But, the good news is we can arm ourselves with extremely powerful ammunition---PLANT POWER. I know this sounds ridiculous, but the nutritional research that has been done over years proves this to be the case. Remember, the substances in vegetables and fruits that give them their beautiful colors are the antioxidants and phytochemicals. They protect the plants from harm; those same substances protect our bodies from all the toxins we come in contact with on a daily basis. And, as scientists are revealing still today, each vegetable and fruit have hundreds, if not thousands in some cases, of the phytochemicals and antioxidants....in one vegetable or piece of fruit!! As I said yesterday, NOTHING BEATS THE POWER OF MOTHER NATURE.
It's not hard to get a wide variety of vegetables and fruits in your diet everyday. Studies show only 26% of adults eat a full serving of vegetables three or more times a day. Here are some tips to boost up your servings:
- Mix onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers into a morning veggie burrito, tofu scramble or breakfast pita.
- Try sliced tomatoes or a baked tomato half at breakfast--it's the favorite breakfast food in the UK.
- Pile lettuce, spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, peppers and onions into your whole-grain sandwich, pita or wrap.
- At least weekly, put vegetable stir-fry on the menu. Saute cabbage, broccoli, celery, snow peas, bell peppers, carrots, onions and mushrooms with your favorite spices and serve over brown rice or whole grains.
- Make your own vegetarian pizza packed with spinach, zucchini, onions and mushrooms.
- Have a homemade veggie burger once a week, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and avocado.
- Make a hearty chili with beans, fresh or canned tomatoes, onions and peppers.
- Double up on cooked vegetable servings at dinner time.
- Add chopped vegetables like mushrooms, green peas, broccoli, carrots, squash, green beans and red peppers to broth-based soups. Of course, don't forget the beans!
- Include a garden salad or broth-based vegetable soup at every dinner.
- Mix vegetables into your favorite casserole--try peas or squash in your macaroni dishes or broccoli and kale in a vegetarian lasagna.
- Use leftover chopped, cooked vegetables in a soup, stew or casserole the next day.
- Use low-sodium tomato juice as a base for a soup and load it with vegetables.
- Don't just limit salad to a plate of greens--try a variety of leaves from red to arugula, and top them with a rainbow of veggies, including cucumbers, carrots, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, corn, peppers and tomatoes.
It really is not that hard to eat more vegetables. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, remember all the sites available to us that have tons of plant-based recipes: straightupfood.com, VegKitchen, ChefAJ'skitchen.com, happyherbivore.com, etc. etc., etc.
Make a plan...start one meal at a time or one day at a time...whatever works for you. As always, if I can be of any help to you, please email me...there is nothing more important in this life than YOUR HEALTH!!