Wednesday, October 27

Eat Your Veggies!

Did you know that only 1 out of every 3 adults in the US eat more than three servings of vegetables each day?  The CDC recently published some state numbers on how many servings of fruits and vegetables we’re eating every day.  There’s some fascinating information (and a couple of maps that would make you gasp) under the Health Professionals section here:
Are you surprised by that number?  I asked around my work to see what others thought, and one coworker replied, “I like vegetables, but I just don’t buy them often.”  This was me not that long ago.  I kept commenting to my nutritionist as I was doing the 20/20 Lifestyles program, “I forgot how much I love veggies and fruit!
We all have different reasons for not eating the veggies we need daily.  Some of us live in veggie-hostile environments.  My husband refuses to eat anything that grew out of the ground, so I’m the only person in our house who consumes vegetables.  Some people are unsure of what to buy or how to buy produce.  I knew how to buy good carrots and zucchini, but until I moved to Seattle produce like avocadoes and brussel sprouts were foreign territory to me.  And some people just don’t know what to do with the veggies once they have them.  Cooking some veggies takes a little practice, and not everyone loves boring, warmed, unseasoned vegetables.
I’ll chat about some specific veggies in later posts (so let me know if you have any requests!), but here are a few ideas of how we can build more produce into our diet every day:
·         Veggies (unadulterated) are always low-calorie.  You can absolutely include a little in every meal: a hand full of cherry tomatoes with your snack, a salad with your lunch, and grilled veggies with dinner are easy.  The key is to commit to keeping veggies around your house so you can pack them to go and snack on them at home.
·         Consider how you can use veggies to compliment what you’re already eating.  Don’t skip the lettuce and tomato on your burger.  Throw some broccoli in that mac ‘n cheese.  Add eggplant to your lasagna for a little excitement!
·         Consider how you could replace high-carbohydrate or calorie-dense foods with vegetables.  Instead of having bread as an appetizer, get a salad (watch that dressing!).  Instead of pasta, have your chicken or meatballs with asparagus and zucchini (or spaghetti squash as great substitute).  Instead of a bun for your hamburger, try portabella mushrooms or large leaf lettuce.
Do you find it hard to build veggies into your daily diet?  Are there specific days or times that are easier to get your servings of vegetables than others?  How have you found ways to work in fresh produce?


Mum said...

The way we grocery shop can help these choices too. Enter the store, load up on fresh veggies and fruit, buy some meat (that's on sale), fish, go to the dairy aisle then and only then add the few things from your list (yes, list) from the middle of the store (pasta, soups, vinegar, oil and salad dressings. Don't even think of walking down the snacks or pop aisle. Instead of pushing the cart down those middle aisles, leave the cart at the front and walk in. You'll be tempted to not pick up impulse things if you don't have a cart to put it in.

Becky said...

I always make myself start in the produce side of the store! It actually helps my meal planning because then I plan everything around the veggies I get.

And then I have to hold my breath when I go through bakery...

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