We’ve all heard that it’s important to eat our fruits and vegetables. Full of vitamins and nutrients, not to mention fiber, they’re a key food group for our bodies. But what if you’re having trouble actually getting enough into your daily meals?
Give these creative tips from CoreLife Dietitian Katy Misenheimer a try to get more fruits and veggies into your diet:
1. Sneak into a Smoothie
Smoothies are a wonderful on-the-go snack or meal. When adding vegetables to a fruit smoothie, more often than not you can’t even taste it because the fruit flavor is so much more potent. If you struggle with getting enough vegetables, try adding a handful of spinach or kale into a smoothie. Just make sure you have some banana and berries in there too!
A great swap for pasta lovers is a ‘veggie’ pasta. Zucchini is the most popular spiralized vegetable because since it is softer, making it is easy to spiralize by hand. You could make your whole pasta entree out of zucchini noodles, commonly known as “zoodles”, or you could try doing half pasta and half zoodles. Add a protein and pesto or marinara, and your new take on pasta is ready to eat!
3. Go for the Cauliflower
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables because it can be so easily added to a variety of meals to increase your servings of vegetables. Try mincing cauliflower very fine (or in a food processor) to take the place of rice, or mash steamed cauliflower to take the place of mashed potatoes. Much like the ‘zoodles,’ you do not have to replace with the cauliflower alternative completely. Replacing half would still add far more nutrition and fiber!
4. Step Up Your Sandwich or Wrap
Instead of sticking to your basic sandwich with meat and cheese, throw in some vegetables for good measure. Spinach, tomatoes, onions, bean sprouts, and cucumbers all taste great on a sandwich or wrap and add a satisfying crunch. Or go wild – add sliced apple or strawberries!
5. Roast or Grill Out
One of the easiest ways to prepare veggies is by simply filling a sheet pan full of different types and let your oven do the roasting. On the grill, fill a grill pan with chopped veggies, skewer thick slices of peppers, onions, and squash, or place larger cuts of veggies, like large portobello mushrooms or eggplant, straight on the grill. Either way, you’ll bring out a whole new texture and flavor profile than what you might expect, and you can easily add seasoning and flavors that will cook into the food.
6. Make Breakfast Count
It’s easy to incorporate fruit at breakfast as toppings on cereal or yogurt, or eating whole apples, oranges, or bananas on the go. But what about vegetables? Try making an egg casserole on the weekends that you can eat portions of for the whole week. Mix up some eggs and toss in your favorite veggies and bake in the oven. You’re all set for the week to slice off a square and reheat in the morning for a quick and warm breakfast to start your day off right.
Questions? Want to learn more? CoreLife is here to help! Set up a free consultation to learn more about the program, check out what our patients are saying about their success or visit us on Facebook @corelifemd.