Eat Your Veggies! Tips from The Rungry Health Coach

Eat your veggies! I know you’ve heard that before…probably on repeat when you were a kid, and maybe in your own head as an adult. Sometimes it’s easier said than done – I mean, we’re supposed to be eating 5 servings of vegetables a day. If you’re not eating them throughout your day, it can be hard to get them all in at dinner time. Well, luckily, Beth Roessner, The Rungry Health Coach, is here today to share lots of tips on how you CAN eat your veggies without thinking twice.

Want more advice and nutrition tips from Beth? Check out The Rungry Health Coach archives here:

The Surprising Reason You May Have Trouble Losing Weight

Breaking Out of the Should Trap

The Smoothie Makeover

In Defense of Grains

Pre- and Post-Run Nutrition Tips 

What Are Probiotics? And Why Do You Need Them?

5 Best Foods for Runners

(P.S: there are a couple of Amazon affiliate links in this post – thanks for supporting Fine Fit Day!)


EAT YOUR VEGGIES!

Eat your veggies! Why vegetables are so important in your diet, and tips from The Rungry Health Coach on how you can eat more veggies every day.

I’ll just rip the Band Aid off right now and say it: We could all benefit from eating more vegetables.

Vegetables are the backbone of good nutrition. They are loaded with essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, and beneficial fiber. A diet rich in vegetables can lower the chance of cancer, stroke, heart diseases or Type-2 diabetes.

Think of veggies in terms of color—each color adds something different both nutritionally and taste wise. Red vegetables are rich in lycopene—which may fight heart disease. Orange and yellow vegetables like carrots or bell peppers, have nutrients that can lower blood pressure and boost eye health. Loaded with vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, green veggies are one of the most inexpensive sources of important nutrients. And with green veggies, the darker the leaf, the more loaded it is with nutrients! Your cells will get a nutritional boost from purple vegetables because of anthocyanin, a health-promoting chemical that helps protect cells.

When preparing a meal, instead of prepping around the main course or meat entrée, make the vegetables the star of the show. Veggies should take up at least 50 percent of the plate, and try eating them first. Because they’re loaded with fiber, they make us fuller more quickly.

And, there are more ways to eat vegetables than just steamed or in a salad, because let’s face it; these two options get boring quickly.

Challenge Yourself with Salads

Salads don’t have to be bowls of limp romaine lettuce. Play with each topping—from the protein to the dressing on top. And to take your salad game to the next level, challenge yourself to eat one salad per day for a week. You can play with different proteins like marinated shrimp, crispy chickpeas, high-quality chicken breast or a veggie burger. Play with texture and add a chewy grain like quinoa or faro. When dressed with a tasty vinaigrette and loaded with shredded vegetables, a grain salad can make a hearty lunch option.  (Here are 27 delicious salad recipes if you need some new ideas).

Add a Veggie to Every Meal

From breakfast through dinner, veggies can be added to nearly every meal. (It’s not as if you have to have a side of carrot sticks with your morning oatmeal.) But, breakfast seems to be the hardest place to squeeze in more vegetables. Pair sautéed veggies with scrambled eggs, or make a vegetable-packed omelet. Speaking of oatmeal, add shredded zucchini or carrot right into the oats to add a bit of texture and color. Are you a morning smoothie drinker? Add a handful of greens or other hidden veggies right into the blender!

Drink a Smoothie

You can cram so much more into smoothies than fruit. Frozen vegetables like cauliflower, green peas or zucchini make excellent additions because they add extra nutrition without extra taste.  (Frozen veggies also add a delightful creaminess!) To boost your greens intake, add a handful of spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, green cabbage or kale. To make your smoothie a beautiful color, add red beets, red bell pepper or red cabbage. To add a flavorful twist, add fresh herbs like parsley, basil or mint. Check out these tips and recipes for revamping your smoothies to be veggie-packed powerhouses!

Put Out a Veggie Tray

Everyone gets a bit peckish in that hour or so just before dinner—kids and parents alike. To help instill healthy snack habits and to ensure everyone eats their veggies, try placing out a tray of fresh veggies and dip. Carrots, peppers, celery, broccoli and other veggie favorites can easily be prepared during a meal prep session and then placed on a plate throughout the week.

All veggie trays need a dip. Hummus, guacamole, Greek yogurt-based ranch dressing or other homemade dressings make great dips. If using a store-bought dip, read the ingredient label and stay away from any processed ingredients, added sugars or other things you cannot pronounce. Stick with dips that are made with real ingredients.

Replace an Ingredient with a Vegetable

While a bit more abstract, certain vegetables can easily replace mealtime staples. Cauliflower rice—simply finely chopped cauliflower—can easily stand in for rice or quinoa in many dishes. Small kitchen appliances called spiralizers turn veggies into noodles, and these veggie noodles are incredibly versatile. Sweet potato rounds or slabs can be used as sandwich buns, and thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant can even stand in as sheet noodles in lasagna. Get creative!

Drink Them Instead

Sometimes, 3pm rolls around and we realize we haven’t eaten many vegetables all day. An easy way to introduce some more is through freshly pressed juices. But be weary of these popular beverages: They are often loaded with sugars.

When juice shopping, stick to bottles that contain mostly vegetables and check the nutrition label to see how much sugar is in there. Another drawback of juice is that it does not contain the beneficial fiber. While a green juice can be tasty, make this a treat not a habit. (Also, buying juice can get expensive quickly!)

Some health food companies do make powdered greens that can easily be added to hot beverages. These are great options for those with very packed schedules or for wary travelers. 

So – do you have any tricks you’ve used to incorporate more veggies into your diet every day? What works for you to get your 5 servings a day?


The Rungry Health Coach - contributing writer for Fine Fit DayBeth Roessner is a one-time couch potato turned avid runner, triathlete and wellness warrior. Through her business, The Rungry Health Coach, she works with adults around the country to help them reach all of their wellness and running goals–from weight loss to boosting a runner’s mental game. She firmly believes that overall wellness is about small changes that help create sustainable habits. Beth lives in Washington DC, where she enjoys morning runs around the monuments, and eating a lot of vegetables.

If you’d like to connect with Beth, you can find her on The Rungry Health Coach, on Facebook and on Instagram.


Eat your veggies! Why vegetables are so important in your diet, and tips from The Rungry Health Coach on how you can eat more veggies every day.

Comments

  1. It is so obvious but it’s so true over here. My 11-year-old will snarf the RAW when I put them out on a tray. Even without tip. If they are there cut up and easily accessible – – she’s in
    Carla recently posted…4 lessons learned from coaching cheer.My Profile

  2. I love the idea of a week long salad challenge. I might just do that.
    Quick question about veggie smoothies: which vegetables do you add raw and which cooked?
    Nina recently posted…November 2017 reading listMy Profile

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