One of the factors why we are gaining weight is due to the kind of foods we are eating. I know all of us here knew that. Well, blame that to the tempting food shops around you and those owners who aim to catch your attention through the mouth-watering aroma and presentations of their foods. 😜
Anyway, kidding aside. There are actually numerous food stops that serve menus which aren’t even healthy and good for our body, especially those who are vending junk foods. In order to avoid consuming these, you’d better start munching more veggies to become strong and healthy!
To guide you attain your weight loss goal this year, here are 5 ways to add veggies in your diet meals:
1. Determine the nutritional element of the foods
You must take into consideration the nutritional makeup of the foods you’ll be eating e.g. macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) to attain a balance diet.
If you’ve been eating lots of meats before, make it less these days and increase your vegetable intake instead. If you want to substitute meat with veggies that also consist of same micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12, you can have the following:
(iron) whole grains, white beans, lentils, dried fruit (apricots), dark green leafy veggies (cooked spinach), olives, beans and peas, asparagus, coconut, mushroom and arugula (rocket).
(zinc) spinach, garlic, sesame seeds, cashews, cooked napa cabbage, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon grass, green peas, firewood sprouts, palm hearts, stir fried lentil sprouts, raw winged bean tubers and mushrooms.
(calcium) turnip greens, curly kale, collard greens, arugula, spinach, watercress, broccoli raab (cooked rapini), beet greens, pak choi (Chinese cabbage), okra, spring onions, leeks, cabbage, endive, broccoli, artichokes, brussels sprouts, celery, sweet potato, carrots, lettuce and parsnips.
(vitamin B12) egg, coconut milk, almond milk.
2. Experiment with fruits and veggies per week
Food experimentations can make your diet more enjoyable. It could also improve your cooking skills in making new healthy recipes. In playing out in your kitchen, you can try one veggie, fruit and other plant-based food every week.
3. Mix and match plant-based with other foods
For plant-based foods that consist of protein, we can have soy and quinoa. Since we have limited veggies that are high in protein, you can also mix and match other foods such as rice and beans, chickpeas and lentils and substitute meat with seitan or tofu to get enough protein.
4. Take small steps in substituting meats
It doesn’t mean that when you’re in a diet, you will totally remove the stocked meats in your fridge. Just simply take small steps a day until you become used to eating veggies without craving for juicy meats.
It’s also effective to create a diet meal schedule wherein you can decide to eat meat on Tuesdays and Thursdays only and skip the other days until you decide to eat it once a week or mix a small slice of meat with your veggie meal recipes.
5. Plan ahead of time on what to eat
Make it a habit to plan your veggie recipes on weekends so you can buy the ingredients ahead of time to avoid ending up ordering unhealthy and processed foods due to your hectic schedule. If you want, you can also have a huge bowl of veggie salad divided into 3 servings, for your breakfast, lunch and dinner during Monday, Wednesday or Friday. It depends to which schedule you prefer the most that can make you feel comfortable at the same time, satisfied.
When you’re on a diet, learn to love veggies, because it’s said to be the easiest way of obtaining more antioxidants and fiber which are absolutely beneficial for your diet.