Even though vegetable has 9 letters it is treated like a 4 letter word. “Yuck, vegetables most people think!”
However, no matter what health experts you talk to, whether they are into paleo, keto or veganism they all have one thing in common….they all know the importance of vegetables. Vegetables are the most important food group there is. Now don’t get me wrong, we can’t live on vegetables alone. We would starve this way, we need more calories.
Vegetables are packed with nutrients that we need. The average person isn’t getting nearly enough veggies as they should be getting. Because of this, most people are deficient in all kinds of vitamins and minerals. The more vegetables you eat the more you will crave them. Seriously! I crave veggies now.
I have 8 tips for you to start loving vegetables, instead of wanting to run the other way.
1. Try different cooking methods. Do you like your broccoli raw, boiled, roasted or steamed? I have discovered I don’t like sweet potatoes steamed, but I LOVE them roasted! Through experimenting, I have discovered that I prefer most of my veggies roasted/baked.
I have also discovered through experimenting with food, that most raw veggies make me bloated. My body struggles with breaking down the enzymes. When I cook them, my body has an easier time breaking down the enzymes, so no more bloat.
2. Spice it up. A lot of people don’t like vegetables because they can be bland. If this is you, spice it up. Things like rosemary, thyme, basil, cumin, oregano, cayenne, cardamom, garlic, and cinnamon are very healthy for you! They are packed with all sorts of nutrients. Give your veggies some flavor!
3. Buy only your favorite veggies. This is a tip I still need to be reminded about. I sometimes buy a vegetable because I think I should eat it, but not necessarily because I want to. Then it sits in my refrigerator until it goes bad. I like broccoli, but it’s not a favorite of mine, so more time than not it goes bad in my fridge. Right now I am all about Asparagus, sweet potato and red bell peppers and brussel sprouts. In a week that can be different.
4. Try something new. This kind of contradicts my last tip, but hear me out. If you see a veggie you have never tried or haven’t tried in a really long time….get a small amount and see what you think.
My taste buds have changed a lot lately. These examples I am about to give are not vegetables, but I think you will understand what I am saying. I have never liked grapefruit, but it has been a while since I have tried them. So a few weeks ago I bought a grapefruit and discovered I still don’t like them. I used to hate quinoa, but now I like it. Up until a couple of years ago I have never tried jicama, I discovered I like it, but I don’t love it, so I normally don’t buy them.
5. Get ‘em in any way you can! Any vegetable is better than no vegetable. Find out if you like them in soups, smoothies, salads or as a side dish. Do you like french fries? Find a healthy way to make them.
If you like squash, but know if you buy them they will probably sit on your counter until they go bad because you hate cutting them, buy pre-cut squash. Or peeled garlic. Anything to make your life easier….do it! We are creatures of convenience! Do whatever you want to do, without any shame!
6. Change your mindset around it. Let’s face it, sometimes what is bad for us is way more appealing than what is good for us. We want what is forbidden. I often wonder what would happen if health experts said: “Vegetables are bad for you and sugar is really really good for you”. Would people start eating more vegetables and less sugar? What if I said, “Okay Susan, whatever you do, DO NOT eat that carrot!” Would you want it? We are rebellious!
Instead of looking at getting vegetables as a chore, try thinking something like this “My body is so good to me! It breathes without me thinking about it. I can walk/run/skip from A to B. It allows me to hug my loved ones. It works really hard just for ME! I get to return the love by eating healthy food and bringing in some nutrients.” or “This is going to make me feel better, it is going to help me sleep better, give me more energy and strengthen my immune system. This way I can take care of my loved ones better because I will have more energy and won’t be sick.”
7. Be mindful. This is going to sound really silly, but I swear it works. When eating vegetables, really look at it! It’s color and texture. How does it smell? How does it taste? Do you like the taste? Why or why not? If you don’t like it, is it too bitter or sour? Could it be because you don’t like it….because it’s good for you and you want to protest? Would you like it if you spiced it up? Do you not like it because of the texture? What is it about the texture? If you cooked it a different way or ground it up would you like it? If you like it, what do you like about it? Really think about it!
8. Baby-Steps. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of vegetables and say tomorrow you are going to eat healthily. This usually results in people being overwhelmed and thinking “forget this!”. Take one veggie at a time. Discover how you like it cooked and spiced. Get to know that vegetable and what you like about it and what you don’t like about it. You getting more vegetables in your life isn’t going to happen overnight.
Try adding more veggies to one meal a day, when you have that down, upgrade to two meals and so forth.
One step at a time!
Here are my 8 tips for you. Let me know what you thought about this email or if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org