Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are the key to good health. That doesn’t mean that everyone is diligent in making sure they have enough of each every day. By incorporating a few clever ideas into your meal preparation, you can add more vital vitamins to your diet and improve your health.
1. Add veggies to common meals
When I began a commercial diet program last year, one of the main goals was to add fiber. Vegetables are a great way of doing this and I found some sneaky ways to add them in. Instead of having just plain pizza, I add peppers (Vitamin C). I also like to add peppers to a variety of meals like omelettes and sandwiches. When making spaghetti it is easy to throw some broccoli into the mix. By being conscious of meals you normally make that you can add vegetables to, you can easily increase the vitamins you get in your daily diet.
2. Puree veggies and add to meals
Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, recently published a cookbook about healthy eating for kids. One of the great ideas she touched on is adding pureed fruits and vegetables to meals. By pureeing fresh produce it can be secretly added to meals with no one the wiser. Chard, carrots and sweet potatoes all puree nicely and can be added to foods surreptiously. These purees can be added to sauces, mixes like pancake and brownies, and casseroles like mac and cheese and lasagna. So if you can’t get over eating all the veggies on your plate, hide them inside your food!
3. Add juice to your diet
There are a number of great juices on the market that can easily, and sweetly add more vitamins to your day. The V8 lines of juices, from Campbells, offers many options from fruit and vegetable juices to the classic V8 vegetable juice. Try making one of these juices a morning ritual.
4. Keep track of your goals and progres
Weight loss experts encourage journaling to keep dieters on track. Journaling is a great method for accounting for what you have ingested. Set a goal for yourself for the amount of vegetables you would like to eat or the specific vitamins you need in your diet. Then each day journal your diet and see if you have met your goals. If not, try again tomorrow. If you have, this journal will serve as a great resource for you when you have days where you just couldn’t get all those servings in.
5. Account for what you spend on produce
Uneaten produce equals money in the trash can. So if you can find no other way to coerce yourself into making good use of vitamin filled produce, the thought of throwing money away may serve as a great motivator. Track what you spend on produce. This will serve to show you what you have to lose if you don’t eat the produce. You may also find that produce costs less than your favorite junk foods.
By making just a little effort to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you will find that you can easily and painlessly increase your intake of essential vitamins everyday. Try adding whole fruits and veggies, and pureed ones to your current recipes. The simple addition of juice to your diet can add many beneficial vitamins. And if you need motivation you can journal to track your progress and take into account the money you would be wasting if you don’t eat the produce you have purchased. All of these positive changes will help you increase your vitamin intake and in turn lead a healthier and happier life!