Sometimes eating our veggies is easier said than done.
It’s one of those things we know we’re supposed to do and then kind of promise ourselves we’ll do better tomorrow but usually don’t really get around to it…
I’ve totally been there!
I’ve found myself standing in the middle of the produce aisle, on more than one occasion, looking at a small mountain of broccoli that just happens to be on sale and thinking “I should probably try to eat something greens this week but I just really can’t do steamed broccoli AGAIN!’ to then find myself quickly pushing the shopping cart in the opposite direction from broccoli mountain.
Boredom is the number one reason in my house that we might not get those 5 or 7 or 10 servings a day. And understandably so – serving up unseasoned steamed, soggy or mushy vegetables every night isn’t exactly the most exciting way to jazz up dinnertime.
However, when we start to mix things up with different veggies prepared in different ways, add in more different flavours, and get just a little bit creative, eating all of the veggies becomes much easier and much, MUCH more delicious!
Why Eat More Veggies?
Because eating more vegetables probably the EASIEST thing you can do to eat better to feel better. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre (and so much more!) and eating more of them makes you feel good in every physical, mental and emotional way possible.
But again, easier said than done.
Enter my 7 favourite (and easy! and simple!) ways to eat more vegetables.
I can honestly say I’ve done – and still do! – each one of these activities in my own quest to eat better every day. These strategies are not particularly painful or difficult to implement – it’s more about making simple changes and forming new habits.
And speaking from experience here – Take it slow! Try one thing at a time! Figure out how to make that one thing work for before moving onto the next. Because, as cliche and blah blah blah as it sounds, eating better really is a marathon, not a sprint!
7 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables!
1 – Be Sneaky
Adding in an extra serving of veggies where you (or your family) least expects them is a great way to eat more veggies every day (without them even knowing!).
Try stirring some finely grated carrots into muffins or oatmeal (hello, carrot cake is a thing for a reason!!), blending a handful of leafy greens (like spinach or kale or try some chopped frozen cauliflower) into your morning smoothie, adding some finely chopped vegetables into your favourite pasta sauce, or try pureeing your favourite roasted vegetables into a soup to eat as an appetizer before dinner.
The possibilities are endless and most of the time you won’t even notice those extra veggies are in there!
2 – Stay in Season
Foods that are in season (READ: foods that are able to be harvested where you live during a given time of year; this varies region to region so what’s in season on the west coast might not be in season on the east) are always best.
They taste the best, they are always fresh and vibrant, AND they are usually their cheapest at the grocery store and your local farmer’s market too.
And did I mention that they taste the best! Because when your food tastes its best, you’ll want to eat more of it.
3 – Have a Plan
Plan to eat meals that use a variety of different vegetables each week and make sure you include all those vegetables on your shopping list.
Having a plan for the meals you make each week is the best way to stay on track, stay focused and keep healthy eating a priority. By making a weekly meal plan before going grocery shopping and then setting aside some time to wash, peel, chop, dice, slice, cut or roast all the seasonal produce you just purchased will save you a ton of time in the long run.
Trust me – you’ll be thankful the days you come home beyond exhausted from work and are less tempted to turn to take-out because a healthy, veggie-packed dinner is practically ready!
4 – Love What You Love
Variety and the rainbow are wonderful when it comes to vegetables and eating enough of them but sometimes our taste buds just don’t agree.
Forcing yourself to eat brussels sprouts or kale when you really don’t enjoy them isn’t fun or delicious. And it’s certainly not going to make you want to eat them every.single.day. Make a list of the vegetables that you do love and focus on those ones.
Experiment with a different cooking method, different ways to cut or prepare them (hello, cauliflower steaks are a lot more fun than plain old florets!) or even try frozen or precut to make your life even easier. (And if every once and a while you’re feeling really adventurous, don’t be afraid to try a new vegetable too).
Love the vegetables that you know you love.
5 – Use Bold Flavours
Spice up your life… literally. Open up that spice cupboard and experiment with different flavour combinations. Using a variety of different flavours, vinegars, spices and herbs are all great ways to keep your veggies exciting and delicious. Some really great combinations are:
- cumin + paprika + dried dill
- maple syrup + cinnamon + sea salt
- chilli powder + dried oregano + garlic
- lemon + garlic + parsley
- balsamic + mustard + honey + dried rosemary
6 – Keep Them In Sight
Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Don’t let this happen to all the beautiful fruits and vegetables you bought this week. Keep your vegetables front and centre in the fridge and pantry so they are easily accessible and always on your mind (and so that less healthy options aren’t always stealing your attention).
Bonus points if those easily accessible vegetables are those ones that have been washed, peeled, chopped, diced, sliced, cut or roasted from your meal prep session.
7 – When in Doubt, Salad
A meal-sized salad can often contain more than 4 servings of vegetables just in one sitting!
And salads don’t have to be boring! Make salads beautiful and delicious by using a variety of colours, textures, healthy fats and proteins.
Try combining lots of chopped or shredded vegetables and different greens (like baby spinach, arugula or kale) with lots of crunch and textures (like seeds, dried fruits or fruits), and top it all off with some healthy grains (like quinoa, brown rice or millet), lean proteins (like canned fish, hard-boiled eggs, lentils), and healthy fats (avocado, nuts or cheese) for the most filling lunch you’ve had in awhile.
Recipe Inspiration: Give homemade salad dressing a try! Mix 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, a dash of salt and a pinch of dried herbs.
Print it off, fill it out and keep it posted in the kitchen for times when you need extra inspiration and motivation!
And as always let me know how I can support you as you start to eat more vegetables! Leave a comment below with all your favourite ways to eat more veggies!