“The easiest diet, you know, is eat vegetables. Eat fresh food, just a really healthy sensible diet like the ones you read about all the time” -Drew Carey
“If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t“-Michael Pollan
“Soups are a great way to introduce a lot of vegetables [to kids]. Stir-fries, too, because they contain so many different shapes and colors.” Emeril Legasse
I got it all the time from patients and clients. It became an excuse I expected. You’re not the only one to think it. I’m positive you have said to yourself: “I just do not like vegetables alone. I can’t stomach fresh vegetables by themselves.” While I admit vegetables are not the tastiest or most appetizing foods, I don’t deny the value they bring to a diet. Plant foods, especially vegetables, add many health benefits to a well rounded diet. High in nutrients, vegetables help protect against disease, especially cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are very low in calories so they do not promote weight gain. In fact, they fill you up quickly and may help promote weight loss!
If you do not like vegetables on their own, there is still hope. veggies are one of the most versatile food groups. They can be eaten alone or made with other dishes mixed or cooked in. Try out these strategies and stick with your favorites:
- Add chopped vegetables on top of a thin crust cheese pizza (limit pieces of pizza)
- Cook them in a soup/ broth
- Add chopped vegetables to your pasta sauce
- Blend them in your morning smoothie
- Mix vegetables in a cold pasta salad
- Add them to your eggs/ omelets
- Add them to your favorite low fat sandwich
- Mix cooked vegetables into a rice dish
- Cook vegetables in a slow cooker with your favorite lean meat
- Dip vegetables in your favorite hummus
This list is only a start. Play with the idea. Be creative. Someone just like you came up with the ideas above. There are no rules really. Make it a point to add vegetables to your daily routine. As Always Eat, Improve, and Improve!