You’re not a kid anymore, and no one technically has to sneak green into your diet. Right?
One of the primary concerns when eating healthier is taking in more plant-based foods. Fresh, raw or lightly cooked produce is great because a) it’s calorically liberal so you can eat more of it, and b) it’s full of good fiber which helps us feel satiated. Too many people think upping their daily plant-based servings means eating heads of lettuce and munching on broccoli. Well, there’s nothing wrong with either of those things, if that’s what you enjoy.
But in reality, incorporating veggies into your diet doesn’t mean eating salads for every meal. In fact, discovering creative ways to up your green intake is part of the fun of getting healthier.
Here are five not only painless, but fresh and enjoyable ways to up your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Green Smoothies + Juicing
Blending fresh juices and smoothies is fun in and of itself, but the tasty treats it creates are even better. Juicing includes all kinds of fruits and vegetables, but the genius is that you can sneak so many green vegetables in and cover the taste with delicious fruits like apple or banana. Try replacing one of your daily 310 shakes with a green smoothie or simply add a green smoothie as a delicious midday snack.
Leafy Green Herbs
Not just for the gourmets amongst us, fresh herbs spice up everything from eggs to veggies to meats to drinks. Leafy green herbs are a welcome addition to a number of dishes and drinks, and it’s fun to experiment with the difference flavors they lend. Herbs like rosemary and mint are deeply antioxidant and even proven to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
Infuse Your Water
Water is another great place for herbs and fruits alike. Infusing your h20 with fresh fruits like pineapple, cucumber, and watermelon and including leafy herbs like basil and mint make for a deeper and more delicious hydration than water alone.
Get Green with Vegan Protein
If you use protein before and/or after your workouts or for supplementation during the day, check the ingredients. If you’re still using soy or whey protein, you’re missing out on a tasty and easy way to get more greens. Vegan proteins provide the high levels of protein along with up to 5-6 servings of vegetables. What’s not to love?
Color your plate! Purple beets, orange carrots, yellow squash, and the plethora of green vegetables are made to be mixed and matched. A great way to get more of these veggies is to make noodles, chips, and even “rice” out of them. Beet and kale chips, sweet potato and zucchini noodles, and broccoli “rice” are all fantastic examples of turning low-calorie vegetables into delicious meal starters that mirror high-calorie, glutinous pastas and rices. See how colorful you can make your lunch or dinner plate by spiralizing various starchy and green vegetables
Finally, a great rule of thumb is to learn new ways to prepare fruits and vegetables that will ensure your maximum enjoyment.
Whether your goal is weight loss, maintenance, or simply living a healthier lifestyle, plant-based options are always the best idea.