Nutrition Blog

Veggies or Cheez-Its?

An overflowing bowl of mixed greens, herbs, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, radishes, carrots, and avocado | Nutrition Blog | Why Should I Eat More Veggies?

June is fresh fruit and vegetable month.

Let’s get excited! Not? Yes, I know, I know, this probably evokes images of your mother wagging her finger at you at the dinner table telling you to eat that mushy broccoli or those limp green beans that were always so unappetizing! Vegetables may evoke some pretty bad imagery if you were part of the “clean your plate club” unallowed to rise from the dinner table before you stuffed your face with those awful tasting vegetables. Or maybe you were way more creative and snuck it under the table for your dog to negotiate eating it!

Although we all know that we need to eat a minimum of 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day, many of us don’t even get close to eating the allotted number of recommended servings. Why? Because it is way more convenient and sometimes tastier to grab a handful of cheez its, crackers or chips that are quietly lying around in your pantry just begging to be picked up and consumed.

Why can’t vegetables be jazzy like prime rib or delectable Fettuccine Alfredo  as featured in the best steakhouses in town? Because we don’t know how to make them taste THAT good. And no, you don’t have to douse your vegetables in creamy salad dressing, excessive fats and salts in order for them to taste right. Highlighting the flavors of a vegetable with the right herbs and spices really allows that vegetable to shine. Here’s a quick and dirty little chart to get your juices flowing. Try some of these pairings and drop me a line (voula@mynutritiondesign.com) and let me know how those vegetables turned out.

 One of my absolute favorite dishes in the summer is steaming zucchini or broccoli just until they are fork tender and adding EVOO, a little salt and pepper with gratings of lemon zest. For extra pizzazz I sprinkle some good Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese (a tablespoon or so), just to have it melt in and enhance the flavor of the vegetable and the bright lemon flavors. Always buy the best, most in season vegetables and ingredients. Your food is only as good as what you put into it!

Now, if your vegetables taste right, you might just go for that extra helping of yummy roasted eggplant or fork tender green beans sauteed in heavenly olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Make it a cup, maybe two. This might just put your mashed potato special, pasta and rice on the sidelines as the vegetables take center stage. Eating more vegetables adds more fiber and water and is more filling and sustaining than a cup of your starchier counterpart. This will lend well to managing your weight effortlessly as you start to add more and more vegetables to your weekly menu rotation only because they taste that good. Consider frozen plain vegetables if you’re in a pinch. They are just as good as fresh and there is less waste with them. So, don’t forget to add the vegetables and herbs/spices to your weekly shopping lists so menu planning is a breeze!

Who said healthy couldn’t be tasty?

Bottom Line:

Make vegetables a staple to your everyday diet. Adding those vegetables to your weekly menus and shopping lists will make the thought of eating more fiber a reality, and will bring you one step closer to deliciously managing your eating and your weight!

Still struggling with the idea of eating more vegetables? My weight management program can help you find the fun in eating healthy. Learn more here.

If you’re looking for more cooking tips, join me in my next Facebook Live cooking demo where I will show you my tips and tricks for healthy eating in the kitchen.

Voula Manousos’ writing is featured in the “Winchester Living Magazine” and “The Winchester Star” of Wicked Local.

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