How To: Incorporating Greens & Veggies into Your Diet

radishes

I’ve been following a Paleo-type diet for a good number of years now and I sometimes find myself getting into a bad habit of not incorporating enough vegetables into my diet. It’s extremely easy to grill a piece of chicken or a steak and cook some potatoes for dinner and call it a day. Making sure I eat enough vegetables definitely takes some planning and prepping on my part. I recently finished a clean-eating challenge with some folks at my gym and I was once again reminded just how important it is to eat LOTS of veggies every day. Here are a few tips to help you incorporate them into your daily routine:

Make a green smoothie every morning. A few years ago a friend told me about Simple Green Smoothies. They have a lot of great recipes on their website and they also do 30 day challenges where they send you weekly smoothie plans with shopping lists (I often omit the banana from their recipes so that it isn’t so sweet). My 19 month old has been a little resistant to eating veggies recently, so this has been a good way to make sure she gets enough as well. If I’m not following a Simple Green Smoothie recipe, this is typically what I do depending on what ingredients I have on hand:

  • 1 1/2 cups liquid (coconut water, almond milk, etc.)
  • 1-2 big handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons hemp protein
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit and 1/2 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, oranges, peaches, mango, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of hemp or chia seeds

Directions: Mix liquid, greens, and protein in a high powered blender (i.e. Vitamix, Ninja) until smooth. Add in fresh and frozen fruit and blend again. Pour into a glass and stir in the hemp or chia seeds.

Eat a salad every day. I know, I know. Eating salads can get boring. I’ve started trying to incorporate unique salads into our meal rotation. Mel Joulwan of Well Fed has some great salad suggestions on her website here. Here are a few others I’ve been enjoying recently as well:

  1. Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad w/ Apples & Pecans: This salad is delicious! I omit the cheese, use regular pecans (not candied), and use apple juice sweetened cranberries.
  2. Apple, Red Cabbage, and Fennel Salad: I have been LOVING adding fennel to my salads and dishes recently. This salad is a great way to change it up a little and is delicious!
  3. Fresh Brussels Sprout, Kale, & Bacon Salad: This one is definitely a go-to for me. I often make this on Sunday so that I have something to eat for lunch throughout the week. This is a great one to take to pot-lucks and gatherings as well!

Plant a garden. One of my goals this year was to plant a garden. I got it all ready and planted the seeds all the while being super skeptical as to whether anything would actually grow. Well… I’m just a few months in and my garden is overflowing with lettuce, radishes, and spring onions. With all these growing in my backyard, I have no choice but to figure out ways to incorporate them into our family meals. Don’t have time to plant a garden? Try looking into joining a local CSA (partner with a local farm and pay in advance and get a weekly box of veggies).

Try a meal subscription box. Subscription boxes are all the rage these days. I have tried a number of meal boxes and wasn’t too impressed with them and then someone told me that Green Chef offered Paleo meal subscription boxes. I gave them a try and am now a little obsessed. Green Chef incorporates LOTS of veggies into their meal plans and they are all unique and delicious! They are a little more pricey so I have my box set to ship once a month. I try to do this on weeks that I know will be busy and I will need a little extra help in the meal planning department. I keep all of the recipe cards that they send and have remade many of their dishes! If you’d like to try Green Chef, you can get your first 4 meals free if you use my link: http://greenchef.com/invite/qg886. If you try it, be sure to let me know what you think!!

I’ve also heard that Sunbasket has a Paleo version and hope to try their’s soon.

How do you make sure to include vegetables and greens into your diet?

 

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