Today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day! My favorite day of the year! I have recovered from autoimmune disease and one strategy I have used to reverse my disease process and stay healthy is to wake up every day thinking about how I can consume the maximum number of vegetables possible.
Vegetables are the foundation for overall health and we, as Americans aren’t getting nearly enough. Many of us don’t come close to the minimum recommended amount (3 servings) and we’re lacking in variety too. We treat vegetables as a side item, but they should be the foundation of your diet. Vegetables provide us with valuable minerals, vitamins, fiber, phytonutrients, and water, all of which are crucial for optimal health.
If you aren’t obtaining adequate nutrients from vegetables day in and day out, your body will suffer not only today, but and in the long run. In fact, diets low in vegetables have been implicated in diseases such as depression, adhd, anxiety, cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Simply increasing the number of vegetables you eat every day will not only improve your health, but also your quality of life. You’ll feel better each day and will likely have fewer symptoms of disease.
Adding vegetables to your life can be simple. Here are my top 15 ways to consume more vegetables every day:
Drink a green smoothie. I love green smoothies as they are a great way to pack in nutrition in a small, portable, easy package. Start with unsweetened nut milk, add a handful of spinach, 1 celery stalk, ½ of a small cucumber, ½ cup frozen berries, ½ frozen avocado, and 1 Tbsp chia seeds. Boom, you’ve got a great, filling breakfast with at least 2 servings of vegetables to start the day. Once you get the hang of it, you can change up the base green and try dandelion greens, swiss chard, kohlrabi greens, or collard greens. The combinations are endless when it comes to green smoothies. For more ideas, follow me on Instagram @nutrisensenutrition.
Snack on raw vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers) with hummus or another healthy dip or nut butter.
Cook at least 3 different vegetables for dinner and make enough leftovers for lunch.
Bring leftover vegetables to work for breakfasts, snacks, and/or lunches.
Make an entrée salad for your dinner meal; check out this recipe for an idea.
Bring leftover salad to work for your breakfast.
Try a new vegetable each week.
Instead of eating just eggs for breakfast, make an omelet loaded with spinach, chopped peppers, onions and carrots.
Make a huge batch of vegetable soup and bring leftovers for lunch. Check out my bean and leek soup recipe here.
Make the switch to cauliflower rice in place of regular rice.
Use zucchini or spaghetti squash instead of regular noodles. Check out my recipe here.
Add loads of vegetables to sauces like spaghetti sauce. Check out my recipe here.
Use a collard green for a wrap instead of a tortilla.
Try grilled vegetable kabobs.
Make your own dinner veggie bowls.
Aim for at least 5 servings of vegetables every day (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw = 1 serving) with an ultimate goal of 9 servings per day. Your little gut microbes and mitochondria will thank you and you’ll feel the difference!
If you want more ideas on how to improve your quality of life with food, contact us for a free 15 minute phone consultation.