More Vegetables…Please!

Vegetables are the #1 missing food in the typical diet.

When I ask my clients why this is, they usually say it’s because of bad memories of their parents making them eat all their soggy green beans before leaving the dinner table!

The truth is, veggies are not intimidating and are seriously good for you. Not only are they packed with vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, but when prepared correctly, they are incredibly delicious! Best of all, an extra serving of veggies can help you fight a meat craving.

These vegetarian options provide that extra hearty satisfaction your meatless meals might lack:

·       black beans ·       black-eyed peas ·       lentils
·       garbanzo beans ·       carrots ·       pulses

TRY THIS EXERCISE

If you’re up for experimenting in the kitchen, try curbing a meat craving with a succulent Portobello ‘steak’ burger for you and a friend:

·       2 portobello mushroom caps ·       2 (1 ounce) slices provolone cheese
·       2 wholegrain burger buns ·       1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
·       1 tablespoon olive oil ·       Salt & pepper to taste
·    ½ teaspoon dried basil & oregano ·       2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

  1. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow dish. To make the marinade, whisk vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour over the mushrooms.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  3. Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese (try a vegan type!) during the last two minutes of grilling.
  4. Serve on warm wholegrain burger buns.

Expand Your Food Horizons – Go Veg!

Organic, humane meat and dairy in moderation offer numerous vital nutrients. However, as consumption rises and quality becomes compromised, the health benefits of animal products decline.

By reducing animal products, you may experience heightened awareness of mind and body, as well as more vibrant health. There are lots of foods you can add to your diet to get the same health benefits that animal products provide – a prime example of “crowding out” questionable foods by increasing great foods.

TRY THIS EXERCISE

Next time you shop, think beyond the meat and dairy aisles – expand your food horizons!

Ask yourself: When was the last time I tried something new?

Often, we become robotic in our food routines, creating habits that may not serve us. Take this time to choose a new item that replaces a meat or dairy staple. Incorporating new foods can reignite your passion for food and life!

Choose one (or two!) from the list below to get started:

Dairy alternatives Meat & poultry alternatives
·       almond milk ·       tofu
·       coconut milk ·       tempeh
·       rice milk

·       hemp milk

·       quorn

·       seitan

When I share these substitutions with my clients, they are often concerned about hunger, as meat and dairy are naturally heavy foods that provide quick satiety. I always reassure them with this easy solution: fill your plate with extra vegetables or have an extra portion of bean salad instead!

Remember: No one diet fits all. Many thrive on good quality meat and dairy while others do just as well without. Try eliminating some animal products from your diet and go from there. Find out what works best for YOU!

Go Beyond the Salad…Root Veggies!

When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plan?

Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them.

Why Eat More Root Veggies?

Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs.

Which root vegetables do you eat most?

If you’re like most of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes. Here are a few others to explore:

  • Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying.
  • Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores.
  • Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants.
  • Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.
  • Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.
  • Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid.
  • Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber.

Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s a fun, easy recipe:

Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

1 sweet potato
2 parsnips
2 carrots
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and dice all vegetables into bite-sized cubes.

Place in a large baking dish with sides.

Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.