If you’re not eating vegetables, you’re missing out on important nutrients you need in your diet.
It’s recommended that people have at least 2-3 servings of vegetables every day. The amount can vary depending on the veggie, but the general rule of thumb is that a half cup of a vegetable, or one full cup if it is a leafy green vegetable, equates to one serving. While they might not always be as appealing as a burger, which is why many people struggle to eat enough of them, veggies are still a crucial component for your health. Here, Atlanta-based personal trainer David Reagan shares few ways to increase your consumption of vegetables in your daily diet.
From finding unique, flavorful combinations that you can make at home to what to do when you go out to eat at restaurants, here are five tips on how to add veggies to your meals.
1. Add or Replace at Restaurants
When you’re out to eat, it can be easy to just order a side of fries with your meal. Instead, opt for a side of veggies or a salad, or ask to add a veggie to your order.
Depending on the restaurant you’re at, they may have delectable seasonings or their own collection of house-made salad dressings to add flavor to whatever you order.
2.Cook What’s In-Season
A big mistake people make when cooking is choosing foods that are not in season. While some might still turn out alright, most out-of-season foods will lack the freshness and flavor in-season foods have.
For instance, veggies like zucchini and cucumbers are at their peak in the summer, while root vegetables like carrots and turnips are best in winter.
3.Don’t Eat Them Plain
Veggies have a lot of flavor on their own, but sometimes you need to dress them up a bit to really bring it out. Eat them raw with a dip or roast them.
Toss some root vegetables in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and thyme and put them in the oven on a sheet pan to roast them for an incredible side dish.
It can be a struggle keeping fresh produce in the house.
Instead, stock up on your favorite frozen and canned veggies. They can be made in a pinch, and don’t require much prep.
5.If All Else Fails, Hide Them
Hiding vegetables in meals is a great parenting technique for getting kids to eat their vegetables, but it’s great for adults, too.
If you struggle with the taste of veggies, hide the flavors in your dishes. A few good examples include chocolate zucchini bread, adding them to fruit smoothies, and sneaking them into your favorite red pasta sauce.
The next time you make spaghetti, simply dice up some carrots and celery, soften them by sautéing them in a pan for a few minutes, then blend them into your favorite sauce and serve on top of pasta. You’ll hardly be able to tell there are veggies in there!
About David Reagan:
David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer who specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives in Atlanta, Georgia, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.