5 Vegetable Hacks for Busy People
Vegetables. Some of us love them to the point of being a vegetarian, while others can’t stay far enough away from them. But the fact of the matter is our bodies need a variety of nutrients for vital health and body maintenance benefits. Instead of giving a lecture of their importance, because let’s face it - we all know we should be eating them - let’s dive in on how we can incorporate more of them into our lives.
1. Do you drink a shake or smoothie for breakfast? Sneak some veggies into it and you will hardly notice them! I like to throw in some frozen cauliflower or squash, or a handful of spinach. Start with a small amount, and you can always add more!
2. Snack time! Create a combination of foods that incorporate at least one vegetable. Need ideas? Try celery and some nut butter, carrots or bell pepper with hummus, or cucumbers with a side of cheese. You aren’t sacrificing the savory or sweet; instead, you are adding to a snack you may already enjoy! Like any other habit, eating vegetables regularly takes a little planning and focus.
3. Sneak some servings. Add veggies to your omelet. Throw some vegetables into your soup, or better yet, double the vegetables the recipe calls for. Eating a sandwich? Try adding at least two types of veggies to it!
4. Make it beyond easy. If you enjoy the flavor of vegetables but are unsure how to incorporate them, make it as easy as possible. Frozen varieties are handy because they are often preserved at their peak quality, therefore not compromising flavor. Steam them, throw them in the microwave, or bake them alongside your favorite protein in the oven. If you prefer fresh, wash them as soon as you get home from the grocery store and cut them up as soon as you can. You can also buy them fresh and pre-chopped. If I have a busy week ahead of me, convenience is key, and I will often pay the extra $1 or so to have everything ready for me to prepare or eat when I get home.
5. Try a salad. Now I’m not saying you need to eat a salad for lunch everyday, but you can try adding a side salad to your meal at least occasionally. There are a lot of nutritious options for dressings that still taste delicious, such as oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette. Play around with toppings. Add some berries, throw a protein on it, or try some nuts or seeds on top. Have fun with it!
You may have heard the phrase “vary your veggies” or “eat the rainbow” in regards to vegetables. This is important because certain veggies provide different benefits as well as different micronutrients. However, if you are struggling to add even one into your life, don’t stress too much on the “varying” just yet. Find ways to incorporate them into your life seamlessly, and you may find you enjoy them more than you initially thought. If you need help beyond basic habit building, please consult a dietician or your physician.
What is one way you incorporate vegetables into your life? Sound off below!
Jessica Corkin is a certified personal trainer at Begin Within. She holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and has spent the last seven years working in the fitness and wellness industry. When she is not virtually training clients, she enjoys strength training, running, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband and dog.
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