Spring Cleaning from the Inside-Out
The holidays are well behind us, and spring brings more light, warmer days and opportunities to add a nutritional boost from seasonal produce to your plate. Even if you know the health benefits of vegetables and enjoy their flavor, it can be challenging to get the recommended five to seven servings of vegetables per day. Vegetables are full of fiber, antioxidants and are low in calories. It's hard to get too many vegetables!
- Snack on vegetables: Mix up the normal baby carrot routine and add snap peas, jicama, or broccoli to your lunch box. Try the Veggie Dip recipe (below) or hummus with raw vegetables for a tastier, more satisfying snack.
- Get veggies in the morning: Put a few handfuls of spinach or kale in smoothies (the fruit will disguise the taste of the leafy greens!), add diced onions and mushrooms to an omelet or top an egg with tomato slices.
- Eat at least one cooked and one raw vegetable at every meal: Load your normal sandwich with sprouts, lettuce, and shredded carrots and have a side of tomato soup.
- Double the amount of recommended vegetables in recipes and feature vegetables as the main dish: Instead of focusing lunch and dinner around meat, make vegetables the main focus of the meal.
- Ask for a side of steamed vegetables when ordering out: Some studies show that cooked vegetables are more satisfying than salads. Skip the dressing and extra calories that come with salad add-ons, such as croutons and cheese, by ordering steamed vegetables with a lemon slice on the side.
The best way to make sure you're getting enough vegetables is to track it. Tally how many vegetables you eat everyday and try to outdo yourself by increasing your vegetables every week.