eat your veggies

Eat your veggies!

Plants are powerful. They are the biggest source of nutrition available to us.

But some people don’t like veggies or don’t know how to get them into their diet in a palatable way. Fruit is rarely a problem.

So here are 5 Quick Tips for getting more veggies into your body every day. Instead of constructing this list on my own, I reached out to people who are currently in our Vegetable Challenge and asked them for ideas.

Here are some strategies that are working for them:

  1. Roasting veggies: Take broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and Brussels sprouts, lay them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasonings and bake for 20 minutes. This is a great idea from Dawn (thank you!) and I love her emphasis on green veggies for this one, though you can use tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and other veggies too!
  2. Prep in bulk: Take a little time on a Sunday to cut up a bunch of different veggies and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to add them to a recipe. If you don’t have a recipe at hand, use them in a salad! Thanks for the idea, Denice!
  3. Fistful of spinach: Gisset preps veggie wraps in advance for lunch and uses, as a fallback, tossing in a handful of spinach to soup before eating. So, if you’re in a pinch for time, just toss a bunch of spinach into or onto whatever you’re eating.
  4. Eggs and veggies: This one comes from Chuck, who adds veggies to just about everything and even uses them as snacks, but I especially love the eggs and veggies idea because it’s so simple. Combine Denice’s strategy of cutting up and storing veggies in advance and then, like Chuck, add them to your morning eggs. Maybe lightly saute them in a good oil (NOT a vegetable oil like Canola, use something like Avocado oil) and mix them in with eggs or soup or whatever!
  5. Supersize: Norely has a great share, too. If you’re the kind of person who already adds veggies to your meals, do what she’s doing and SUPERSIZE the veggie quantities in the recipes! Just increase each veggie in the recipe to a fistful size! More, in this case, is better. The great thing about veggies is that they are nutrient-dense but low in calories, so doubling or tripling your amounts of veggies in a recipe will have a significant impact on nutrient density without moving the needle on calories very much.
Thank you to everyone who contributed an idea, I really appreciate it!

Getting as many veggies into your diet is an excellent way to build up your nutrient stores and optimize health and weight. Use these strategies to help you get what you need every day!

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Jonathan Aluzas is co-owner of Arena Fitness, a fitness center that offers group training in Encino as well as personal training in Northridge.