Maybe you already knew why vegetables are good for you and now you are even more inspired, or maybe that article taught you something new, either way, knowing is only half the battle. It isn’t the why, it is the how where we often get stuck.
Know your goal! (1) The recommended goal is 4-6 servings of vegetables per day. A vegetable serving is either 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked.
Make a plan! If you eat 3 meals and 2 snacks then there are 5 opportunities per day to eat vegetables.
Know yourself-be honest with yourself! Make it convenient to eat vegetables. If that means you buy the pre-cut ones or you pre-cut them, then make an honest assessment of your time, kitchen skill level and then plan accordingly.
Be willing to break the meal mold! We have been conditioned to think that specific foods are served at specific times of the day. Meals do not have to look a certain way. Incorporate vegetables into every meal, even breakfast! Go ahead, I dare you to try a breakfast salad.
The My Plate, can be your plate too! Try strategies devised by nutrition professionals and let vegetables take up 25% of your plate at every meal.
Try something new! Different cooking methods yield different flavors, just because you do not like broccoli raw does not mean you won’t like it steamed with garlic powder. Look up recipes or try new cooking skills.
Start sampling! All veggies do not taste the same, mix it up and experiment. The produce people at grocery stores will sometimes allow you to have a free sample a vegetable, just ask. You might find that you LOVE a veggie that you have never even tried before, and yes I said love.
Just to make it even easier, here is a sample of what a days worth of 6 servings would look like. ½ cup cooked bell peppers and onions in egg scramble, 1 cup snap peas and almonds, a salad with 1 cup spinach and 1 cup arugula with lunch, 1 cup raw mixed veggies and dip for a snack and 1 cup of sautéed veggies with dinner.
One last little tidbit of information; researchers in a longitudinal study that reviewed data from 2007, 2009 and 2013 and looked at vegetable/fruit intake and compared it to reported happiness, found that people who ate 8 or more servings of vegetables per day were more happy. (2)