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Monday Motivation: How to Eat More Veggies

Posted Apr 24 2011 6:10pm

Hello! I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend whether you celebrated Easter or not. The weirdest thing happened to me last night. I don’t remember what I was dreaming about but it must have been quite stressful because I awoke at 5 am and I realized that I had sweated through my t-shirt! Perhaps I was dreaming about my upcoming half marathon …eeek!

Fortunately, despite my strange dream, I slept well and made a delicious chia seed breakfast inspired by the wonderful comments I received yesterday. I can’t wait to share the details with you tomorrow. After digesting breakfast I headed to the gym and did a 45 minute elliptical workout that consisted of a long warm up, my HIIT routine , and a long cool down. After a leisurely lunch I headed out to the lake to soak up the sun with my boys. While at the water we were lucky enough to catch an adorable photo session starring this little guy.

(Mom, contain yourself!) puppy

Tonight we are meeting up with friends for Easter dinner at The Hearty Boys Restaurant. You may remember the Hearty Boys from their short-lived Food Network show “Part Line.” Although their show wasn’t successful, they cook amazing dishes so I will take lots of foodgasmic pics!

Monday Motivation

In last week’s Monday Motivation post I shared the six general principles that I use to guide my healthy eating habits. This week, I decided to write about my favorite principle: going wild with veggies!

brussels center

In my opinion, veggies really are the fountain of youth. They are chock full of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutritious phytochemicals. Consequently, veggie-full diets prevent countless chronic diseases (cardiovascular, autoimmune, diabetes, cancer, etc.) thereby improving overall health and longevity.

I do eat meat, dairy, sweets, and “junk food”. However, because I center most of my meals around veggies and other plant foods, animal products, sweets, and junk food comprise only a small portion of my overall diet. I have found that the best way to increase the amount of veggies I eat is to make big green salads for lunch. Unless we have lots of leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, I eat a version of the lunch pictured below every day.

lunch salad

This salad includes:

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp Trader Joe’ Goddess salad dressing

Served with a side of one Trader Joe’s whole wheat pita and hummus.

Green salads are not only nutritious and delicious, they take relatively little preparation time. In fact, my lunch takes less than two minutes from start to finish. Green salads can also be made in bulk as most chopped veggies stay fresh for up to three days when refrigerated.

veggiesclose

In addition to my favorite veggies, there are countless varieties that are available year-round including carrots, cucumber, sprouts, daikon, jicama, mushrooms, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet peppers, celery, and numerous varieties of leafy greens. I love to cook a pound of Brussels sprouts at the beginning of the week and add a handful to each of my green salads. Another delicious salad component is avocado which can be used as a nutritious salad dressing substitute.

Something that amazes me is that while I do crave sweet indulgences from time to time, I crave vegetables each and every day. By the time lunch rolls around, I can’t wait to dig into my big green salad. Yesterday evening, despite the fact that I had lunched on greens and we had planned to cook a new dinner recipe, I was craving veggies. Therefore, I threw together another salad and added a serving of wild salmon. Within minutes, dinner was served!

salmon salad

I would love to hear from you…

Do you find it hard to get enough veggies into your diet?

What suggestions do you have for increasing veggie intake?

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow as I will be sharing my first experiment with these nutritious gems

bag

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