There is a ton of conflicting nutrition information out there. Sometimes it even sends my head spinning. There is one thing though that all the experts, fads, diets, and trends can agree on… We all need to eat plenty of vegetables. But how much is enough? Let’s put it this way, I have never come across anyone who is eating too many vegetables, so let’s start with the minimum intake. For an average woman I generally recommend a minimum of 3 cups per day and for an average man a minimum of 4 cups per day. Since most everyone can agree that plenty of vegetables is a key part of a healthy diet then let’s get started with ways to increase your veggie intake.
- Scramble veggies into your eggs.
- Put veggies into your smoothies. Not sure about that? Check out this delicious Super Smoothie Recipe
- Tomato & spinach on an egg sandwich
- Egg taco w/ tomato, onion, salsa & cilantro on top
- Skillet meal: eggs, potatoes, cheese and you guessed it- plenty of veggies
- Breakfast egg burrito w/ peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc
- Instead of a glass of juice w/ breakfast try this easy and delicious green juice smoothie
- Blend eggs & spinach in the blender and turn it into scrambled green eggs.
- Pile veggies on your sandwich: spinach, tomato, sprouts, cucumbers
- Wrap it up: stuff a whole grain wrap w/ carrots, celery, sprouts and more, plus some protein & cheese if you want
- Cold pasta salad: whole wheat rotini, cheese cubes, tuna/shredded chicken, and ample veggies. Drizzle w/ a light Italian dressing right before serving.
- When I’m super busy I pop a “healthier” microwave meal out of the plastic and onto a glass plate, add 1/2 bag of frozen veggies and heat it up. May still be a little processed but I ate my veggies and I didn’t let my time restraints send me for the drive-thru.
- Regardless what you’re having for lunch you can always add veggies and a healthier dip on the side.
- Having leftovers for lunch? Heat them up w/ some frozen veggies on the side.
- Have an entree sized salad for lunch/dinner. Try to top it with healthy things but don’t over skimp or you’ll end up ravenous by mid-afternoon or before bed. You will then be more likely to hit up the vending machine or raid the cabinets.
- Try a baked potato with real cheese and steamed broccoli on top.
- Homemade soup: You can add in as many veggies as your imagination allows.
- Add veggies to your pizza.
- Replace a slice of pizza with a side salad.
- Grill veggie kabobs. Delicious and beautiful
- Need some more flavor? Try roasting some veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are my favorite veggies to roast.
- When you make a pasta dish replace half the pasta with steamed or roasted veggies.
- Swap spaghetti for spaghetti squash on occasion.
- Add grated, shredded or chopped veggies to casseroles, meatloaf, pasta sauce and more.
- Whatever frozen, bagged or boxed meal you might make (we all have those days where we just don’t want to cook) you can always add frozen veggies or a bagged salad to the meal. So easy, no chopping or washing.
- Fresh mozzarella topped w/ tomato and basil.
- Cottage cheese topped w/ sliced tomato and baby cucumbers.
- Fresh veggies & hummus. I’m a practical gal so I tend to go for the least prep veggies like: mini peppers, mini cucumbers, sugar snap peas and baby carrots. None of them need to be cut.
- Snack sized fruit and veggie smoothie
- Make your own kale or Brussels sprouts chips. They were both a big hit with my kiddos but something I will only do on occasion because, well, I’m busy 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this list. I challenge you to pick 5 things off the list that you are going to start doing on a consistent basis this year. Feel free to share them in the comments below.