The Key to good health – How to put more vegetables and micronutrients into your life.
There is all this talk about people going on “Macro” diets lately. Which focuses on your protein/carb/fat intake. There is no doubt that measuring your intake is beneficial for weight loss success, but there is a huge portion of a proper nutrition plan missing in that. What people are clearly missing is the focus on MICRONUTRIENTS! Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. How do we get those? EAT MORE VEGETABLES!
Take a break from the fad diets and start on the “Mother Nature” eating plan
Unless you are a professional or aspiring professional athlete, try not to get so caught up on fat loss, muscle density, and eating for appearance. Doing so, you are completely forgetting about nourishing to the deeper cellular level which includes your eyes, skin, nails, hair and bones! Trust me, eating this way will take the pressure off of the other factors and you will receive great results, and feel HEALTHIER! I always say that Happy, healthy cells, is happy, healthy, YOU!!
Here are a few ways to sneak some extra vegetables into your daily lifestyle.
First off… Change your Habits!
- Put a fruit bowl as well as a veggie platter at work, and at home. Make it a personal rule that you will have finished two pieces of fruit and at least 3 different servings of vegetables by the end of the day. Make sure you put out a rainbow of colors when it comes to your vegetable choices. Consuming an array of colors in your produce choices will feed your bodies with different sources of micronutrients!
- When you go to the farmer’s markets for fresh fruit and Vegetables, make sure you go home and prep them right away! Doing so will prepare yourself for the week, as well as ensuring you do not “get busy” and forget them in the back of the fridge, leaving them to spoil.
- Get creative and adventurous, try some fruits and vegetables that you have not tried before!
- Add spinach to your smoothies and protein shakes.
- Add pureed spinach to your waffle and pancake mix, as well as grated carrot, sweet potato, turnips or shredded beets to make it more savory- yet still sweet!
- Love eggs for breakfast? Perfect. Make it an omelette or scramble with chopped zucchini, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion and tomatoes!
- Make a greek yogurt veggie cup. Add Plain greek yogurt with chopped tomato, cucumber, cilantro, red pepper and lemon juice.
- Add a Greens supplement, such as Genuine Health greens powder. I can honestly say this has saved me so many times in getting the appropriate amount of vegetables, fibre, and antioxidants in my daily regime!
- Add some warm, sautéed vegetables to a salad. It really changes the mood of the salad and makes it a comforting meal!
- Sneak some extra veggies in your cooking. Add extra shredded zucchini in your meatloaf. Check out my recipe for delicious meatloaf muffins in my back to school recipes!
- Put some Cauliflower in a food processor until it is the consistency of rice, and then fry it up with your cooked rice for an extra vegetable kick with your stir-fry!
- Go to a salad bar for lunch. You can save money by prepping your own meats ahead of time and adding it to your salad.
- Thicken up soups or gravies by adding pureed carrots, or sweet potato.
- When cooking vegetables in a pan, add an assortment of vegetables.
sauté brussel sprouts, onion wedges, squash and mushrooms in a pan with olive oil, then spread them on a baking pan and place chicken pieces on top. Prepare the chicken in curry powder and yogurt first for an added kick. Bake until done.
- Use romaine, spinach, and other dark leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce for your salads for a more nutrient dense salad.
- Make a simple coleslaw by adding apple-cider vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil to matchstick cut veggies.
- Use unsweetened applesauce in place of half the butter or shortening.
- Add shredded zucchini (squeezing out the excess moisture) when baking loaves or cookies.
- Have fruit for dessert. I bought the Yonanas frozen fruit machine and it is the best thing ever! You can make your own frozen yogurt with frozen bananas and whichever other frozen fruit you want, I even add some semi-sweet chocolate chips in there too! Deeelicious!!!
- Chopped up vegetables, (of course) add a dip to make it fun. Mix salsa with ranch dip to increase the nutrient density.
- Make veggie chips in your oven or purchase a dehydrator. Sweet potato, beet, rutabaga, turnip and parsnip work well
- Kale chips! They are so delicious with nutritional yeast as a topper (tastes like cheese!)
- Ask for extra vegetables in place of starch.
- Do not let yourself go hungry beforehand so you can skip the free bread and the bad decisions.
- Make your burger a lettuce wrap
While understanding the importance of adding extra fruit and vegetables for a micronutrient boost, sometimes it helps to say an affirmation in the morning to start your day off in the right mindset.
There is a song I like to sing to my body in the mornings, yes I do dance while I sing it! You should try it too!!
“Every single cell in my body is happy, every single cell in my body is fine!”
Try some of these ideas out and comment below on what worked for you!
AKA The Fit Gypsy