How to add more veggies into your diet

Three out of four people don’t get even close to the 5 servings of fruit and vegetables recommended per day.  You don’t have to make yourself part of this statistic!  Adding more veggies to your diet can be easy and delicious.  Use these simple tips to incorporate more veggies into your life and work your way towards becoming a healthier person!

  • Smoothies:  Shakes are a great way to start adding veggies into your diet first thing in the morning.  Simply slip a few collard/kale/arugula greens into the blender with the ingredients for a normal fruit smoothie.  I like to do 1/2 apple, a few frozen organic strawberries, and 2-3 large green leaves.  Blend it up, grab a few nuts, and you’ll be good to go all morning.  You can also experiment by adding other veggies, such as leftover roasted butternut squash.
  • Make soup:  Soup is a great way to utilize veggies.  Soup allows you to combine veggies with very minimal fat for a delicious meal.  The flavors of the vegetables melt together to create a taste that can rarely go wrong.  I particularly like to add mushrooms to veggie soups because they provide a strong, earthy taste, and add a nice chewy texture to the meal that will take your mind off of any missing meat.  Make a big batch and freeze individually sized portions for later.  Need help getting started?  Try my Mushroom and Leek Soup recipe.
  • Take a snack break:  If you’re a frequent snacker, consider keeping your snacks to fruits or veggies to avoid excess calorie consumption.  Vegetables make easy go-to snacks.  Try baby carrots, cut up peppers, steamed broccoli, kale chips, or any other of your favorite vegetables.
  • Pre-wash and prepare:  Take time each week to wash and cut-up purchased vegetables and place them in sealed containers.  Preparing unwashed vegetables can seem daunting and time consuming, especially when you’re in a crunch for time.  Having them already washed and prepared makes using vegetables hard to resist.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market:  Farmer’s markets are typically loaded with tons of in-season vegetables.  The color display alone makes trips to the farmer’s markets enjoyable, and will help you get excited about eating more veggies.  Pick up something you’ve never used before and use it as inspiration to experiment with new recipes and try something new.  You’ll be amazed at the variety and abundance of delicious produce at farmer’s markets!

Like I said in yesterday’s post, take this next upcoming week to focus on incorporating larger portions of veggies and smaller portions of meat into your meals.  Take a leap out of your comfort zone, try new things, have fun, and get healthy!

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  • Reply
    David Hennessey
    January 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Hi there,
    I just checked to see if my latest posting showed up and I stumbled on your blog. Great picture on the top of your blog. The top of my blog is part of a picture I took from the summit of Needle Peak in British Columbia. This is the link http://www.TheWonderTechnique.com

    Yes! As you believe Life is always better outside. For me it works whether I am wandering in the mountains alone or swimming in the sea with my children. Getting outside is what keeps me fit.

    Thanks for keeping up the promotion of eating an increased variety of vegetables. I have written on this topic for years encouraging people to shop using colors. Works great as an approach and children love the use of colors too.
    Keep being happy, its the best choice.
    David
    http://www.TheWonderTechnique.com

  • Reply
    Lily @ Lily's Health Pad
    January 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I’ve really been working on this lately. Unfortunately, it’s always easier for me to add fruits than veggies. Fruits like apples and oranges are so much more portable than veggies.

    I’m guilty, too, of eating the same veggies over and over. Carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes…I need to branch out!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    January 22, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Smoothies and soup, my two favorites!! I also like to just stack them high on a plate and munch away!
    Great tips. I can’t wait for Farmer’s Markets to start again.

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    January 22, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Great tips!

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    January 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    “Take time each week to wash and cut-up purchased vegetables and place them in sealed containers. ” Ah, this is such a huge help. Half the battle of eating veggies is having to clean and cut them–especially lettuce.

    By the way, is that a photo of Headhouse Square farmers market? I used to live right there and walk to it every weekend. Alas, my current farmers market (though not in season right now) is much further away.

  • Reply
    Heather
    January 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the tips!

    I try to add in fruits and veggies when I can – it is hard though sometimes to reach that 5-a-day!

  • Reply
    Mari
    January 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I love to have my veggies in the form of Stirfry, Soups, Salads, Smoothies, Roasted, hmmm I guess in anyway lol

  • Reply
    Melinda
    January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Great post. It is true and as dietitians we work hard to get people to do this. Whenever there are talks of increasing the recommendations I always wonder why if they current ones aren’t even met. Gulidelines came out a while back for (I think)12 servings, each of which was 1/2 cup. Me and the other dietitians in my group were wondering how we could get people to do that if they couldn’t even make 5 a day. I try for more fruit breakfast and lunch and then veggies lunch and dinner times. Although I have been doing frozen fruit on fro yo for evening snacks.

  • Reply
    Ariana
    January 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Very interesting article, I really love shakes and smoothies.

    I just wanted to mention that some vegetables are loosing vitamins if they are precutted (for example carrots or cucumbers), therefore I am not sure whether it makes sense to prepare them already for one week…?

  • Reply
    Nicole
    January 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Most people need to work on this! I love making smoothies. When fruit is in season or on sale, I stock up and freeze whatever I don’t use before it goes bad. Then I blend the frozen fruit with Keifer or skim milk. Delicious! I add in flax seed oil and protein powder, too. Mmm mmm! Great ideas!

  • Reply
    Andrea@WellnessNotes
    January 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Great tips to add more veggies to your diet! I love, love veggie soups. And kale chips.

    You are so right, getting enough veggies doesn’t have to be hard! 🙂

  • Reply
    Teniah Howell
    January 23, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Another fantastic blog! Love these great ideas…I am a huge fan of green smoothies and have now been having one every morning with my breakfast! (Also adding Barley Grass and Spirulina) I am also a huge soup fan (not sure why) and although it’s summer in NZ, I make soups every week anyway!!…..Love your advice and encouraging others to incorporate more vege…Keep them coming!

  • Reply
    Bekah
    February 3, 2010 at 7:49 am

    LOVE this post! Aahh I’m finaaally starting to get my groove here at the CIA with the meal plan and whatnot. And snagging fruit at every meal when I can and taking a salad container to go. All the time. And the veggies are so fresh and so good! So I’m definitely taking advantage of that. Last night pretty sure I took like 5 dollars worth of cherry tomatoes in my container. LOL.

    Love my veggies! And sooo do you. 🙂

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