Tips for getting at least 5 servings of vegetables in per dayDana Yarn
By: Dana Yarn, RDLDN
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. Not only do they provide essential nutrients for optimal metabolism and hormones they also contain fiber and water that keeps you feeling full so you do not over eat.
Add vegetables to your shakes, when spinach, carrots, beets, are cold the flavor can be toned down with the sweetness of protein powder, berries, or almond milk. Adding in a couple of handful of spinach to your shakes can increase your vegetable consumption by 1-3 servings per day.
Replace rice with cauliflower, cauliflower is a great substitute for rice and it has become so popular you can buy a bag of cauliflower “rice” in the freezer section. Cauliflower rice can be used in stir-fry, burrito bowls, etc. Rice is not a terribly unhealthy food but cauliflower is less calories and has more nutrients and less of an impact on blood sugars therefore promoting fat loss. If you want to make cauliflower rice you simply add it to the food processor until the same consistency as rice. Cauliflower is also now used instead of mashed potatoes and pizza crust, there are several recipes on the Internet for cauliflower alternatives like potatoes, rice or pizza crust.
Use zoodles also known as zucchini noodles instead of pasta. If you lightly sauté zucchini spiraled noodles in olive oil they will have the similar texture of spaghetti noodles. You can eat them with marinara sauce and meatballs. Zucchini is gluten free, less calories and more nutrient dense then traditional noodles.
Instead of chips and dip have crunchy vegetables and dip. Chop up cucumbers, carrots, peppers, and consume with dip instead of chips. You still have the crunch with less unhealthy processed oils and refined carbohydrates. If you really enjoy your chips consider making your own kale chips, toss kale in oil and salt and pepper and bake till crunchy. This is a higher fiber option with much less guilt. Alternatives to dip include hummus or guacamole.
Consider adding a super food shake in your daily routine. Make sure it has pure extracts from fruits and vegetables ensuring that you meet your daily nutrient needs with ease. This is a great option for picky eaters like kids or stubborn older adults who don’t like their vegetables.
Dana Yarn, RDLDN currently owns and operates Lifemoves Studio. She has a passion for helping clients develop a healthy relationship with food and movement.