Most people realize they need more veggies, but tend to leave them out of their meals. They simply need a little help or encouragement to actually get them! Once people see how easily vegetables can be deliciously incorporated into their lives, they start to bump up their intake. Besides making/ordering omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added, one of the best things you can do at any meal is order (or microwave from frozen at home if short on time) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil. Simply mix them right in whatever meal you are eating and you’ll add great texture, flavor and color to your meal and the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal.
Chinese Chicken and rice? Pasta and chicken? Mac ‘n cheese? You end up eating less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies. (Added bonus: If you’re a fan of large helpings you can bag a third of the meal for later and mix the veggies right in the portion you have and you’ll fill your stomach with nutrients and fiber but without extra calories. This way you won’t feel cheated or deprived because your meal won’t appear smaller, only your waistline will!).
Try these other simple tips to get more vegetables in your diet:
- Use nori or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread.
- Eat your rice and other grain-based meals by putting them in cups made with veggies-like scooped out tomatoes and bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber boats—these are delicious shells for the carbs and help to keep the carb portion in check (we have several recipes that do this in our book).
- You can also easily make dips and spreads with spinach and yogurt—we have many veggie based dips that can double as sauces for grains and meats and are perfect for dipping veggies).