While we all know vegetables are good for us, they’re a piece of the puzzle that’s missing for many people. Since they don’t add a ton in the way of macronutrients to your meal, they are often overlooked and/or skipped. The health benefits of vegetables are enormous. They are the best source of vitamins and minerals, they’re packed with antioxidants and fiber, they support brain health and memory, they’re essential for the health of your eyes, they aid in digestion; the list goes on and on. For most of you-none of this is news-we grow up being told to eat our veggies! BUT they still tend to be a struggle. So here are 5 easy ways you can increase your veggie intake:
1. Make a smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to include greens. Often times-you don’t even taste them -which also makes this a great way to get them into your kids 😊 Try adding a handful of spinach or kale to your favorite smoothie recipe or give this one a whirl:
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 handful of fresh kale
3 small dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
2. Add them to your eggs. Having an omelet? Add some peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc. to add volume (more filling!) and really get the breakfast of champions. Try these quick and easy egg muffins that are packed with veggies and great for breakfast on the go: https://healthystepsnutrition.com/recipe/egg-muffins/
3. Spend 20 minutes cutting up peppers, zucchini and celery on a Saturday or Sunday and you’ll have loads of veggies to snack on or add to meals during the week. I highlight these veggies because they last for several days once cut. Package them in small containers or zip lock bags making them easy to grab for both you and your kids.
4. Side salads. Rushing to get dinner on the table and don’t have time to prep a veggie? No problem. Throw your starch and protein on a bed of arugula, spinach, spring mix-whatever you like, and boom-now you’ve got a meal.
5. Frozen veggies. These can be a huge time saver, and extremely helpful in making it possible to get veggies in with lunch and dinner. What you might not know, is that frozen vegetables have an advantage-they usually are picked when they’re ripe, and then blanched in hot water to kill bacteria and stop enzyme activity that can spoil food. Then they’re flash frozen—which tends to preserve nutrients—making them superior to canned veggies. Keep a few bags on hand that you can pop into the microwave and use in a pinch!
If you’ve been slacking on the veggie intake-give some of these ideas a try. Aim to get veggies in at lunch and dinner every day to adequately fuel the machine!
CrossFit Simsbury | CFS Kids & Teens Coach | CFS Nutrition Coach
Certified Health and Wellness Coach