For some of us, eating vegetables is just part of our daily routine.
It’s easy. It’s a natural component of our diet. It’s a habit.
Unfortunately, for most, it can be a very difficult task to meet your daily requirement of vegetables.
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends you consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day. One serving is equivalent to roughly 1/2 to 1 cup of either raw or cooked veggies.
But how often are we really meeting those daily requirements?
A recent survey showed us the following scary statistic: out of 373,000 adults across all 50 U.S. states, only 9% ate enough vegetables.
Despite the fact that vegetables are jam-packed with health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients, very few seem to eat their vegetables.
And it is a real problem.
This is why I love the idea of Eat Your Vegetables Day. Celebrated on June 17th (and situated in the middle of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month), it is a perfect time to pay attention to the role of vegetables in our lives.
And it is not just about making sure we eat our daily recommended servings, it is also a great opportunity to take a fresh look at this wonderful category of food.
7 Tips Sure to Boost Your Veggie Consumption
If you really cannot stand the thought of some broccoli or the sight of string beans in your meal, rest assured, there are some great ways to spice up your vegetable intake.
Tip #1: Invest in Herbs, Spices, and Sauces
Anyone on a plant-based diet will tell you it’s all about the herbs and spices. Steamed asparagus not floating your boat? Well, think about adding some spices into the mix. Roast those veggies with some lemon juice. Maybe add some soy sauce to that stir fry of yours. Before you know it, your dishes will start tasting a lot less bland!
Tip #2: Add Veggies to Some of Your Most Loved Dishes
Do you and your family love that famous lasagna of yours? Why not take the opportunity to (leave the animal ingredients out and) incorporate some zucchini into the recipe? Taking family classics and adding vegetables into the mix is not only a healthful choice, it can also be great fun and spice up your dishes.
Tip #3: Use That Blender
Running out of time and want to quickly eat those vegetables? Turn them into a smoothie. By mixing fruit and greens (like baby spinach, kale, or even raw broccoli), you’ll be able to concoct a delicious drink with a myriad of health benefits for your body. (Eating vegetables rather than drinking them is almost always preferable, but smoothies are one of the easiest ways to start adding more veggies into your diet.)
Tip #4: Think Easy
Incorporating vegetables in your day-to-day life does not have to be a complicated task. Think easy. Cut up celery, bell peppers, and carrots, throw them into containers and place them right at the front of your fridge. You’ll be surprised at how easy a snack they can be! Want to really make things interesting? Whip up some oil-free hummus. Click here for a great recipe.
Tip #5: Get Inspired
Check out your local farmer’s market. Go to a new organics store. Try some vegetables you are not used to buying. The vegetable world is a beautiful and bustling one. Depending on the time of the year, you will be able to find different veggies to stock your pantry all the time so it is impossible to get bored.
Tip #6: Make a Promise
Promise yourself to include vegetables at every meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although that can sound like quite the undertaking, your body will thank you for it in the long run.
Tip #7: Relax
Eating vegetables or living on a plant-based diet should not be a source of anxiety. No need to panic if your diet is not perfect on a given day. There is always tomorrow, and you will get better at it with time.
So how can you celebrate this special day?
- Talk. If you already follow a plant-based diet successfully, take the opportunity to talk with your friends and loved ones about how vegetables, and more specifically a plant-based lifestyle, can really impact your health in a positive way.
- Garden. Maybe it is time to start that vegetable garden you have always wanted to. Not only will it be a source of fresh food for you and your family, but also a great way to teach kids about the importance (and pure magic) that is vegetables.
- Cook. Today we got a delicious recipe for you to try out in honor of Eat Your Vegetables Day. It’s a simple, quick, easy to make and oh-so-delicious way to eat your vegetables. Check out our Garden Couscous Salad.
So… are you making the best out of your vegetables? Let us know in the comment section below!