3 Simple Ways to Eat More Veggies

Vegetables and leafy greens are chock full of nutrition including vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes, and phytonutrients. As a Fort Collins Nutritionist, I held a workshop last week and had several questions that went like this: “how do I eat more vegetables?” or “how do I fit more vegetables into my diet?” So as a health coach and nutritionist, my question in response was this: “what is getting in your way of your goal to eat more vegetables?”

These were the main obstacles that the workshop attendees cited:Veggie Stir Fry

  • Not enough time to chop and prepare the vegetables during the week
  • Not grocery shopping frequently enough to have fresh vegetables in the fridge
  • Not knowing how to prepare them or how to cook them
  • Vegetables are boring and don’t taste very good
  • My kids don’t like vegetables

Can you relate? If you’re using any of these as excuses to not eat vegetables or are eating fewer vegetables than you’d like, here are 3 simple ways to eat more veggies:

1. Plan meals to incorporate vegetables

Planning your meals ahead of time is essential to knowing what you’re going to have for meals and to radically reduce your stress around mealtimes. When planning your meals for the week, try to make each meal about half veggies or aim to fill half your plate with vegetables whether you’re eating at home or on the go. If you’d like to learn more about meal planning simply and easily, grab a copy of my brand new book Real Food, Real Simple: A Personalized Plan for More Energy, Less Stress, and Healthy Meals in Minutes or check out the Get Real in 8 Weeks program (kicks-off on January 28, 2013)!

2. Shop for fresh and frozen vegetables so you always have them on hand

This may seem like a total no-brainer, but vegetables do take time to prepare and are really hard to eat if you don’t have them in the house! If you find that getting to a grocery store or farmers’ market for fresh produce is a challenge for you, stock your freezer with lots of frozen veggies. Depending on where you live, fresh vegetables are often shipped from thousands of miles away in the winter so buying frozen vegetables that were picked fresh in season and frozen immediately are actually a better choice.

3. Pre-cut veggies for your meals and snacks

For many of my clients, time is of the essence during the week and taking more than 30 minutes to prepare meals is a stretch. There are several different strategies that my clients use to make cutting and chopping veggies during the week easier. The favorite is to pre-cut veggies for all of your meals and snacks throughout the week at one time during the weekend and store them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them. That way, they are ready to go when you need them. If you’re super busy and feel like you don’t have time to cut and prep veggies on the weekend, you can also buy pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables at most grocery stores and incorporate those into your meal plan for the week.

Want to make tasty dishes with loads of veggies in 30 minutes or less? I will walk you step-by-step through the process to make healthy cooking simple and easy in the Get Real in 8 Weeks program. I’d LOVE to have you join us! Don’t wait, it kicks-off on January 28th, 2013.

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Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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