Here is the link to the intro post from last week, in case you missed it!
"Eat more vegetables," they say!
"They are good for you! I swear!"
"But you have to have kale, it's a superfood."
But you hate kale... and tomatoes make you cringe. Or maybe you detest how celery always gets stuck in your teeth, or the fact that spaghetti squash just doesn't taste like spaghetti.
I get it, veggies can be tough. At the recommended 8-10 servings per day, it might feel like getting all of that in means you're chomping on veg all day. But - fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, vegetables are actually really (really!) good for you. Chalked full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fibre - regardless of the type, there is not a single one that I would tell you to avoid. The same cannot be said of our other 3 food groups - protein, carbs and fat, where there are more rules to follow (coming up on the blog over the next 3 weeks!) All of the research concretely tells us that the people who eat the most vegetables as a proportion of their overall diet have the lowest rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol and all of those other awful chronic diseases. Not to mention a diet rich in vegetables is going to provide you energy, help to keep anxiety levels down, support a healthy mood and keep those hormones in check. Hook this girl up with a salad, ASAP.
But how do we make this practical? I have two great lists in this post, but first, I want to set some ground rules.
#2 - There are vegetables that I would actually consider carbs.
Sorry. I know that sucks, I'm taking your sweet potato and your squash and swiping them out of the vegetable category. Some vegetables are higher in their carb content and while they contain lots of good stuff, they also increase our blood sugar levels. By all means, include them in your meal, but use them to fulfill your 25% of carbohydrates instead of your 50% veg. This includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, rutabaga, turnip, carrots, beets, yucca, artichoke, and parsnips.
#3 - You don't have to like kale.
Or Broccoli, or celery, or Brussels sprouts... or tomatoes, or green peppers, or really any other specific vegetable. I actually really don't like carrots (especially when they are cooked, gross!). What I am asking you to do though is eat a variety of the ones you enjoy, try new ones, or try eating them in different ways - maybe you'll like something raw but not cooked, or maybe you'll like something roasted instead of steamed. Experiment, add sea salt and pepper, add olive oil or butter, dress them up or dress them down, but eat them.
p.s. you need to start roasting your Brussels sprouts and stop steaming them, right now. You also need to put the dressing on a Kale salad about 15-20 minutes before you actually want to eat it, otherwise it's going to taste like cardboard.
Here's a list of vegetables you can consider for your 50% - comment below if I've missed any!
My favourite ways to get more veg into my life include:
Stay tuned for next week's post on FAT!
...which doesn't make YOU fat.