Today's post is inspired by the recent three three-day food logs I spent the past couple nights evaluating. I try to evaluate each individuals diet differently taking into account their daily schedule, if they have kids, and so many other factors, but in addition whenever I get to evaluate multiple logs at once it allows to gain a larger perspective of the average Americans daily diet. In these three food logs the reoccurring pattern I picked up on immediately was the severe lack of vegetables. I am not saying this is the only problem I saw in the diets because I did see an over reliance on starchy carbohydrates or sugars, and a lack of protein at every feeding, but by far an large the biggest gap was in the amount of veggies being consumed. For those of you who are removed in your relationship with veggies, they are they leafy odd color food you pass on you way to the frozen food asile. Anyway I'd rather take a positive approach to helping fix this problem, so rather than blaming the individuals themselves for not eating more vegetables because they just don't want to I'd like to assume that people aren't eating more veggies because they simply aren't for sure how to go about incorporating more veggies in their diet other than eating straight-up raw vegetables (not my favorite either just for the record). In response to my assumption I tried to develop a list of strategies that will allow you to incorporate more veggies using simple and convient methods.
1. Make Omelets a Daily Staple for Breakfasts
I like this strategy because it is simple and easily customizable to anyone's taste preferences. Omelets are a great way to start the day especially if you are using a combination of a couple whole eggs and a few egg whites as your foundation. The possibilities here are endless. I prefer to use chives and tomatoes in my morning eggs, but any preferred vegetable combination will work. Remember though I am not talking about the extra cheesy double decker omelet you get at the look breakfast cafe, keep the cheese to a minimum and preferably none at all. Don't worry either if you aren't a gourmet cook as I am right there with you. I have yet to perfect the art of omelet making so on most morning I simply toss my vegetables into my scramble eggs. It serves the same purpose and tastes identical.
2. Invest in a Wok and Use it On the Regular
This is something I have personally gotten a way from in the past couple months because of my obsession with the open grill, but with the onset of the chilly Missouri fall and the unavoidable winter marching toward me I am sure to be breaking out the good ole wok soon. Stir Fry is a great way to prepare food because it is healthy, almost impossible to ruin, and the combinations are only limited by your imagination. Typically any meal can be prepared using a stir fry method simply by heating the wok up to maximum temperature adding a tad bit of your preferred oil (hopefully olive oil or peanut oil) throwing in your lean meat and then following the meats completion tossing in your vegetable mix to brown and crisp. I use stir fry and grilling like crazy because its simple and easy and impossible to ruin food (which for me is a commodity at times). Try creating a list of meats and vegetables your like along with favorite seasonings. Use this list to mix and match to create a variety of tasty meals.
3. Learn About Spices and Herbs. What Goes with What.
I personally am on a mission to conquer this area of cooking. I constantly feel lost when looking for spices to season foods with there is a never ending list of combinations and factors that define what seasoning best flavors one another piece of dead animal flesh compared to another. My knowledge is little and restricted in this area, but I am slowly gaining ground. The times I have successfully seasoned a meal it was delicious and that is why I urge everyone out their searching for ways to eat healthy and be satisfied to learn all they can about the flavoring of food.
4. Try Replacing Starch Grain Coverings with Lettuce Leaves.
I have to admit that I haven't put this one into much practice as of lately. My current goal is to pull five hundred pounds from the floor so my carb watching hasn't been so strict in an effort to minimize fatigue. I have a personal tendency to limit my food intake to much as is and with a strength goal I have to make a conscious effort to increase my feedings to account for the demand. But I have tried replacing all coverings with lettuce for a couple months and I found it was pretty tasty. To take this tip a step further you could try using darker leafy greens as coverings to increase the amount of health benefits you can reap.
5. More Soup For You!
I LOVE CHILI!!! Fall and Winter are such great times of year hoodies, football, bonfires, and chili. So since fall is upon us and winter is fast approaching I thought this would be a perfect strategy for this time of year. Soups are great because of their simplicity and the large copious amounts one can prepare affordably and quickly. I prefer chili as my choice of soup, specifically turkey chili. But what is important to this post is that soups allow us a great opportunity to both add vegetables to our diet and hide the fact that we are eating vegetables. The particular vegetables you add to a soup are completely up to you. If you like a particular soup already try googling recipes and see if you can't get your hands on a standard basic recipe from this template create your own special twist by adding anything you like.
Incorporating veggies into your diet doesn't have to be difficult as long as your willing to put some time and effort into the preparation. If you yourself have any other helpful strategies please feel free to post them in the comments section.