No matter what type of diet or healthy lifestyle you are trying to follow, every single one of them will have you eating less processed food and more vegetables.
How many vegetables you should be eating every day depends on your calorie intake and weight goals. It will not be the same for everyone. But one thing for sure is that it won’t hurt you to eat too many vegetables.
Getting in the habit of eating vegetables at every meal is a habit you won’t regret creating.
In my opinion, eating vegetables at breakfast is the least natural. After all, it isn’t exactly part of a typical breakfast when you think of bacon, eggs, cereal, oatmeal, beagles, etc.
When I eat vegetables first thing in the morning, it seems… weird. It doesn’t feel like breakfast!
If you want a more traditional breakfast but still trying to get those veggies snuck into the morning meal, try these Green Low-Carb Protein Pancakes. These pancakes taste just like French toast, but there is spinach in them! And NO, you cannot taste the spinach!
Another easy, yet traditional breakfast food, is these Breakfast Egg Mugs. Pretty much any type of egg/omelet type breakfast is perfect for sneaking in onions, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes.
Another one of my favorite breakfast recipes is a Sweet Potato Skillet. Peel and dice sweet potatoes, coat with olive oil and a little bit of salt, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees F — stirring once halfway through. Serve with eggs and avocados.
Smoothies can be another good source of vegetables. No matter what type of smoothie you are making, spinach will always be a good ingredient. Depending on the flavor, carrots, celery, broccoli, kale, cucumbers, or beets would be good.
You would never know that Java Chip Smoothie is healthy and is made with spinach!
Lunch and Supper
Lunch and supper are easier to get in a serving of vegetables because they make perfect side dishes.
I believe the trick is to find a recipe that takes a certain vegetable up a notch so that it is full of flavor, and you don’t feel like a rabbit just munching on lettuce. If you are indifferent about a certain veggie, keep experimenting with different recipes until you find one you love!
For example, my husband never liked asparagus until we started pan-frying it in olive oil and garlic salt. Then when it was tender we add Parmesan cheese. This is the only way he and my children will eat it… but they are eating it and loving it!
We make our zucchini the same way!
Salads are maybe the most obvious way to eat a bunch of vegetables at one time. They make a perfect side to a meal. My favorite homemade salad is my mom’s Berry Spinach Salad — you get your fruits and vegetables!
I also LOVE making these Fried Chicken Tenders and adding them to a bowl of lettuce and spinach, cheddar cheese, red onion, and honey mustard salad dressing for a fried chicken salad!
Another way to get more vegetables into your meal is to add them to your main dishes, even if the recipe doesn’t call for them.
For example, in almost every pasta recipe I will add spinach, diced tomatoes, or diced mushrooms.
Soups are easy to add vegetables to (even if it’s not in the recipe). I will almost always add diced onion, bell peppers, and spinach to a chicken-based soup.
Potatoes are also a great vegetable to add to soup, and they can even replace or reduce the amount of meat in your soup to save you money and stretch out the meal.
This cabbage roll soup is full of vegetables!
I add corn, onions, tomatoes, and peppers to my chili.
Eating healthy snacks is something you have to be very intentional about, or you’ll end up eating processed junk.
If you are craving something crunchy like chips, then a veggie tray could satisfy that crunch without making you feel bad afterward. Sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, and raw bell peppers will give you the satisfying crunch you’re looking for. If the thought of eating raw veggies sounds about as exciting as eating cardboard, then try dipping them in hummus for extra flavor.
I love eating almonds, cubed mozzarella cheese, and cherry tomatoes. This is my go-to snack when I’m trying to be healthy but need a late-night snack.
Don’t forget that smoothies make wonderful snacks too! Read more about that under the Breakfast section at the beginning of this post.
How to Always Have Vegetables On Hand
Fresh produce is great to have on hand and to cook with. However, it can sometimes be difficult to keep it on hand because it needs to be used right away, and it doesn’t stay fresh for long. I often find myself not able to use as many (or any) vegetables because it has been a few days since I’ve been to the store, and I’m all out of something.
Make sure you are storing your vegetables correctly to prevent them from spoiling sooner.
Frozen and canned vegetables solve this issue pretty well. If you have a garden, freezing vegetables makes it easy to have them all year round. My family loves my grandma’s frozen sweet corn!
Remember, it takes time to change your habits and your taste buds!
If you are not used to eating vegetables, then you will not just wake up one day and love them. The longer you go without sugar and junk food — the sweeter fruits and vegetables will taste.
The more you try cooking with vegetables and throwing them into your dishes, the more you will enjoy them.
Be sure to read 10 Sneaky Ways to Add Spinach to Your Diet
What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables?
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