Okay mom, you were right. I think that marks the 723rd time I’ve had to say that…this month. I know I’m not the only one who couldn’t leave the dinner table ’til all their leafy greens were down the hatch, and I know I’m also not the only one who rolled my eyes, gagged, and cried the whole way through. And now look at me— practically begging and pleading everyone I know to eat their dang veggies! How the tables have turned!
So why is it so important to me that all my peeps are loading their plates full of vegetables? Eating your veggies is one of the MOST important things you can do in your transformation process! Seriously. All too often it seems we get so caught up in the numbers (the calories and the macros) that we forget about the good stuff—those micronutrients that really are essential to long-term health and transformation success.
Remember when we talked a few weeks back about making those small promises to yourself to work on achieving those big goals, and we reviewed small changes you can make to clean up your diet? (Read about our Meal Plan Makeover: A Step-by-Step Guide to Un-Suck a Sucky Meal Plan).
Incorporating more vegetables into your diet is a great way to start!
These power foods are full of fiber, which is great for the gut and great at helping you feel full, bulk up a meal, and give you extra snack options without adding any inches to that precious waistline!
Not only are non-starchy/non-root type vegetables considered a “free food” (meaning you can pretty much eat as much as you want without affecting your calorie bank!), but they’re jam-packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients that are going to help keep you feeling and looking your best! (Find out more health benefits of veggies in Eat Your Veggies! and Go Green or Go Home! Top Tips For Sneaking In Those Veggies, and How Colorful Are Your Veggies?).
I get it. Veggies aren’t the most taste bud seducing foods on the planet, but I’m telling you, with a little creativity, you can find some truly delicious side dishes, snacks, and meals!
Fun Facts and My Favorite Veggie Recipes!
How ’bout some fun facts and family-friendly recipes (try saying that 10x fast) to jump start your veggie journey? I thought you’d never ask. 😉
Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can incorporate into your diet! Jam-packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, kale might be one of the most important green veggies we talk about today!
Did you know… a cup of kale contains more Vitamin C than a large orange?! This is a big one, ladies! Vitamin C is SO beneficial to our skin health and the aging process (think premature aging, sun damage, wrinkles, and sagging…NO THANKS!).
If you’re not big on the flavor of kale, you can always crumble it up and add it to your smoothies! Otherwise, try one of my all-time fave snacks: Baked Kale Chips!
I know most people associate potatoes with nothing-but-the-carbs, which isn’t entirely wrong. Vegetables do have carbs! It’s just that most “traditional” vegetables are typically lower in their carb content than potatoes. Potatoes are still vegetables, they’re just more of a starchy option, which is definitely A-Okay, especially in moderation! Red potatoes are actually considered a Smart Carb choice in carb cycling!
Did you know that there are more than 400 types of potatoes?! They range in various sizes, colors, and ultimately…health benefits! Now I’m not entirely sure our local grocery store carries 400 varieties of potatoes, but they DO stock up on sweet potatoes, which is a must-have around here.
Check out one of my personal favorite recipes for Sweet Potato Fries! It’s a great option to clean up a classic fave!
I would be willing to bet that broccoli is one of the first vegetables that comes to mind when someone mentions the word “vegetable.” Am I right?!
You probably have some sort of memory that dates back to early childhood where you weren’t allowed to leave the dinner table until you rid your plate of these evil little tree-like creatures. Ha! You’re not alone. I think most of us can relate!
But I’m here to tell you once and for all that broccoli is SO GOOD. Yep, I’ve made my sweeping declaration. Broccoli is GOOD, and it’s here to stay!
Did you know that these small little leafy plants have MORE protein than steak? I’m being serious, guys. Breaking it down, calorie for calorie, a stalk of broccoli contains more protein than beef.
Now I’m not telling you to go out and replace all your filets with broccoli (unless you’re a vegetarian, and you might already being doing this!), but if you’re looking for a low calorie option that’s full of substance? Broccoli may be your new go-to!
Check out a Powell family favorite recipe featuring broccoli: Ground Turkey Marina.
Go Green or Go Home!
No matter your beliefs about vegetables, the truth is, they are a MUST! And I promise you, guys, they don’t have to be boring. There are so many options for spicing up your veggies (like literally using spices and low-sugar sauces) that will add so much flavor to your meal while still reaping all those health benefits!
If you’re still not a fan, there are multiple ways you can sneak those nutrients into your diet without having to sacrifice your taste buds: blend them into a smoothie or sneak them into your Green Machine Pancakes.
Remember, friends! Baby steps are STILL progress!
What are some of your favorite veggies, and how do you prepare them?! I’d love to see what’s on your plate as you start your next meal prep!
PS: Remember when I said sweet potatoes are our absolute faves? I wasn’t kidding. 😉 Check out these amazing sweet potato recipes!