BLOG NUTRITION, FOOD
July 16, 2014
Struggling to Eat Enough Veggies?
Two food mantras you are probably very familiar with:
1. Eat more veggies
2. Eat breakfast, the 'most important meal' of the day
While you may be familiar with the above, you may still struggle to find a way to achieve them both in your regular routine. With a little creativity and experimentation, I think you can meet these goals and make them a habit. We're especially excited to work on this goal during the warm summer months, when fresh and crisp veggies are ripe for the picking and taste great!
Step 1: eat veggies with breakfast
Step 2: prep in advance
Some ways to add veggies to breakfast:
- Blend them: Example, add spinach, kale, beets, celery, carrots or any veggie of your choosing to your shake. Start with 1/2 cup and add more per your taste preference. Play with citrus flavors with your shake to offset the bitter flavor of the veggies (ex: citrus fruits like pineapple, or lemon & lime). Unsweetened cocoa (1-2 tbsp.) can also help mask their flavor a bit as well
- Scramble them: Ex. add bell peppers, mushrooms, tomato, spinach or the like to your egg/egg white scramble. Use them as a filling in a breakfast burrito (with high-fiber, whole grain or corn wrap). Top with 1-2 tbsp. salsa or a splash of hot sauce for extra zest! You can also experiment with using 1 oz. cooked very lean breakfast meat, like turkey sausage, to offset the veggie flavor in your egg whites if that flavor suits you.
- Stack them: Ex. stack low-fat cheese, lean breakfast meat and slices of your favorite veggies like tomato, zucchini or arugula in a breakfast sandwich (with whole grain bun, like a sandwich thin), or eat them 'picnic' style without any bread, and enjoy some fruit on the side (like grapes) instead.
- Use them as wraps: Ex. toss cooked eggs/egg whites, lean breakfast meat, crumbled veggie protein, tofu, low-fat cheese or any other protein food combination into a steamed cabbage leaf as a wrap (vs. a tortilla.) Or try stacking eggs and lean meat between two slices Portabello mushroom vs. a bun for a stage 2 breakfast 'sandwich.'
- Bake with them: Ex. shredded zucchini or carrots can be tossed into a whole-grain breakfast muffin or bar recipe to boost the nutrition without compromising flavor. And talk about easy! They're already cooked in, so you don't have to think to add them yourself morning-of.
Some ways to prep them in advance:
- Cook them the night before (i.e. cooked spinach is easy to throw in eggs in the morning)
- Portion and get them ready (i.e. put shake ingredients in the blender, then in the fridge or freezer) the night before
- Batch cook them during the weekend, and freeze/reheat (i.e. batch cook egg white muffins with veggies baked in on the weekend, and grab one to heat & eat in the morning during the busy week)
- Prep them before putting them away (i.e. as soon as you walk in the door after buying groceries, wash and cut your veggies for the week)
Sample recipes and ideas:
- Shakes with veggies: https://www.2020lifestyles.com/resources-tools/blog/2013/04/greens-in-a-glass-(with-less-sugar).aspx
- Egg white muffins - add veggies: https://www.2020lifestyles.com/resources-tools/recipes/a-f/crab-and-egg-white-muffins.aspx#.U8Vg9BEU_cs
Breakfast can be a part of your routine if you take time to plan it and prep it, so it's ultra easy on a busy weekday. Add veggies to your morning routine for an added nutritional bonus before you've really even started your day!