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January 10, 2015
5 Tips to Eat More Vegetables
A Note from the Farmer's Wife
With the holiday feasting and gastro-extravagance behind us our minds turn to New Year’s resolutions. Diminishing the midline tops many lists, with ideas of elliptical workouts and newfangled diets.
Perhaps, one simple adage could be remembered for those seeking trimmer, healthier bodies. “Eat your vegetables!” We repeat it all the time to our kids, but do we follow up ourselves? I’m guessing there is room for improvement for most of us and implementing a few of the following strategies may help make this goal a reality in 2015.
1. Eat More Meals at Home
Even if your refrigerator drawer is loaded with fresh vegetables, if you do not eat at home they most likely will not enter your digestive tract. Yes, you can grab a handful of “baby” carrots (more about these in a future post) and cucumber slices for your lunch box. However, let’s talk “real” veggies - dark leafy greens, sweet orange squashes, garlic, onions, and more greens. Exploring recipes that use a variety of vegetables can be inspiring to the palate. With online resources, the possibilities are endless. How about Winter Vegetable Stew as published in the New York Times? Kale, carrots, onions and garlic up the nutritional value and satisfy the appetite for many would-be meat eaters. Take a look at your weekly meal habits. See if you can commit to increasing the quantity and quality of your meals at home. Even one meal per week can make a difference.
2. Prepare Vegetables in Advance
Take some time on the weekend to slice and dice, carefully packing your accomplishments in airtight plastic or glass containers, ready to be added to salad, soups, stews, or simply the side of your plate. This makes a huge difference on last minute meal preparations. Your investment on the weekend heightens your commitment to use these veggies during the coming week. Does the advance prep diminish some of the nutritional value? Yes, any exposure to oxygen will deplete some vitamins and antioxidants, but not completely and if it makes the difference between eating and not eating them? I have a set of not-so-sharp knives so that the kids can help out here, a great supervised kid chore.
3. Eat at Least One Vegetarian Meal/Week
For some carnivores, this can be challenging - especially if you are trying to satisfy a teenage boy. The goal here is to increase vegetable consumption, not bread, noodle and cheese consumption. Look for vegetables that have a hearty, meaty flavor such as eggplant, mushrooms, winter squash. A side of mashed local potatoes can please almost any teenage palate. Try a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, for example.
4. Invest in a Vitamix or Juicer
Juicing roots, greens and fruits can be delicious and very beneficial to energy and appetite. Try using leftover pulp in burgers, homemade bread or homemade dog food.
5. Join a CSA!
You knew this was coming of course! Your CSA box arrives every week. Set a goal to finish your box before the next one arrives. One of our members lost 25 lbs the first year he joined our CSA - just by eating more vegetables.
What tips do you employ to consume more vegetables? Any ideas for kid-friendly recipes?