Thursday, February 16, 2017

Going Green: Four Ways to Sneak Greens Into Your Diet


Going green isn’t easy. Most people try but fail to meet the recommended daily five servings of vegetables a day. Five, you say? Yes, five! Most of you are probably out there thinking to yourself, “Good lord, I’m never going to get to that.” Don’t doubt yourself, friend. There are some really easy ways to sneak greens into your diet, and before you know it, you’ll be getting your recommended daily amount without even thinking about it. Ready?

It All Starts With Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a fantastic opportunity to load up on healthy veggies. A loaded omelet full of spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, asparagus, turkey and cheese is delicious will help you start off on the right track. It’s easy to make and is loaded full of nutrients and proteins so you can start your day on a high note. If you’re more of a scrambled eggs kind of person, do the same: throw in some mushrooms, spinach and maybe some green peppers to add a little flavor. The combinations are endless. Get a little creative with it and have fun. You’re being healthy – how sweet is that?

Substitute Those Fries
We get it - there's nothing like a French Fry. But they’re full of fats and carbs that add to your waistline and don’t benefit your health in a positive way. From now on when you’re out to eat, substitute those fries for veggies. You can do it! Or, if not a side of veggies, then add a side of vegetable soup! A garden veggie tomato soup is full of nutrients and low in calories – all pluses. The next time you’re eating out, make a conscious decision to choose a healthier side.

Snack the Right Way
No more potato chips. They’re very tempting but ultimately full of empty calories that contribute nothing to your overall health. Instead, snack on some baby carrots, snow peas or snap peas. They’re crunchy, healthy and satisfying. They’re also very easy to carry around with you in a small container. Add a tasty tomato-basil hummus to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a nice little snack. The key here is to make snacking on vegetables a habit. The next time you go grocery shopping, buy some healthy snacks, and eventually you’ll find yourself not even thinking about those pesky potato chips.

Veggies at Dinner
A typical meal consists of a protein, a vegetable and a starch. Instead of a starch, add another vegetable. Some delicious side dishes are honey-butter roasted carrots, caprese salad, broccoli casserole and balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts. Whatever you do, avoid starches. They are generally low in nutrients as well as high in fats. They may taste good, but that’s about all they’re good for.

The most important message here is to be consistent. Make eating veggies part of your lifestyle. Every time you prepare a meal, eat out or have a casual snack, make sure to have some kind of vegetable. If possible, try to eat a wide variety of vegetables. Different veggies have different nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to you in different ways. Leafy greens are high in vitamin K and calcium, whereas orange and red vegetables are high in carotenoids, which protect cells and help vision. Also, many vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.

All in all, adding vegetables to your diet is a healthy choice that will help increase the quality and length of your life. If you have any questions for us, or if you’d like to tell us how you incorporate veggies into your diet, comment below. Have a wonderful day!