About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ways to add veggies to your meals

Many people appear to have a really hard time figuring out how to get vegetables into their meals. Veggies are amazing, they are low calorie, generally high in fiber, packed full of nutrients and have lots of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals means chemicals from plants. Some examples are anthocyanins and lutein that you may have heard of before. There are many other phytochemicals and some are believed to be beneficial to your health. There are so many good reasons to add veggies to your meals.  Here are some thoughts on how to make it happen:

  • Summer is a great time to go to a local farm or produce stand. Fresh veggies are delicious, simply cut up a tomato or cucumber and eat it as is. YUM!
  • Zucchini &/or squash and onion are delicious lightly sauteed in a tbsp of olive oil. Also great with tomatoes tossed in. 
  • Throw some veggies on the grill. This works great with squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers  & mushrooms. You can also skewer smaller veggies and grill those too. 
  • Make a pasta salad with whole wheat tortellini and carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach leaves, garbanzo beans, onion, celery, etc. Marinate in your favorite Italian dressing (read the label for the simplest ingredients)
  • Stock up on frozen veggies when they are on sale. When you don't have anything fresh in the house, use these. Steam in the microwave (take out of plastic to cook). Add any of the following: drizzle of olive oil, dash of sea salt, black pepper, salt free seasoning, Italian dressing, a little blue cheese, lemon, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. 
  • On a day when you have extra time, make a big pot of vegetable soup with a tomato based broth. Serve with your meals during the week.
  • When eat out ask for a side salad or steamed vegetables instead of eating fries or potatoes.
  • Try making greens, here is my recipe:  http://divanutrition.blogspot.com/2013/01/celebrate-new-year-with-black-eyed-peas.htm
  • Try adding veggies to your eggs by making omelets, fritattas or crustless quiche. 
  • Make a strawberry and Greek yogurt smoothie, throw in a handfull of spinach...you really cannot taste it.
  • Add finely shredded carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, etc to lasagna/casserole or dishes such as chili. 
  • Make an asian stir fry with bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn, water chesnuts, broccoli, etc. Cook with your favorite lean meat and serve with brown rice. Here are some ideas: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_stir_fry_recipes
Hope you try some of these ideas!! Stay well!! 

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