Especially if you’re working a 9-to-5, have kids or live in a climate that is on the colder side, consumption of fresh produce like fruits and vegetables often gets tricky. Without making an extra effort and being conscious of its importance it is easy to get into a habit of going for whatever doesn’t require much preparation, chopping and creativity.
While there is nothing wrong with eggs on toast, adding some spinach or avocado on the side simply does make a huge difference for good digestion, appetite like clockwork and maintaining a healthy weight throughout our whole lives.
As we have known for some decades now, for a healthy person fruits are best consumed in-between and a bit before meals rather than during or right after as a dessert. This ensures proper digestion and consequently, absorption of vitamins and micronutrients.
Vegetables, on the other hand, are best incorporated into each and every meal. Above all, by that we mean non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens like kale, arugula or tomatoes, since they provide us with more fibre and vitamins, and typically - less carbohydrates.
If “every meal should include a veggie” made your brows raise, you are right where you have to be. Here are some simple, one-at-a-time tips on how to make vegetables your go-to instead of no-go!
- 50% rule. Base your meals around vegetables, not the other way around. Think of which you could eat first, then either cook a meal based off these vegetables or fill 50% of your plate with them before adding a protein and a complex carbohydrate on the side.
- Nourish bowls or buddha bowls. Constructing a carb-protein-greens-vegetable meal with all your favourite ingredients might be easier than looking up specific dishes to make. Meal prep can be a huge time- and lifesaver: try cutting and cooking some vegetables in beforehand to just throw a spoonful of each into a bowl and save tons of time.
- Start with a “side” salad. It is simply true that some dishes you love won't be that vegetable-friendly, or you might simply not want to modify their taste. Of course, that's totally fine as well: whatever meal you will be eating next, first fill a small bowl with a classic tomato-cucumber salad and something crunchy like sunflower or hemp seeds on top. This order of eating helps a lot with satiety because of the added volume.
- Incorporate vegetables into unexpected meals. It could be anything at all: a savoury porridge, a full-blown breakfast salad, a snack or a dessert. Did you know brownies can be baked with beetroot? Have you heard of coconut zucchini bread? ...What about our Beetroot x Aronia AHARAbar? :)