New year, time for new healthy habits – right?
It’s easy to think “I really should (insert thing you really should do here – like eat more vegetables maybe), but another thing altogether to actually DO the thing.
And we all struggle with different “things we really should do”, what comes easy to one of us isn’t as easy for another.
I absolutely love running on the treadmill, for example. (When I’m not pregnant anyhow.) But I say this to people and 98% of them look at me like I’m certifiably insane.
And some people just can’t get enough fruits and veggies. I am not one of these people. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them. But I’d rather have the baked potato. With sour cream. And also butter. (Yes, both.)
But I know, without a doubt, that veggies (and fruits too) are non negotiable, and if I want to feel good, look good, live as long as possible (comfortably), and stay happy, then I need to be eating a whole pile of veggies. (And fruits too. Fruit is even harder for me. When I’m not pregnant. I’ve really been enjoying them lately!)
I also want to be a good example for my kiddos, and I want to make sure THEY’RE getting enough veggies.
So I started implementing sneaky little ways to make sure our family is getting alot more veggies – and it’s working! (And fruits too. Sort of.)
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
If you’re looking for easy ways to eat more vegetables (and fruits):
(I remember reading in This is why you’re fat (one of my favorite books on diet / hormones / health) that a good plan to eat more vegetables was to keep a bag of frozen broccoli in the freezer, once a day microwave a cup of it and gulp it down.
Don’t worry, that suggestion is NOT on this list! But do feel free to take it on board – if it sounds remotely like something that won’t make you physically ill. Ew.)
1 ) Keep fruits and veggies that you ENJOY in your home – where you can see them.
This one is a no brainer, and yet it’s the easiest one for me to forget. “Buy apples” just is not as imperative as “buy coffee cream”. So I need to be diligent to make sure they’re on the shopping list.
2) Keep FROZEN veggies that you enjoy in your home.
Forgot the fresh ones? That won’t be a good enough excuse to skip veggies if there’s still some waiting for you.
3) If prep work is part of the reason you don’t eat veggies, then go ahead and spend the extra two bucks for veggies that are pre- prepped.
I hate to admit it, but we eat 10 times more salad if I buy pre-prepped salad, because I hate (hate hate) washing lettuce. It’s worth the extra money to me.
4) Wash them all before you put them away.
I am far more likely to grab fruit or veggies as a snack if they don’t require any extra prep in the moment. Run a sink of water and add some white vinegar as soon you as you get home from the store. Put all your fruits and veggies in to soak while you put away groceries. Then drain the sink, rinse and allow them to drip dry for a few hours before you put them in the fridge. (This’ll keep things like berries from spoiling as well!)
5) Use up the ones most likely to go bad first, and keep longer lasting stuff for later.
This way you don’t have to shop as often for produce.
6) Invest in a juicer.
I have this one, and I LOVE it. Juicing totally counts toward your veggie intake.
7) No more one veggie meals.
If you’re cooking carrots, you might as well add peas and cauliflower to the pot. If you’re making steamed green beans, mushrooms go great with them!
8) Cook MORE veggies and less meat / carbs.
Train yourself to no longer see veggies as a “side dish”. (This’ll actually save you some money too. Meat is pricey.)
9) Add extra veggies to anything prepackaged.
Heating a can of soup? Put in a cup of peas. Having frozen pizza? Add a chopped pepper and mushrooms.
10) Hide veggies in everything you can think of.
I’m not talking about making zucchini into pasta here. We all know that zucchini will never be pasta and it should stop trying.
I’m saying put a handful of spinach in your smoothie, shred carrots and add to bran muffins, make some zucchini brownies (they’re better than the pasta I promise). I have an itty bitter chopper (just like this one) and I use it to mulch up celery, carrots and onion for meatloaf. No one ever suspects a thing…
11) Dress them up without guilt!
Add butter! Add sea salt! I hide broccoli under cheese. And butter. (Yes, both.)
12) Choose fruits and veggies as a “better” instead of a “best” alternative so you don’t feel deprived.
As in – I should have a bowl of chopped veggies instead of a bagel with cream cheese. But I’m 90% unlikely to choose that. But a bowl of veggies I can dip in home made sour cream ranch dip? (Made by mixing sour cream and dry ranch seasoning.) Yes please.
(Same goes with fruit. I can convince myself to choose a bowl of strawberries or blue berries over a bowl of ice cream…IF I allow myself a few tablespoons of cream and a sprinkle of sugar on them. It’s still a better choice.)
13) Freeze berries to use as ice cubes in your drinks – even in water. (And then eat them of course).
Do you have any other sneaky veggie-including ways? What works for you to make sure you eat more vegetables?
Or do you have any other “healthy habits” that you just can’t seem to make work no matter how hard you try?