Here at Flawed yet Function, I believe in eating real, whole food all the time. This is not an easy task for most people these days given the prevalence of junk food and the constant exposure to media telling us how “healthy” it is! I’m continuing on in a series to help you start eating healthier food. Today we’re going to talk about vegetables. It’s the elephant in the room. You knew it was coming, right? We all need to eat more vegetables. Here are some tips to help you accomplish that.
Did you miss the first three posts? Check them out below!
Add One Serving of Vegetables at a Time
Maybe this goes without saying, but don’t kill yourself and your ambition by trying to go from 0 or 1 serving of vegetables a day to 5 or 6. Add one serving of vegetables at a time.
Start with dinner because that is the most acceptable meal to have vegetables at, right? Figure out what a true serving of whatever vegetable you are cooking is, measure it, then eat it. Easy as that. Stick with this for a few days or weeks until it is a habit.
Next move to lunch, add one serving of vegetables to every lunch until it is normal, then move to breakfast. It is so hard for us to wrap our minds around eating veggies for breakfast! TV commercials have done a great job to get us thinking sugary cereals, pop-tarts, are a part of this complete breakfast. Ha! They are not.
Need ideas for what to serve at breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Follow me on Pinterest!
Eat Two Servings of Vegetables at Each Meal
Once you’ve got one serving of vegetables down pat, up the ante. Eat two servings at every meal. This might be two different vegetables (perhaps for dinner) or it might just be a heaping pile of raw carrots for lunch.
I bet you are cringing right now reading this. Two servings of vegetables at every meal??? I could never eat that much! Want to know a secret? This step will be easier than the first. Getting over the initial hurdle of eating veggies at every meal and making a habit of preparing them is far harder than just eating more. Trust me. This will be easier.
Mix Up How You Eat Veggies
It is easy to fall into a rut in any type of cooking, and the same goes for your vegetables. However, to keep things interesting and you on track with your health, make an effort to mix things up. Below are some ideas…
At dinner eat a fresh garden salad with a hot roasted vegetable.
For lunch, try eating only raw vegetables: carrots, celery, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, snow peas, etc.
Dips: make use of any dip that follows your diet, especially at the beginning of your journey. It will make eating a lot of vegetables so much easier! Here are some good combinations…
Celery & almond butter (peanut butter)
Carrots and hummus
Sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo
Cucumbers and diary-free “ranch“
Serve Yourself a Whole Serving
…then eat it all. Yep, this is a hard one sometimes when you’re starting out. A serving of vegetables is bigger than you think (and a serving of ice cream is smaller than you think…). You will get better at eating them, and you will find you enjoy them! But there might be hard meals at first. So be your own momma, serve up your plate then finish it.
Go back and Forth on Your Plate
One more being-your-momma suggestion. If you are struggling with a particular vegetable, eat one bite of the vegetable then one bite of the main course or fruit (whatever is more appetizing than the vegetable!). Continue going back and forth until it’s gone. I tell my kids this almost every day. They were on a broccoli hating kick for a while so I had to remind them to mix up their bites so they didn’t have only broccoli left to eat at the end of the meal. Guess what happened just last night? They both ate their entire serving of roasted broccoli WITHOUT complaining and WITHOUT me reminding them to eat it. This will happen for you too! Just keep working at it!
Eat All the Vegetables First
Or do the complete opposite, instead of dragging out the vegetables through the entire meal, just eat them all first then attack the rest of the meal. This is a good idea if (1) you don’t care for the vegetables and would rather wolf them down quickly or (2) you’d like to temper your appetite for the rest of the meal. If you fill up your stomach with vegetables first, you will definitely eat less of the rest of the meal.
There are many ways to go about eating more vegetables in your day-to-day life. These are just the top six methods that I actually use for myself and my family. I hope they inspire you to begin a plan to eat more vegetables. Your body will thank you!
Don’t forget to read the first three posts in this series!