Everyone knows that vegetables should be a staple in your diet. Unfortunately, with the way food is produced now, everyone is looking for convenience and satisfaction. I haven’t heard anyone say they’re craving some Broccoli, or they need some Asparagus for dinner (although my friends have probably heard me say that…)! But people constantly crave sugary foods and salty foods.
***I am a Holistic Health Coach however, this blog is for informational purposes ONLY. For more information, please see my blog disclaimer.
A great way to stop the unhealthy cravings is to provide your body with the proper nourishment. If your body is satisfied, you won’t crave the junk food like you do when you’re lacking nutrients. Eating plenty of vegetables is a great way to properly nourish your body as well as fight off cancer, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, and improve your overall health! I’ve seen many mixed messages on how many servings of vegetables you should eat in a day, but from the information I’ve gathered, you should be getting at a minimum, 5 servings, but aim for as much as 10 servings!
10 Servings??!! That’s a lot!
Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of 10 ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, plus how to prepare them so you’ll always have a healthy snack to grab!
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1. Buy veggies that last
Stock your fridge with vegetables like cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, beets, and squash. These vegetables (or similar vegetables) have a pretty long shelf life so they won’t go bad very quickly! If you always have vegetables on hand at home, you’ll be more likely to reach for them when you’re looking for something to eat.
2. Find a good, healthy dressing to make them more palatable
Most people love adding flavorful dressings to raw vegetables to make them taste a little better. Unfortunately, a lot of popular dressings are full of preservatives, genetically modified vegetable oils, soy, MSG, sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and fillers. What’s the point of eating healthy vegetables if you’re going to coat them in unhealthy junk??!
Thankfully, there are better dressing options out there. You just have to do a bit of searching. One of my favorites is the Bragg’s ACV Ginger & Sesame Dressing. It’s base is Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar, and it’s flavor comes from organic seasonings. Sooo much cleaner and healthier than your Hidden Valley Ranch. Another clean brand of dressing is Organic Girl! Again, Organic Girl dressing is made with organic oils and seasonings.
3. Put them in a smoothie
This is my favorite way to get in a lot of vegetables at once! To make a proper green smoothie, you need to put more vegetables in the smoothie than fruit. I like to choose 4-5 vegetables and 2-4 fruits to add to the smoothie with ½ scoop of Vega Berry Protein Powder for a nice flavor.
My favorite green smoothie recipe is:
-2 handfuls of Spinach
-1 handful of Romaine Lettuce
-1 handful of Kale
-1 large Celery Stalk
-1 Apple or Pear
-4 or 5 chunks of pineapple
-1/2 scoop of Vega Berry Protein Powder
-1 Cup of Water
-3 Ice Cubes
Blend together (I like This Blender)
4. Incorporate them in breakfast
I always have eggs, oatmeal, and either a fruit or vegetables. My favorite way to add in vegetables at breakfast is to add them to my eggs! I love sautéing cabbage and kale, then scrambling 2 eggs into the veggies. That with a bowl of oatmeal is the most satisfying, filling breakfast I’ve ever had! On top of that, I get so much energy from it too!
5. Frozen veggies are a great option for quick steaming
I ALWAYS have frozen vegetables on hand. One of my favorite snacks is steamed vegetables. It’s definitely the healthier option to steam them on the stove however, when I’m short on time, I put some frozen veggies in a bowl with a splash of water, cover the bowl with a plate, and steam them in the microwave for 2.5 minutes.
6. Add them to a grain for a quick, healthy side dish
When I meal prep for the week, I always make a big batch of brown rice or quinoa. A super easy side dish is to sauté some vegetables and add them to some rice or quinoa (or even beans or lentils.) Season with a little Himalayan Sea Salt and you’ve got an easy, healthy, side dish!
7. Finish meals with a salad
This is the easiest way to get at least a serving of vegetables with each meal! I like to buy those packages of Organic Sweet Baby Lettuce, Organic Spinach, and Organic Baby Romaine at Whole Foods or Wegmans. I always have a box of leafy greens in the fridge so at the end of a meal, I just put some in a bowl with a little Bragg’s ACV dressing to get a nice serving of greens! It’s definitely become a new habit of mine to have a bowl of salad after my meals.
8. Cut up veggies ahead of time for a quick, go-to snack
With vegetable like carrots and celery, you can cut them up ahead of time and store them in some water. They won’t go bad for a long time and you’ll always have a healthy snack on hand! For a super filling, satisfying snack, eat them with a little peanut butter, almond butter, or hummus! The fiber in the veggies, plus the protein with keep you full for hours! And if you always have veggies ready to eat in the fridge, you’ll be more likely to reach for them when you’re hungry!
9. Make a big batch of roasted veggies to have leftovers
You can’t go wrong with a nice serving of roasted vegetables! I like to make a big batch of them and keep them in the fridge. It’s the perfect snack on its own and the perfect side to a meal. I make roasted veggies with broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, red pepper, asparagus, onion, squash, sweet potato, and red potato. Sometimes I throw carrots in the mix too. You can really use whatever you want! Toss them in a large bowl with some olive oil and seasoning, then stick them in the oven to roast. This is such a great dish to have on hand!
10. Don’t Buy Other Packaged Snacks
If you want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, the easiest way to do it is to not buy other unhealthy snacks! If all that’s in your fridge is vegetables and fruit, that’s you’re only option. Don’t give yourself another option! I know it’s so hard, especially at the grocery store when there’s an abundance of junk food right in front of you. The best way to avoid the junk at the store is to stay in the perimeter of the store. Don’t go wandering down the middle isles. That’s where all the junk food is! Come up with a plan, make grocery lists, and stick to it!
That’s my list! How do you incorporate vegetables in your diet? Let me know in the comments!