Everyone wants to eat healthier, eat more from scratch, and eat more fruits and vegetables. But sometimes, there’s a disconnect between “wanting” and “doing.” We have a few simple ideas for how you can modify your diet to eat more veggies:
1. Don’t think about taking things away, instead add more good things!
Often when we try to make a shift in how we eat, we focus on eating less of the “bad” stuff and end up just feeling deprived, and eventually falling back to our old ways. So instead of removing meat from your menu, just add extra veggies. When you plan your meals for the week, add an extra side dish of veggies for dinner every night. Start with this collection of Simple Veggie Sides. So when you sit down to the table, there will be more veggies to choose from! And leftover veggies are the best… Having a prepared healthy side dish ready to go in the fridge is great for healthy snacks or lunches. (Or throw them on a pizza!)
2. Try Meatless Monday, or Tuesday or Whatever…
If your household tends to eat meat for dinner every night, pick one night and declare it “Meatless” – it’s a good chance to experiment with new veg-centric main dishes. Check out this collection of Cheap Vegetarian Dinners. You’ll notice the savings at the grocery store, too!
3. Serve veggies first
As you prepare dinner, put the vegetables on the table first. Either as an appetizer platter (maybe with a delicious dip), or just because the veggies are ready first. Roasting your veggies is a simple preparation method for nights when you already have the oven on! Try this collection of Roasted Veggies.
4. Prep raw veggies at the beginning of the week
Wash, peel and cut raw carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers on Sunday night, then put them in a clear container in your fridge so they are the first thing you see when you open the door with a case of the nibbles. Or pre-bag them in single-serving portions that are perfect to pop into a lunch or your bag as you walk out the door.
5. Eat salad for lunch
Even if your dinner menu doesn’t change much, you can pack in extra veggies throughout the day. Plan ahead by prepping salad ingredients at the beginning of the week, or even make mason jar salads that you can grab as you walk out the door. And remember to load up your salads with protein and healthy fats, too, or you’ll just end up hungry again by 2pm! Check out this collection of Great Main Dish Salads.
I once got a great piece of advice about feeding small children that helped me stress less about what and when they’re eating: “Think less of a balanced meal or a balanced day, but more about a balanced week.” (And if you have kids, you know this is true… I watched my son inhale a LOAD of broccoli last night after turning his nose up at anything green for the full week beforehand.)
My suggestion is that you apply this bit of advice to yourself, too. So, if you’d rather work more veggies into every meal, every day, or every week, it’s ok. Just work them in however it works for you…
Happy cooking & eating,