The subject of eating more vegetables comes up all the time when taking on a new client. We ask clients to eat 1-2 fist-sized portions of vegetables with every meal, which typically results in an "are you serious?" type of look. We certainly get that, as vegetables aren't generally something for which we get cravings. That may be, but they provide us with phytonutrients and fiber, which are very healthy and beneficial for staying healthy and keeping weight at a healthy level. It's very rare that we come across someone looking to lose weight that loves vegetables and eats them with every meal.
So, here are some strategies for you to sneak more vegetables in your diet.
Eating vegetables for breakfast is the toughest thing to do for most people, but this is usually our first option, as it's the simplest and you literally cannot taste the vegetables. Spinach is easy to throw into a smoothie, as is an avocado, which will thicken it up and make it more like a milkshake. Start with one handful of spinach, and go up from there. Some other options of vegetables could be kale (de-veined to reduce the bitterness), or romaine lettuce. Add the right amount of healthy protein powder (1-2 scoops) and possibly some berries and/or 1-2 dates for some more flavor. Try this first for a solid breakfast.
2. Cauliflower Or Broccoli Rice
Avoiding more traditional sides like mashed potatoes or rice is a bit of a challenge sometimes, and stumbling across this at the grocery store was a great find. Cauliflower rice definitely tastes better, but either of these (with some seasoning) is a great side in lieu of something worse. Experiment and see what you like best. The feedback from clients has been great.
3. Experiment With Lesser Known Root Vegetables
Okay, so this might not be a way to sneak in vegetables, but there are definitely some that you probably haven't tried, which can be great to experiment. Root vegetables are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins A and C. Often times, it's vegetables that you're familiar with that you might not like, but trying something new can easily change the game. You may just come across a great new vegetable to add to your meals. Some of these lesser known root vegetables include celery root, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, yuca, jicama, and parsnips.
4. Substitute Vegetable Noodles For Traditional Pasta
The spiralizer has become a necessity for many of our clients for one simple reason: it's fantastic for making vegetable noodles. If you've never done this before, it may seem odd, but using a spiralizer to make noodles out of vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, winter squash, beets, carrots, or sweet potatoes provide a great alternative to refined carbohydrates like pasta.
Outside of the spiralizer, squash works perfectly for a traditional pasta substitute, and tastes great. There are two options you can use right away: spaghetti squash in place of traditional pasta and butternut squash instead of lasagna noodles. Trust us when we say many of our clients love both of these.
5. Mix in scrambled eggs or frittatas
The beauty of making scrambled eggs or frittatas is that you can throw just about anything in there and it'll still taste great. We usually recommend spinach to start with because it's relatively tasteless and ends up condensing down quite a bit. Other vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or chives make great additions. Topping it off with a sprinkle of cheese, hot sauce, or salsa can be a nice addition to keep it tasting great.
Look for the opportunity to get vegetables in any way you can. They are a necessity to healthy living, and will certainly help you lose weight and rid yourself of many health ailments. Experimenting can be a great way to continue making nutritional changes for the better and keep the weight coming off.
Need Some More Help?
Achieve offers nutritional coaching for those of you that need a little more help in making the right nutritional choices. Work one-on-one with one of our coaches and get easy, step-by-step guidance to reach your goals and create lasting change. For more information, please visit our nutritional coaching page or contact us.