Eat more fruits and vegetables! We’ve all heard that advice, if not a command, our whole lives. If eating well is on your 2018 Resolution list, you’re not alone. Most Americans put some kind of change in their diet at the top of their resolution lists. However, without actual techniques to achieve our goals, those goals are likely to remain just that—goals vs. achievements. If you want to truly commit to eating well this year, start with trying to increase your fruit and veggie intake. Here are 7 easy ways to eat more fruits and vegetables every day!
This is probably one of the best tips for eating more produce. Make your veggies accessible by prepping them in advance. Hit the grocery store on the weekend and come home loaded with peppers, carrots, celery and greens. Wash everything and chop and dice into your preferred method for consumption. If you like to snack (and who doesn’t?), quickly make a crudite platter by having all of your veggies washed and chopped in the fridge. Prefer salad? Get all of the ingredients together so that its just a matter of combining it when you’re ready to eat. Smoothie lover? Wash and chop your greens and fruit, and pre-bag in individual servings. Just add liquid to the mix and blend. You’ll be motivated at how easy it is to grab and go. Try this smoothie recipe for inspiration.
2. Start early.
If you really want to eat more fruit and vegetables, you need to eat it throughout the day. (Not just with your salad at dinner.) Make a veggie scramble in the morning, or add berries to your oatmeal or yogurt. Or try adding some new options into your morning smoothies. Frozen steamed cauliflower is a great addition, adding powerful antioxidants as well as fiber to your morning meal.
3. Keep it interesting.
Every time you go to the store try something new. It can be a new variety of something you love (purple carrots?), or some kind of veggie you’ve never tried before. This is a great reason to sign up for a CSA as well. CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) will supply you with in-season and fresh produce on a weekly basis (starting in June for most of the U.S.). You’ll get to try new types of greens, root veggies and more. If you’re interested, you often need to sign up for a summer CSA share sometime in January or February.
4. Veg-Up Your Soup Repertoire.
Soups offer a great way to eat a variety of veggies. Try chopping veggies at the beginning of the week and if you’ve got leftovers come Friday throw them into a brothy soup like this one and enjoy the veggie-goodness!
5. Join the Zoodle Craze.
There is a reason folks love zoodles. It is a fun way for both kids and adults to increase their veggie intake. And if you’re on a low-carb diet, zucchini noodles make a delicious replacement for their starchy semolina counterparts. I personally love spaghetti squash in place of rice noodles for Pad Thai. Easy to string, slightly sweet, they offer a great flavor combination with the spiciness of Thai. Here’s one of our favorite recipes.
6. Go frozen.
Frozen vegetables are generally packed when they are at their peak flavor. Try frozen spinach (easy for lasagna and smoothies), edamame (an easy snack and great in fried rice), or cauliflower if you need some inspiration.
7. Try a different ratio.
If you’re used to having your veggies make up 1/4 of your dinner plate, try for 1/3 or even better 1/2! Making a sandwich? Try 2:1 of veggies to protein/dairy. You’ll find your sandwich is more interesting and you’re that much closer to reaching your goals. Try this one featuring 7 different veggies!
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.