Not enough of us eat all the veggies we should for the day.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
I never cared about what I ate, how I ate, or when I ate. However, once I started going to a nutritionist, a whole new world opened up to me about how food affects the body. No longer was I someone who cared about eating foods that made me lose weight. I was more interested in what was in the food and how it would take care of my body.
VEGGIES ARE GOOD FOR YOU
Eating a diet rich in veggies and fruits can reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and can even prevent certain types of cancers. Veggies have potassium, Vitamins A & C, dietary fiber, and folate (folic acid). All this can aid in the body getting the nutrients needed for optimum health.
So, how can we incorporate more veggies a day? Here are some ways I began to integrate them into my diet more often. I added veggies to EVERY meal.
VEGGIES FOR BREAKFAST
- Typically, I’ll have a couple of eggs with some egg whites. Put arugula or baby spinach on the plate first, with a little bit of olive oil, avocado oil, or homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Most times, I’ll cook my eggs over easy and with the heat of the eggs, it will wilt the leaves.
- Another option is to sauté some shaved Brussel sprouts in avocado oil and have them with your eggs as a side dish.
- Sauté mushrooms with leftover broccoli. I’ll cook the broccoli in chicken broth the night before. For more flavor and variety, I’ll add sausage crumbles and eat it with my eggs as well.
- Asparagus makes a wonderful side dish in the mornings. I cut the long ends of the asparagus, boil some water with chicken broth, dump the asparagus in the boiling water for about 3 to 4 minutes. To keep them crisp, I’ll take them out and dump them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking and getting too wilted. Then, I’ll sauté them in avocado oil with mushrooms, slivered almonds and some sea salt. These veggies can be used in the morning with your eggs or added to any meal during the day.
FRUIT FOR BREAKFAST
Another option is Chia Seed Pudding. Chia seeds have omega-3s which help in numerous ways for health. They have high fiber and protein content and can help aid in inflammation. Soak ¼ cup of chia seeds in 1 cup of almond milk with a little vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon overnight. You can add honey or organic maple syrup for flavor. In the morning, chop up some strawberries, a kiwi, or blueberries, blackberries (whatever fruit of your choice, but not too much – again, watch your sugar intake). I add a few walnuts and some unsweetened shaved coconut flakes.
VEGGIES FOR LUNCH
One thing I’d never liked until recently was putting fruit in a salad. I recommend blueberries, since they’re high in antioxidants, and maybe a few strawberries. Try not to use dried fruit, as that can be high in sugar. You don’t want to negate what the veggies are doing to heal your body by adding too many things in your salads.
Salad dressings can be dangerous too. I make my own so that I know exactly what I’m allowing in my stomach. You can check out my post on Instagram for the blackberry dressing I use. I’ll add 3 ounces of chicken breast on top for protein. You can add garbanzo beans, quinoa, avocado, options are endless.
If you’re not a salad person, you can always try a protein shake. I love Garden of Life’s Chocolate Whey Protein Powder, and Flow Supps Vanilla Salted Caramel Protein Powder. I add a couple of handfuls of spinach and some blueberries with either almond butter, or peanut butter, and homemade almond milk. I’ll also add a scoop or two of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for added protein. Add some ice and you got yourself a yummy and nutritious protein drink.
VEGGIES FOR DINNER
Other days I’ll cook grass fed ground beef and add tomato sauce. I’ll make the zucchini into noodles and place them onto a pan for a few minutes to coat them with avocado or olive oil with some garlic. I’ll top the zucchini noodles with the ground beef so that it feels like I’m having spaghetti.
Wild caught salmon is great, and you can always top it with homemade pesto sauce or homemade teriyaki sauce. With salmon, I love to eat Brussel sprouts and a sweet potato on the side.
Sweet potatoes can seem boring or dry, but I add a little MCT Oil on top of it from Garden of Life and it gives it a little taste of coconut, which makes it fun. If I don’t have a sweet potato, I’ll have a half cup of cooked quinoa or Lundberg’s wild rice. That rice cooked in chicken broth tastes amazing!
I’ve sautéed kale or Swiss chard with purple onion and added a tiny bit of sour cream if you want something decadent. Or I’ll add freshly grated parmesan cheese to the dish.
VEGGIES OR FRUIT FOR SNACK
Or make your celery sticks fun with cream cheese or almond/peanut butter (whichever preferred though almond butter is the best choice).
You can always prepare a green juice, but again, watch for sugar intake.
Remeber, veggies don’t have to be boring. You can learn to love an array of different vegetables if you keep an open mind to not only trying new things, but to find ways to be creative in the way you cook them. It will help you stay healthy, and your immune system to stay strong.