I don’t really need to start this post off by telling you all the benefits of eating more plant-based foods, do I? I’ll just make a few points, because I can’t help myself. Here are my top reasons to eat more veggies:
- They have fiber to keep your digestive system happy, which leads to better detoxification capabilities.
- They have a low-calorie density, which means you can eat plenty of them. Eating veggies along with protein and healthy fats can leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal.
- They have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
- They have compounds called phytochemicals, which are associated with better overall health and disease prevention.
- See The Amazing Benefits Of Cruciferous Veggies
There is a caveat here for people struggling with IBS and other digestive issues/illnesses. Often, increased fiber from plants can make digestive issues worse. It’s always a good idea to slowly increase fiber intake, even if you don’t have any digestive issues. If you notice any symptoms are getting worse, don’t be afraid to pull back on the fiber until your issue is resolved. The following preparation of veggies can also make a big difference in their digestibility: cooking, steaming, peeling, and mashing.
Here are my top 5 easy ways to get in more veggies:
- Slaw Salads
- I love slaws because I can make it ahead of time and it will keep all week in the fridge.
- Here is my Tangy Bacon Summer Slaw recipe
- Another Go-To: Slice cabbage very thin, then add cilantro, slivered almonds or sunflower seeds, and shredded carrot. Toss with a pre-made, avocado or olive oil-based salad dressing. I really like Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Turmeric salad dressing. (I know it sounds gross, but just trust me on it!) Other brands I like are Primal Kitchen, Green Goddess, and Bragg.
- Frozen Veggies
- My favorites are broccoli, cauliflower rice, and chopped spinach.
- Cauliflower rice is such a gem, because it adds volume to any meal, in just minutes. We like it sautéed as a side, or to put under fish, but we also add it to stir fries and chili
- Broccoli is a staple for my lunches with whatever leftover protein I might have.
- Roasted Veggies
- Roasting veggies is a great way to make a boatload of flavorful veggies that also keep well for leftovers.
- Use parchment paper to save time on cleaning up. Roast anything with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder at 400. My family’s favorites are carrots, broccoli, sweet potato wedges, cabbage slices, and Brussels sprouts.
- Change up the flavor by experimenting with different seasonings like chili powder or rosemary.
- Raw Veggies
- This is a new favorite of mine. I heard the term “hand salad” and thought that was genius. It’s just chopping everything that would go in a salad and eating it with one hand. Yes, please. #momlife
- I sometimes run out of time or energy to make a veggie side, so the easy prep for raw veggies is where it’s at!
- Some raw veggie suggestions: cherry tomatoes, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers.
- In a Shake
- Fresh spinach is my go-to. I don’t always do it, but when I have it, I do it. It doesn’t make much of a difference in taste of the shake.
There are definitely some super creative ways to get veggies into more foods like baked goods and pancakes. Google is perfect for that. In the meantime, I hope some of these ideas are useful to you.
Have suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below!