Eat more Vegetables
It can be challenging to eat more vegetables than the one serving we have with our main meal of the day. If we are eating to meet dietary recommendations, we have to find ways to get up to 5 servings of vegetables into our diet every day. There are many ways to do this, but it takes preparation and planning.
We have already made the commitment to eating foods that are healthier and have more fiber, eating vegetables is the best way to achieve this. It comes down to planning and pre-preparation.
Grocery shopping should be done on a day when you have an extra half hour to wash and prepare the vegetables that you have bought. Having a container of pre-washed broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes in the refrigerator gives you so many more options to add vegetables to every meal. You are ready to get creative like adding chopped vegetables to your pasta sauces, if you get objections from family members because they can see the vegetables, use a blender and blitz the vegetable before you add them so that they blend into the sauce.
Make soups. A truly rich vegetable soup can use up all the odds and ends left over at the end of the week with the addition of some shredded cabbage or fresh herbs. If you feel you do not have time to make soup, again blitz the vegetable first in a blender and the soup will cook much quicker. Add beans like black beans or chick peas for added fiber.
Serve vegetables and dip as a starter before every meal, stick to low calorie dressings or hummus or make them yourself e.g.- parmesan cheese, pressed garlic and lite mayonnaise. Find the flavours that suit your family.
Have one day a week which is a meatless main meal such as a veggie chili using 3 types of beans such as kidney beans, black beans and chick peas or a Veggie lasagna made with auberge and tomatoes.
Get creative with baking – substitute shredded vegetables for fruit in muffins, use whole grain flour and shredded carrot in cake.
Fresh Vegetables are always the best option but seasonal prices may affect your choices. When vegetable prices are high consider frozen vegetables. These are convenient and can be quickly heated up in the microwave.
The health benefits of eating higher fiber food is the lowering of blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and helping to avoid constipation and inflammation in the digestive tract.
Try a new meatless dish this week that uses more than one vegetable
Pre-prepare vegetables in your refrigerator and add them to your packed lunch and serve them before every meal.