How to Sneak in Fruits and Veggies (but Still Eat What You Love)
You know you’re supposed to be packing in the fruits and veggies like crazy, but a cronut just sounds so much better! Or an omelet with a bacon. Mmmm, bacon. Or a meatball sub, or a piece of cheesecake.
But! You can actually still eat things you really like, fit in fruits and veggies, and, hey, maybe even start to like them so much that you want to eat them all the time.
Breakfast really is one of the easiest times of day to fit in some of the good-for-you stuff. Add a cut-up banana or a handful of blueberries to the cereal you already know and love. Have a delicious fruit smoothie and throw in a handful of spinach for extra fiber and nutrients. Want pancakes? Make ‘em whole wheat and top them with fruit, or put fruit right in them. Or if savory is your thing, have a bunch of sautéed veggies in your eggs and have a baked potato or homemade home fries with onions and green peppers on the side. Not a breakfast person? Have dinner instead! Eat last night’s leftovers, especially if they were veggie-filled.
You can still bring a sandwich to lunch every single day, it’s fine. BUT, bring some veggies to stuff into it. Crispy romaine, sweet tomatoes, refreshing cucumbers, salty olives, creamy avocado, mmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. You can also keep your sides of the produce-variety. An apple or carrots sticks and hummus, or try the exotic-sounding jicama sliced into sticks and spritzed with a little lime juice. Eating out with coworkers? Order your favorite, but start with a salad (dressing on the side) or get a side of steamed vegetables.
If you’re eating at home, it’s easy to keep the veggie count up. Throw one of those steamable bags of veggies in the microwave, if you’re short on time, or put some sweet potatoes in the crockpot before you leave for work, then just add the good stuff to the plate, right next to whatever it is you're really craving. Another veggie-filled experience, great for dinner? Soup! Make a huge vat of veggie soup on the weekend and serve it with whole grain bread or cornbread for a yummy meal.
There’s nothing wrong with having cookies sometimes. But other times, why not diced apple with peanut butter and raisins, celery dipped in ranch, or a mini strawberry smoothie? Or, hey, have one small cookie and one handful of fruit. Win-win.
Yes, dessert. Especially when the good stuff is in season, why not make fruit the center of your sweet indulgence? Poached pears, baked apples, berries with fresh whipped cream (or perhaps a dollop of ice cream?) all spring to mind as great choices. Or, slice some bananas into ½ inch chunks, freeze them on a layer of parchment paper, then dip them into dark chocolate, and stick back into the freezer. You’ll have bite-sized piece of chocolate-covered heaven all ready to go!
Remember: eat whatever you find delicious, but also include veggies and fruits. Make your focus adding the good stuff, not subtracting the things you love, and it’s much easier to eat in a healthy way that’s sustainable for the long term.
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