Do I have your attention? Or are you already skimming because you’re assuming this is yet another post about drinking more water?
Well…you should drink a lot of water, that’s true, but that’s not what this is about. Of everything I’ve learned over the years, there is one thing that has had the biggest impact on my achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Here it is:
Specifically, eat veggies all day and really focus on them at dinner.
The typical American way of eating is all about protein and grains at breakfast and lunch – maybe some fruit in there too – with some veggies on the side at dinner (which is more protein and grains).
I’m a moderation girl, so I will never tell you to cut anything out, but once you start thinking about how to get veggies in all throughout your day, you may be surprised how that changes your meals for the “healthier.”
For example, I throw spinach in my scrambled eggs and in my shakes. I eat my favorite vegetable – red bell pepper – as a crunchy side with lunch or as a snack (with or without hummus.) And dinner – I focus on the vegetable first and then add in the rest. My goal for dinner is a meal that consists of mostly veggies with a bit of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates/grains.
I used to think about veggies as a ‘side dish’ at dinner, so this took some mindset adjustment and planning at first, but now I love eating this way.
And, I should mention, I LOVE to eat. When your dinner plate is mostly veggies, it can be a TON of food! A cup of riced cauliflower is only 25 calories, compared to 218 for a cup of cooked brown rice. You can eat 8 times as much cauliflower rice for the same calories! So amazing when you add some yummy spices and other ingredients for flavor and satisfaction. I’ll share some of my favorite recipes in a downloadable pdf below, but I love to make an easy cauliflower rice stir fry with other veggies, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, liquid aminos (or soy sauce), scrambled eggs, and a splash of sesame oil. My plate is piled HIGH when I eat this dish but I never feel stuffed or bloated after eating it.
There are a lot of ways to get more veggies in at any meal and I encourage you to try. Not only do vegetables have a ton of different nutritional benefits, but when you fill up on veggies, they take up a lot of room in your system due to their fiber, without having a lot of calories, so they’re a great tool for healthy weight loss.
As you experiment with vegetables, make sure to include a variety of types and colors – the one thing I still need to work on is that I have my favorites and tend to eat them on repeat quite a bit. It’s good to branch out and try to, as they say, “Eat the Rainbow.” And I don’t mean the colored candy.
If you’re buying fresh, another tip is to eat what’s in season. Vegetables that are local and in season tend to be more nutritious than those that have to be trucked halfway across the country to get to you.
What about frozen? Awesome choice. Frozen vegetables are often frozen soon after harvesting, so they’re usually fresher than what you can buy “fresh” at your local grocery store. They are convenient and don’t go bad, so stock up on frozen vegetables for sure.
The other question I get asked quite a bit is regarding organic. Here’s my rule – if it doesn’t have a protective skin that you don’t eat – try to get organic. Yes, it costs more, BUT, over time, if you’re eating this way, you will be buying less of other things. If the main base of your meal is a vegetable, splurge on it a bit! Eat less of the other things you buy so it will even out. Local product box services are also a great option. It’s nice to know where your produce is coming from and support local growers. You’ll get to try a variety of things and be forced to branch out.
So, if you’re on board with eating more veggies and want some recipes and ideas, click to download my pdf below. There are 10 pages focused on a bunch of different vegetables with preparation and recipe ideas for lots of veggie-based meals. Try one vegetable a week if you want to ease into this – or go for it and try a recipe for a different veggie every day for a week. Whatever works for you!
Note: I am a vegetarian, so most of these recipes are vegetarian or vegan-based, but in most cases, I have included instructions for adding in an animal protein of your choice…or you’ll easily be able to figure it out.
Note: By getting this download, you are joining my email list. I send out updates when I have a new blog post, something important to share, or to tell you about something super cool I find that might help you or be of interest. Most of the time, this will be one email a week at most. I will not share your email with anyone else. You can opt-out easily via a link in every email at any time.