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Eat Your Vegetables!

post by Lisa Malin, follow her here.
This Is Grounded

Eat your Vegetables!

Yes, yes, you’ve heard it before. And yes, of course, you know they’re really good for you. But, why are vegetables so darn good for you, and just how many servings are you supposed to eat in a day? And, more importantly, how can you work them into your diet?

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggests we eat a minimum of 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day, but many healthcare professionals suggest we triple that amount if we want to see real health benefits. To make it easy on clients, I suggest they shoot for 8 cups of non-starchy vegetables per day, and here’s why:

They’re filled with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and offer protection from a host of chronic disease, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. They’re also loaded with fiber, which is great for gut health, digestion, blood sugar control and providing a sense of fullness after meals, meaning you’re less likely to over consume calories if you eat them. Score!

My favorite hack to ensure you’re getting in all those veggie is to include them at breakfast. Yep. Say goodbye to your morning bagel smothered with cream cheese, and hello to breakfast smoothies and omelettes stuffed with veggies. Not only will this enable you to get a few servings of vegetables in first thing in the morning, but it will also set you up for a day of strong food decisions. How you start you day, sets the tone for the entire day. Make morning vegetables a habit, and you’ll easily make your daily goal of 8!

This Is Grounded

Breakfast: Try for 2-3 cups each morning, and always include greens.

HERE’S HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Blend handfuls of leafy greens, plus sliced cucumbers, riced cauliflower, or summer squash into a morning smoothie. *This is one of my favorite ways to get vegetables in first thing in the morning. Quick, easy, and portable!

  2. Saute up some tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and baby greens with your morning eggs.

  3. Make a big leafy green salad with a few tbs. seeds and chopped nuts. Top with a ¼ cup fruit for sweetness and a generous drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Yes, you can eat salad for breakfast.

  4. Add 2 cups colorful veggies to a morning tofu scramble.

  5. Make a savory morning grain bowl, with ½ cup whole grain oatmeal or quinoa, topped with sauteed greens and tomatoes, and a soft boiled egg.

  6. Make a breakfast taco with smashed avocado, tomatoes, sauteed spinach and beans or a scrambled egg.

 

Another helpful hack is to make vegetable-forward snacks. You can easily knock out one or two servings of veggies if you make tham a snack staple.

Make Snacks Count: Try for a minimum of 1 cup to make a nutrient dense, filling snack.

HERE’S HOW TO DO IT:

  1. Carrots with hummus.

  2. Celery with almond butter.

  3. Small green smoothie.

  4. Sliced peppers with guacamole.

  5. Lettuce roll ups with 1 ounce sliced cheese or turkey.

  6. Kale chips.

  7. Crudite served homemade green goddess dressing (mix full fat plain greek yogurt with chopped herbs, and a dash of sea salt)

  8. Roasted Artichokes.

 

Building breakfast and snacks around non-starchy veggies and greens will easily allow you to get in the recommended 8 cups a day! It will also drive your health and weight-loss goals. And, that’s a really great thing, right?


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