According to the CDC, 90% of American adults don’t get the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily!
This means most of the population is lacking in fiber and the beneficial micronutrients that only whole foods provide us (and our friendly gut bacteria!).
Whole foods help keep us satiated, mentally sharp, slim, energetic and healthy in all senses of the word. So it’s important that they are the centerpiece of our diets.
Here are 8 Ways to Help Sneak More Veggies Into Your Diet —
1. Start Your Day with Veggies:
Your first calories of the day are extremely important. This first meal is what sets the stage for your metabolism by kickstarting your digestive system and effecting the response of your gut bacteria and hunger hormones. So no matter what time you eat your first meal, make it vegetable-rich. Doing so will help fend off cravings and manage your mood and energy throughout the day. On top of that, starting your day with plants will give you a bit of a head start towards meeting your daily “veggie quota”. And if you happen to stall or eat something less than ideal in the evening, at least you got a good helping of veggies in for your first meal! My favorite vegetable-rich “break-fast” meals include things like veggie scrambles, loaded root veggie bowls and veggie frittatas. I’ve got you covered with delicious recipes for all 3 in the Dream Body Recipe Book — click here to download your digital copy.
2. Replace a Meal with a Smoothie:
Smoothies are perhaps one of the easiest ways to sneak more fruits & veggies into any diet. They’re extremely versatile, very filling and can be ready in no time at all! Click here for my post about how to create the perfect body-boosting smoothie as well as a few common mistakes to avoid before you blend!
3. Jazz Up Your Salads:
Salads are a great, grounding and refreshing way to enjoy vegetables. But who wants to eat a boring, pale, tasteless salad?
No one! Yet most people make boring salads and then turn right around and dub salads as something they “hate”. You can enjoy a plate of greens and the benefits of including more vegetables in your diet by jazzing your salads up a bit. Instead of plain ‘ole iceberg lettuce, consider using a more nutrient-dense base like lacinato kale, spinach or even a pre-packaged spring mix. Include your favorite protein like organic grass fed steak, tender organic smoked chicken or organic marinated tempeh. And don’t forget about your healthy fats! Avocado can add density and creaminess, while nuts and seeds can add a pleasant texture and welcomed crunch. Last but not least, top your salad off with a quality dressing. You can keep things simple with a pinch of salt and pepper and few drizzles of EVOO and balsamic vinegar or turn to a store-bought dressing from a reputable brand that uses high-quality whole food ingredients – Primal Kitchen is a favorite in our household.
4. Make Veggie-Based Soups:
This time of year is perfect for . Not only are stews, chilis and soups delicious and perfect for cold weather, they’re also super easy to make and very nutrient-dense. It’s incredibly simple to pack into these types of dishes herbs, spices and veggies that keep you fit and offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anticancer properties.
5. Try a Veggie Powder:
For extremely picky eaters and/or those who may not have access or time to gobble up all of their veggies for the day, a veggie powder may be the perfect solution! I recommend VeroVive™ Fruits & Greens (use code: Lauren10 for 10% off your order!). This easy-to-mix, great tasting, powdered blend of super fruits, veggies, and probiotics can be added to a smoothie or used on its own blended with water or nut milk. One scoop provides the antioxidant power of 20+ servings of fruits and vegetables, so even if you or your kids don’t eat a single additional veggie that day, you’re covered!
6. Plan Ahead:
I love meal prep, so of course it made its way onto this list. It’s a great way to master consistency with healthy eating for many people. If leftovers aren’t “your thing”, however, or doing a full blown weekly meal prep is not an option, no worries! You can still implement this tip in a few different ways. You can buy a pre-made veggie tray or chop and store your favorite snacking veggies like cucumbers, carrots, radishes, celery, olives and cauliflower. Roasted veggies also make quick, nutritious side dishes. You can prep and roast a big batch on the weekend to use in salads and alongside your main dishes throughout the week. Delicious fiber-rich options include things like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
7. Add Veggies to Sauces:
Sauces are great for sneaking in a few extra veggies. You can mince/finely chop or puree them to make them less detectable to even the pickiest of eaters. Pureed cauliflower is great to hide in creamy sauces and zucchini and broccoli are easy to disguise in marinara and similar sauces.
8. Swap Out Grains and Starches:
Enjoy a spin on your favorite meals by using non-starchy vegetable bases instead of grains and starches. Use zoodles instead of pasta for spaghetti, riced cauliflower instead of rice grains, thin sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles, mashed yams or cauliflower instead of mashed white potatoes, or dehydrated cruciferous veggies to make pizza crust! The options are truly endless with a little creativity.
I hope these tips help you get a few more veggies on your plate each day. Looking and feeling great in your body can happen one bite at a time.
If you’re looking to clean up your diet *without* giving up
the tastes and textures you know and love,
I’ve got just the thing for you. ♥️ (click the image below for details!)