Kati’s Fit Kit-
6 Tips to Sneak in those Good-for-you Greens!
Your mom was right – you need to eat your vegetables!
The vitamins and minerals contained in veggies help prevent nutrient deficiencies, and the fiber they contain helps to keep you feeling full and aids in the digestive process. The antioxidants in vegetables help reduce damage to cells and tissues caused by free-radicals. We also know that a higher intake of the phytonutrients found in vegetables can help reduce the risk of many cancers, diabetes and heart disease. But despite all those important reasons to get your greens in, many people aren’t eating enough.
The recommended amounts of fruits and veggies we encourage our members to eat each day is 8 to 10 servings. A serving size for fruits and vegetables is equal to a medium sized fruit, 1/2 cup of raw fruit or raw/cooked vegetables, and 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables – all about the size of a fist. I love veggies raw, steamed, roasted, and sauteed, but 8 to 10 servings can be a lot for even a veggie lover like myself sometimes. Kids aren’t the only ones who can be picky about eating their veggies – I know lots of adults who have a hard time getting enough vegetables in their diet. So, here are six tips to sneak more vegetables in to your meals:
1. Mix in some veggies with your eggs for a great start to your day. Bell peppers, mushrooms and spinach make excellent frittatas. Minced broccoli or finely grated cauliflower make great additions to scrambled eggs.
2. For another great breakfast or snack, try adding two handfuls of spinach or kale to your smoothies. Mix in a blender with a cup of frozen or fresh berries, one or two scoops of protein powder, one or two cups of water, and enjoy!
3. Large leaf lettuce makes a great substitute for sandwich bread or tortilla wraps. One of my “go-to” lunches is tuna mixed with mustard, chopped celery, salt and pepper, in a lettuce wrap – adding a few avocado slices makes it extra tasty! Lettuce leaves also make a great delivery system for chopped chicken, shrimp or tofu stir fried in coconut oil with some green onions, garlic, soy sauce and lime juice. And of course lettuce wraps work great for holding burgers instead of using buns.
4. Speaking of burgers, sneak in some veggies to your ground meat patties. Try it out with diced onions, peppers or mushrooms, or shredded zucchini or carrots.
5. Instead of pasta, try using a “spiralizer” to make zucchini noodles. Just add your favorite sauce and protein and you’re good to go! You can either eat the noodles raw, or put them in the pan with your sauce for a minute or so. If you don’t already have a spiralizer, you can purchase one here!
6. Give your “chips” and “fries” a make over! Chopped kale makes tasty chips, and green beans, asparagus and sliced carrots make yummy fries. Make sure the veggies are washed and completely dried. Then coat with olive oil and sea salt, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for between 10 to 15 minutes (until the edges are slightly browned). You can also toss them with chopped garlic, or garlic powder before baking, or sprinkle some parmesan cheese after they come out of the oven.