We all know it’s important to get our 4 to 6 servings of vegetables a day (a “serving” is one cup if you’re eating them raw, and a half cup if you’re eating the cooked). But, after the fourth day in a row of eating a salad for lunch, it can get tough. The good news is that there are plenty of creative and tasty ways to get your greens in without suffering through endless days of boring salads. Here are a few ideas to try at each meal.
Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals to fit some green into. After all, who wants to eat veggies first thing in the morning before hitting the fitness center? If eggs are your mainstay, try scrambling some kale or spinach into your frying pan. These greens wilt nicely and add great flavor and texture to your protein. While you’re at it, add some green pepper.
You’ve probably seen asparagus with eggs and toast featured on health food sites, and for good reason. Not only does this combination provide a healthy punch of vitamins and fiber along with your protein; it’s also tasty!
If a protein shake is the way you roll, try throwing a handful of fresh spinach in the mix. You won’t taste it (we promise). If you’re making a fruit smoothie, kale adds a little bite, and cucumber is mild enough to combine with just about anything.
Meal-prepping ahead of time can make a huge difference in switching up your lunch routine and getting in some veggies. For a hot option, roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts go great with just about any protein. If you’re short on time, greens like salad, cucumber, zucchini, or green pepper go great in sandwiches, wraps, and even grilled cheese. Another idea is to bring along a hodge-podge of cut fresh veggies and enjoy them with some healthy Greek yogurt dip or salad dressing.
Dinner may seem like one of the easiest meals to eat something green, but after a long day at work and a tough session at the fitness gym, it can be hard to find motivation to cook. Feel free to “cheat” by throwing some frozen greens in a stir fry with your protein. If you’re whipping up a quick casserole or skillet meal, throw in some kale or spinach for flavor and texture. Making a pan roast of veggies, sweet potatoes, and chicken or another lean meat is an easy way to make an entire meal and have leftovers for lunch the rest of the week (save some time by washing and cutting your veggies ahead of time).
As you can see, getting in some daily green isn’t as hard as it seems. The more you change your daily eating habits to include this vital part of the food pyramid, the more you’ll notice increased energy, fewer cravings, better health, and even better results at the fitness center.