The New Year has come, and with it the temptation to deprive ourselves in the name of wellness. Instead, I’m trying to think about the gospel of MORE: more sleep, more meditation, more time with people I love, more creativity, and more delicious foods. Over the next few weeks, I hope to encourage you with short articles on getting MORE out of this year.
For this week’s mini newsletter, I’m starting with more veggies. Personally, I’ve been challenging myself to increase my vegetable intake to get more nutrients and fiber in my diet. I always seem to have more energy and feel better when I’m full of veggies. If you’d like more veggies in your life, try some of the tips below that have been working for me. I should note that I am not a nutritional expert — just a fellow human in need of more veggies!
1. Start with veggies you like, and have them readily available.
Rather than forcing yourself to eat veggies you hate, start with eating more of what you like — and be sure to keep them around. For example, I like orange bell peppers and cucumbers enough to eat them as snacks. I’ve started buying packs of cucumbers and, when I have an orange pepper around, I try to cut it and keep the slices in a container in the fridge. That way, I have a yummy vegetable snack handy when I’m feeling peckish.
2. Wash, cut, and store veggies the day you buy them OR when you’re already in chopping mode.
This summer we bought a farm share, which offers loads of farm-fresh veggies each week. I washed, cut, and stored the vegetables the day I brought them home. I noticed I didn’t waste my veggies, and I was more likely to add veggies to my snacks and meals because the bulk of the work had already been done. When our farm share ended, I tried to keep the discipline of chopping ahead of time. Now when I’m dicing veggies for dinner, I’ll go ahead and cut a few extra veggies to make preparation easier the following night.
3. Throw some veggies in a smoothie.
Add a bit of spinach, kale, zucchini, or cauliflower to a fruity smoothie if you’re looking to up your veggie intake. You probably won’t taste much of a difference, but start with smaller amounts if veggies are an acquired taste for you. Stumped on what to add? Try this green smoothie guide I whipped up a while back.
4. Add veggies to scrambled eggs or roasted potatoes.
For a fluffy breakfast scramble, add a little finely grated zucchini to beaten eggs before cooking. If you need an easy side for dinner, try savory roasted potatoes studded with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini. Roasted veggies and potatoes are a cinch — just chop your veggies and spuds into bite-size pieces, toss them in a tablespoon or so of oil, and season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning if you like a little kick. Roast in a pan at 400 degrees until the veggies are tender and fragrant, about 30 minutes (I usually let the veggies cook while I prepare the rest of the meal).
If you try any of these tips, let me know how it goes! I hope your new year is filled with lots of delicious veggies!