs. They are low calorie, but high in fiber, so they are good for filling you up without sending you over your daily calorie limit.
How to Eat More Vegetables
1. PLAN YOUR MEAL AROUND A VEGETABLE DISHInstead of planning your meal around a meat or starch, find a delicious vegetable recipe and plan your meal around it. Look at the grocery ads to see what vegetables are on sale that week. Typically, those will be the freshest, in-season vegetables!
2. ADD A GREEN SMOOTHIE TO YOUR DAYIt’s an easy way to eat vegetables without it tasting like vegetables. If you’re hesitant about putting spinach in a smoothie (I get it! I was too!), try adding just a little bit at first and you can add more as you go. Just be careful not to add too much sugar with flavored yogurts, honey, and other sweeteners! · Here’s a Basic Green Smoothie Recipe (and a time-saving tip for how I prep them in advance!)
3. TRY NEW THINGS!Steph out of your comfort zone and pick out a vegetable you’ve never tried before. Go to a farmer’s market and check out the local produce. You never know what could be your new favorite!
4. STOCK UP ON FROZEN VEGGIESThis is one of my favorite tips of all because life happens. There will be times when you run out of fresh produce and you don’t have time to run to the store. I like to keep big bags of frozen broccoli, green beans, and stir-fry vegetables on-hand at all times for roasting and sautéing. I also like to keep bags of shredded carrots and zucchini available to throw in casseroles, meatloaves, and sauces. Here’s what an example of one of my freezer prep sessions looks like.
5. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES FIRSTWhenever I go to potlucks and parties where I know I will be tempted to eat foods that aren’t so good for me, I always follow this tip! This not only makes sure that you’re eating your vegetables, but it also helps to fill you up on nutritious food and it may keep you from reaching for that extra slice of pizza or handful of chips.
6. HAVE THEM PREPPED & READY TO EATBuy sugar snap peas, baby carrots, or cherry tomatoes that are ready to eat straight out of the container. When you get home from the store, spend a few minutes slicing up cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery sticks to have ready to snack on. Single-serve hummus and guacamole make great dips!
7. PUT THEM IN PLAIN SIGHT.Fruit and veggie drawers in refrigerators are wonderful, but many of them are not transparent. You are more likely to eat things that you can easily see, so pull the spinach, carrots, and cauliflower to the front of those shelves for easy access.
8. EAT THE RAINBOW(No, Skittles don’t count!) Try to eat different colored vegetables to make sure you’re getting a balance of all of the wonderful nutrients they have to offer – purple cabbage, green broccoli, yellow bell peppers, red tomatoes, and more.
9. PUT VEGETABLES INTO EVERYTHINGSauté onions when you brown your ground beef, add spinach to your scrambled eggs, and add shredded carrots or zucchini into spaghetti sauces, chilis, and meatloaves. You can steam and puree vegetables as well to add to sauces. Try cauliflower or butternut squash in mac & cheese. · Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Recipe · Single Serving Spinach Scrambled Eggs Recipe
10. GRILL OR ROAST THEM.If you get tired of plain ol’ salads and veggie trays (I get sick of those fast!), try grilling or roasting zucchini, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant and more. It caramelizes the sugars and boost the flavor, making them even more delicious! · Roasted Baby Carrots · Roasted Spaghetti Squash · Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes · Roasted Zucchini Spears · Grilled Vegetable Medley · Grilled Parmesan Zucchini
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