One of the key factors you need to be focusing on in your diet plan if you hope to see as much success as possible with your weight loss efforts is squeezing more vegetables into your day. Not only are vegetables loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally each and every day, but they’re also very low in calories, making them ideal for helping assist with weight control. Fail to take in vegetables and you may just find yourself feasting on foods of great caloric density, making weight control a real challenge.
This said, far too many people simply don’t like the taste of vegetables, so they often end up an afterthought when planning their meals. Let’s take a quick look into how you can go about getting those vegetables in quickly and painlessly.
Blend Them Into Sauces
The first quick and simple way to add more vegetables into your day would be to simply blend them up into any sauces that you might be preparing. For instance, if you’re whipping up a batch of spaghetti sauce, you can simply blend in some broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, and onions as desired. You won’t even know they’re in there, but you’ll be reaping the nutritional rewards. What’s really great about this as well is it can add bulk to the sauces that you’re preparing, which will decrease the total calorie content per serving significantly, making for a lighter overall meal.
Keep in mind not all vegetables will work in this manner (cucumbers, for instance, would not be a good choice) but most won’t change the texture or consistency of the sauce all that much.
Liven Up Your Salads
Another great way to get your vegetables in is to whip up a big salad at the start of the day and aim to have it finished by day’s end. If you groan at the thought of yet another salad, it may just be because you aren’t making your salads interesting enough. Branch away from a traditional vegetable-only salad composed of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers and bring in some other flavors to the mix. Fresh fruits like strawberries and blueberries, mandarin orange segments, or even sliced apple all taste great in a salad and add an element of sweetness without many calories or grams of sugar. Likewise, you can also toss in some nuts or seeds, such as cashews, pecans, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds. These will all work excellent and help add some healthy fats to the salad. Slicing up some avocado is another way to add that creamy texture you might be craving in your salad as well.
By bringing these foods to the dish, you’ll enhance the nutrition further and as it’ll be so flavorful, you might find that you hardly even need to add dressing to the salad at all.
Bring Veggies Into Your Morning Meal
When it comes to breakfast, most people are feasting on heavy carb options like cereal, toast, pancakes, or fruit. And while these, in moderation, aren’t all that bad, you don’t want to base your entire meal around them or you’ll be taking in too many calories and not getting the nutrition that you need. Instead, bring some vegetables and protein into the mix. Prepare a delicious home made omelet using a combination of diced peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
This will make for a far healthier breakfast meal, giving you that blend of macronutrients you need for optimal results. If you aren’t a fan of omelets, consider doing poached eggs over toast, but add some steamed spinach to that dish on top of the toast under the eggs. If you look hard enough, it’s not too challenging to bring vegetables into your morning meal.
Whip Up A Delicious Dip
Raw vegetables can be the perfect go-to snack. However, most people avoid this because they just don’t care for the taste of it. To help get those raw veggies in, prepare a delicious tasting dip. You can create your own healthier version of dip by blending together some low fat Greek yogurt along with some fat free mayonnaise. To this add some onion soup mix powder or some fresh dill and garlic (or any spices that you desire). Mix these together and serve immediately.
The great thing about raw vegetables and dip is that it’s easy to pull out of the fridge and eat anytime you have the munchies, so won’t require any cooking effort on your part.
Build A Recipe Database Of Soups And Stews
The next option to consider is simply building a recipe database full of soups and stews that can be used to help you meet your daily quota of fresh vegetables. Soups and stews are an excellent choice as it’s easy to add an assortment of vegetables into these, making them hearty, lower calorie options. Be sure to add a protein source to these when preparing them and you have a complete meal option ready to go.
The nice thing about these is that you can make a large batch and freeze them for eating later on.
Consider Using Frozen
Finally, the last thing that you might consider is actually turning to frozen vegetables to fill the void. If you aren’t eating your vegetables simply because it takes too much time to chop them, keeping a bag of frozen veggies on hand makes this excuse go away. Buy a bag of frozen vegetables and begin adding them to dishes you’re preparing whether it’s a stir-fry, casserole, stew, or otherwise. You can also steam frozen vegetables quickly and easy and serve them simply as a side dish.
So make sure that you aren’t letting your vegetable intake fall by the wayside. As long as you get a little creative, it really doesn’t have to be hard at all to fit them in. Start looking for options in your own menu and before you know it, you’ll be at your 5-10 servings a day.
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