Are you someone who naturally snacks on fresh cherries or grape tomatoes, instead of popsicles or frozen yogurt?
Do you find it easy to get in your daily requirement of vegetables and fruits?
If you answered no to these questions, then these tips just might be for you... whether you are interested in weight loss/maintenance or whether you are just trying to fuel your daily workouts and keep up with your busy life.
At a recent Weight Watchers meeting we talked about how to ‘power up’ our meals with zero or low P+ fruits and vegetables.
Here are some of the ideas we came up with:
1. Add vegetables to meals and snacks wherever you can to bulk them up and increase nutrients.
Cut up peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onions and add to omelets; chop cucumbers and onions into your tuna salad; shred carrots and celery into your soups.
2. Plan your meals around vegetables.
Try grilling kebabs made of onions, peppers, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, along with a few shrimp. Make vegetable sauces for your pasta and shredded cheese. Plan spinach salads with fruit and chicken for dinner. Stir fry veggies with pork to eat with brown rice.
4. Purchase convenient pre-packaged veggies and/or veggies with sauce.
There are lots of different brands and styles of frozen veggies available. All you need to do is add the protein of your choice for a complete meal.
5. Eat fruit for dessert.
Top yogurt or ice cream with blueberries, or diced bananas. Or, top a brownie with sliced strawberries. Freeze banana chunks and whiz them in the food processor to make a banana-flavoured soft serve. Grill pineapple chunks on the BBQ.
6. Drink your fruit and your veggies.
Make smoothies with bananas, berries, spinach leaves, kale, milk, yogurt or protein powder.
7. Have fresh, cut-up veggies in the fridge for between-meal snacking.
Snap peas, green beans, grape tomatoes, carrots sticks, pepper slices, cucumbers… and they all go nicely with a low-fat hummus or a fat-free sour cream dip.
8. When you are in a hurry, stop at your local deli or salad bar to pick up freshly made salads or even just an assortment of vegetables.
Buy sliced peppers, broccoli, and carrots to make up a stir fry or diced tomatoes and spinach for an omelet or frittata.
9. Mix fruit and vegetables in new cominations.
Add strawberries, pears, or blueberries to spinach salads with feta or blue cheese crumbles. Mix grains with chopped apples, onions, green peppers, and dried cranberries.
10. Try experimenting with vegetarian 'meatless' meals.
Try stir-fries with tofu, meatless chilis, Moroccan stews. Have grains and beans with vegetables for dinner salads.
How do you add more vegetables and fruits to your day’s food plan?
Do you ever have meatless meals?