Creative ways to eat more vegetables
When the weather is cold, our body will burn much energy, and one of the foods that need to be loaded at this time is not protein but green vegetables. It sounds unreasonable, but a meal with lots of green vegetables will help the body metabolize better, create a feeling of fullness for a long time, and lose weight effectively.
Nutritionists and health coaches have also recognized and regularly reminded us of the importance of increasing our daily vegetable intake.
“Based on 2018 food consumption data, only 7.5% of people 18 years of age and older meet dietary guidelines for vegetable intake,” the experts said. In particular, green vegetables are not only a low-kilojoule food but also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
Also, a general rule of thumb is to make sure two meals a day have green vegetables including plenty of greens in your snack.”
Here are ten tips to help you increase the number of vegetables in your diet:
- Balance out breakfast with grilled mushrooms, tomato, wilted baby spinach, and char-grilled asparagus to accompany your eggs on toast.
- Have a mug of your favourite vegetable or legume-based soup to warm you up for a low-kilojoule snack. Try soup for main course with a slice of wholegrain bread. Suggest to a colleague or friend to have a “soup exchange” where you swap half of your soup with each other so you have variety in your freezer.
- Bulk up your slow-cooked meals by adding in extra vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, onions, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, and parsnips. Don’t forget to “balance your plate”. You may need to add some extra steamed, green vegetables when serving slow-cooked meals to keep your winter meals more balanced and kilojoule friendly. Think steamed broccolini, cauliflower, snow peas, and beans.
- Char-grilled asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and capsicum are great with grilled salmon, pork, beef, or lamb.
- One-tray roast-vegetable medleys are a great way to top up your veggie intake. Think roast beetroot, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, onion, carrot, parsnips, capsicum, and pumpkin. Sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil and your favourite dukkha, mixed herbs, or lemon and garlic for extra flavour.
- Frozen individual bags of vegetables are a great back up to add to that left over slow-cooked meal that isn’t quite enough for a meal on its own.
- Lentil dishes—such as dhal or vegetarian curry based on a variety of legumes—are a great low-calorie way to keep hearty winter dishes lower kilojoule.
- Left over roast vegetables can add a nice twist to your salad the next day. Think roast pumpkin or roast sweet potato, pecans, and baby-spinach salad; or roast potato, rocket, and parmesan salad with balsamic glaze.
- Top up lasagne or bolognaise with extra vegetables and legumes like lentils, cannellini beans, canned tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, carrot, zucchini, olives, celery, and capsicum.
- Remember to balance your plate. Aim for ½ your plate with free vegetables like green leafy veg, capsicum, mushrooms, or salad etc; ¼ with lean meats, fish, legumes, or eggs; and ¼ with low-GI carbohydrates (wholegrain pasta, Basmati rice, potato, sweet potato, or corn).
Remember to balance your plate. Aim for ½ your plate with free vegetables like green leafy veg, capsicum, mushrooms, or salad etc; ¼ with lean meats, fish, legumes, or eggs; and ¼ with low-GI carbohydrates (wholegrain pasta, Basmati rice, potato, sweet potato, or corn).