10 Tips to Add More Veggies into Your Life by Roseann Zaft

“Add more veggies in your diet!”. We hear it everywhere and it’s written every where you look. Lots and lots of studies show that diets loaded with vegetables lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a variety of other health issues. But the sad truth reported from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) tells us that most people eat less than half of the recommended daily servings.

Do you know just how many servings of veggies you are really getting EVERY day? Frankly, I know it to be true. Most people are not getting the recommended servings they really need.

Did you know that the recommended daily requirement for veggies does vary with age and gender? Yep, but generally speaking most women and men need to consume 9-10 servings of veggies a day. That’s about 2-1/2 to 3 cups.

How about you? Are you getting 9-10 servings a day or are you struggling too? If the answer is “not really_ or a firm “no way” just know, you aren’t along. So just how do you add more veggies to your life? Let’s me help you!

Believe or not, it’s really quite simple to get more veggies into your life!

Try these tips and recipes below. Before you know it you’ll not only add more veggies, you’ll feel the benefits of more fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients!

10 Tips (and Tastes): Add More Veggies into Your Life

1. Prep is key and the secret! The easier it is to get to food, the more you will eat. Rinse, dry and cut-up your vegetables as soon as you bring them home. Or, if you really are that busy, purchase pre-washed and pre-cut greens and vegetables (hey are always there in your produce section). Many veggies don’t need much prep time. Shop for mini-carrots, grape tomatoes, celery sticks, asparagus, snap peas and string beans.

2. Out in front. Store veggies at the front of your fridge shelves and drawers in clear containers or nvest in “snack size” bags. That way they’ll be easy to grab for an on-the-go snack, and you’ll be more likely to use them in salads, as sides, and instead of chips for snacks and dips such as hummus, guacamole and salsa.

Time Saving Salad Bonus Tip: You can also prep and store other salad ingredients, like hard-boiled eggs, diced chicken, black beans, olives, nuts and seeds).

Also be sure to check out this summer salad recipe.

3. Start your day off with veggies. Think outside the dish! Veggies aren’t just for lunch and dinner “sides”! They are also an incredibly healthy way to start your day. Toss them into your next breakfast omelet or scrambled eggs.

Try this simple breakfast bonus tip: Heat ½ teaspoon olive oil or ghee in a pan and toss in a couple of eggs; scramble with your choice of sautéed veggies such as mushrooms, peppers and spinach. It only takes about five minutes and you’ve got a nutrient-packed breakfast.

4. Smoothie rock. Green smoothies are another super way to get more vegetables into your day. If you don’t know be well, let me just say this… I am a “green smoothie girl” from waaaaayyyy back!.I probably get at least 4-6 servings a day simply from drinking my delicious green smoothies. See below for a delicious summer smoothie recipe.

Green smoothie bonus tips: New to green smoothies? Check out my Facebook LIVESTREAM to show you how to make green smoothies a daily habit! Get more free recipes by clicking on this link: LIVEFIT Green Smoothie Recipes

5. Soup’s on. Just like smoothies, soups are one of the best ways to get your vegetables! See this new soup recipe.

6. Farm to table. I’ve found that part of the fun of including vegetables in my meals is shopping for them at my local farmers’ markets. Not only do I get to buy the cream of the crop – literally – but there’s also a fun and festive feel among the shoppers and sellers that I look forward to. I’m always amazed to discover vegetables that I may never have heard of before!

Fun farmer market bonus tip: Look online for local farmers’ markets in your town and plan an “event” with your friends or family. Or, if you’re traveling on vacation this summer, it’s a great excursion and a fun way to get the local flavor.

7. Noodle on it. If you haven’t tried a spiralizer, you don’t know what you’re missing! A spiralizer is a fast (and fun) way to make noodles…. oh, I mean “zoodles”, from zucchini, squash, carrots, and more. Top with sautéed or pureed veggies for a simple, nutritious pasta alternative.

Noodle around with this bonus tip: Ya just gotta check out my new favorite “noodle” recipe. Click here.

Don’t have a spiralizer? Get yours by clicking here.

8. Stack ‘em. It’s easier than you may think to get more veggies into your meals. Making a sandwich? Stack it with spinach leaves, tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers. If you’re a condiment lover looking for healthier alternatives, makeover your mayonnaise by using ripe avocado instead. Or try my new favorite – mash black beans or pinto beans in a bowl to use as a spread. Prefer cooked veggies? Try sautéed peppers, cooked chopped broccoli or sliced grilled yellow squash in sandwiches and salads.

9. Spice it up. You’ll defeat the purpose if you add loads of salt or butter to your vegetables. Instead, experiment cooking with the flavors you already like. If you are a Thai food fan, try cooking your greens with garlic, curry, sesame oil, and a little red pepper. Like Italian food? Add garlic, black pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano. Feeling the summer time vibe? Add cumin, dill, white pepper, and turmeric. The flavors you already like in your main meals translate great to vegetables.

10. Freezer friendly. Catch the savings at your grocery store or farmer market and buy extras. Vegetables that are flash-frozen at their peak actually retain their nutrients and vitamins as well or better than fresh. Some of the best choices include chopped spinach, peas, peppers, and green beans. Keep a bag or two of vegetables in your freezer.

Freezer bonus tip: You can freeze your spinach, kale, or any other greens and use them later in your green smoothies. That’s 2 tips in 1 to get you to eat more veggies.

Need more inspiration to add more veggies into your day?

Just like any new habit, adding more veggies to your life takes a little time and forethought. But once you do, you’ll be adding more energy and wellness to your life! Need more inspiration? Check out these 3 summer recipes. Why not schedule a strategy session with me so we can increase your veggie intake starting today! CLICK HERE.

Roseann Zaft, CHC, CPT, RYT, is a member the Stroops Specialist Team and certified by ACE, AFAA, STOTT, TPI, Barre Above and Johnny G. With 19 years experience in the fitness industry, Roseann specializes in the active aging population. She is a two-time national figure competitor winner in the 50+ age category, author of the best-seller All Natural Sugar Detox book and program, and creator of the LIVE FIT smartphone app. As a woman in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, Roseann's mission is to empower and guide others to know that it's never too late to live a healthy and vibrant life at any age.

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