You know your mama was right. Eating veggies is good for you, but lately you haven't been getting enough. Here are some reasons you may be skipping out and how to start getting those veggies back into your diet.
1. They Take Too Much Time to Prepare
Washing, peeling, slicing, and sauteing veggies may take longer to prepare than ordering a pepperoni pizza (don't forget the wait time for delivery), but in comparison to cooking up another healthy meal like grilled chicken or pasta, preparing a salad or stir fry really doesn't take extra time. It helps to cut up veggies on Sunday night so you'll have them ready to go for your meals all week. Or take advantage of the prewashed and cut veggies at the grocery store. My fave is shredded carrots because you can spoon some into a pot of cooking quinoa or top them on salad with no prep required.
2. They're Too Expensive
Yes, produce isn't cheap, but if you go for local produce that's in season, you'll save money and get the best flavor. Frozen veggies are a good option as well. Keep your freezer stocked with green beans, corn, butternut squash, and edamame.
3. I Hate the Way They Taste
It is true that not all veggies are as delicious as apple pie, so you might need to trick yourself into eating them. Puree kale into your smoothies or green beans into your tomato sauce. Or mix veggies you don't care for with foods you do love, like broccoli on your pizza or peas and asparagus in your pesto pasta dish. Find a new favorite salad dressing or pick up some hummus to help your veggies seem more palatable. Also, roasting veggies may be more your speed than crunching on some raw peppers.
Keep reading for more reasons you're not eating your veggies.
4. All My Produce Goes Bad Before I Have a Chance to Eat It
You have good intentions on Sunday and buy out the produce department, but by the time you grab spinach to steam for your Wednesday dinner, it's wilted and soggy. The best way to prevent your veggies from spoiling is to prepare them the day you buy them. Wash, dry, and store cut-up cukes, celery, broccoli, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms in airtight containers or baggies. Store them in the crisper so they'll last longer. Avoid buying so many veggies that it will take you weeks to get through them all. Remember that it's OK to make more than one trip to the store to ensure your produce is the freshest quality.
5. My Family Won't Eat Them
Why take the time to cook a huge veggie casserole if your family turns up their noses? If the people you live with hate veggies, then it's time to find some dishes they'll love. Buy a cookbook or take a class and learn new ways to make veggies exciting to kids and adults. And be sure to include a variety of veggies in their meals. No one wants to eat carrots every night for dinner. So try new veggies like roasted golden beets or grilled artichokes to keep your family interested.