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  • Writer's pictureEmily Settler, RD, LD

5 Ways to Eat More Plants

We all know that eating vegetables is a major component to leading a healthy lifestyle. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep our bodies functioning properly, and fiber to keep us full and our digestive systems on track. However, many people find it difficult to fit in the recommended 5+ servings/day. Try these five tips to incorporate more veggies into your everyday lifestyle!

1. Find ways to add in veggies to your breakfast.

Most people don't think about eating vegetables at breakfast, but there are some great ways to sneak a serving or two in! Try adding veggies to an egg scramble, avocado spread on toast, shredded zucchini in oatmeal, or sneak some spinach into your smoothie. The added fiber will help keep you full throughout the morning.

2. Always have prepared veggies in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go snack.

Every Sunday I go and buy a bunch of fresh veggies such as carrots, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Then I will wash and prep all of them and portion them out into Ziploc bags or containers so that I can grab them throughout the week to snack on. You're much more likely to eat them if they are already prepared!

3. Replace part or all of the meat in your favorite dishes with beans.

If you are making a dish with ground meat, try replacing some of the meat with a can of black beans. This works for chili, tacos, burgers, and more! Beans are packed with fiber which can help lower cholesterol levels and will keep you feeling full and satisfied. It will also cut down on the fat content of the dish!

4. Try going meatless for one meal per week.

Some people may not consider a meal a true meal unless there is meat involved. However, there are great protein sources from plants that you won’t even notice the meat is missing! Try a tofu stir fry, bean chili, black bean burgers, veggie egg quiche, my southwestern black bean and corn salad, or look on Pinterest for some other great ideas! You'll get added nutrients from the vegetables, more fiber, and cut back on saturated fat.

5. Find new ways to cook vegetables.

You may have tried a vegetable in the past that you didn't like, but have you tried preparing it a different way? Personally, my favorite way to cook vegetables is roasting them in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. If you're burnt out on cooking vegetables the same way, mix it up! Try oven roasted, sautéed, or blanched.

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