Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Habit-A-Week Challenge: Eat More!

It's time to add another Healthy Habit to our arsenal of weapons against poor health! We already worked on our fluid intake and exercise, and this week is a fun one!


Yeah, you heard me right, this week we get to eat more! But what we are going to eat more of is: vegetables. Don't groan, this is going to be fun! It's one of my favorite healthy habits, one that brings me a lot of pleasure. Look at is as an adventure!

First, click here and read the details of this week's habit. Then come back and finish reading this post.


So, the point of this week's challenge is to *improve* on whatever you are already doing in regards to vegetable consumption. Try to increase your servings but don't overwhelm yourself. If you currently don't eat veggies at all, trying to go straight to 5 servings a day might make you feel like you're on a "diet" or that this challenge is a burden, so go slowly. Try two servings a day. If you already eat lots of veggies, try new ones or improve the quality of what you eat.

If you think you hate spinach, try getting some pre-washed, fresh BABY spinach (tender and sweet) and use it instead of lettuce on sandwiches or mix it into salads.
If you are having spaghetti for dinner, try spaghetti squash instead of noodles. Or steam some sliced zucchini and mushrooms and mix those into your pasta, 50/50.
If you already eat loads of veggies and love them, try to search out an even better source. Maybe you can find locally grown winter squash... try to buy local, and if you can't, try organic! Where I shop, the organic produce is usually the same price or not much more than non-organic, and it seems to be fresher and more nutritious to me.
Try a winter vegetable! Try something new! Roasted sweet potatoes, Red Garnet yams, kale, Delicata squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, leeks... so much to choose from.

Surely there is something you haven't tried. Next time you go shopping, slow down in the produce section! Look at each item and think about whether you *might* enjoy it. You'll see things you never saw before, instead of rushing through for the carrots and celery on your grocery list.

Another benefit of this challenge is that the veggies you eat will displace other, higher-calorie foods in a lot of cases. If you eat a cup of veggies with dinner, you won't have room for extra rice or bread or more calorie-dense foods.

I currently do eat a lot of veggies, but I am going to add some more this week. I tend to eat more veggies in summertime but there is a bounty of nutrition out there right now. This week I will aim for one veggie serving with breakfast and two at each other meal. (My servings tend to actually be more like TWO servings in volume, so this would translate to a lot of veggies).

How about you? What will you try?

If you're stumped, check over to the left side of this blog for links to some recipes I enjoy.
Indulge your taste buds with delicious vegetables! Your body will thank you!


Enz said...

I love this one...I love veggies but in the winter time I tend to slack off as I don't like frozen and there is such a scarcity of fresh, local produce..but I am sure I can find something from Ontario in the grocery store even if its a little pricier...my health and my family are worth it!

Jane said...

I am very new to the 'veggie scene'. Thanks for your ideas! Hope I find some veggies that I like and can actually look forward to eating :)

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Vegetables can be hard for us because they often take a little prep work and, let's face it, they aren't as tasty as fruit. This weekend I had some roasted carrots at a restaurant that were really delicious. You might want to try roasting some vegetables. I love asparagus and green beans roasted too.

screwdestiny said...

Kale and leeks are two of my favorite winter vegetables.

I've never understood the people that hate vegetables. Most of them are really good! Maybe, like you said, it's because their only experience with them has been in the canned form. For years I thought I hated peas because I'd only had them canned. But it wasn't the poor peas fault they were made to taste awful by the canning process! Now if I think I don't like something, I'll try it a couple different ways to see if it's good in some form.

Leslie said...

I'm on a veggie frenzy right now, between roasted root vegetables and ratatouille. I've been making big batches of each weekly for a couple of months, and am still not tired of them. Great goal - if I eat any more veggies, I'm going to take on a green hue.

Kimberpeas said...

I have it rough with veggies. I'm out in the boonies and our "fresh" produce is laughable. When I'm visiting family in the big city, I love the bounty of veggies. I'm going to venture into the world of leafy greens this week. I think I saw some kale at the health food store, so I might give that a shot if she has some left.

soontobe...skinnygirl said...

Great challenge! I make a point of eating veggies or fruit with every meal (including snacks). I also use Greens Plus in my smoothies (soy milk, frozen mixed berries, greens plus and some protein powder). It has a whopping 5 full servings of fruit and veggies in every serving. They say you can mix it with water as well, but errrm...that just sounds icky!

As for roasting veggies...I roast EVERYTHING! It's so easy and far tastier than boiling. Sometimes I'll roast things like mushrooms, zucchini, onions and red peppers with a little balsamic vinegar and oil and use it to top pasta! Yum!

Great challenge! Good luck to everyone!

midlife_swimmer said...

I am not a huge veggie fan. That said I am finding new ways to make them lately and that has helped a lot. I was raised on soggy overcooked frozen veggies and I love fresh ones lightly steamed or fresh spinach hidden in my lasagna and scrambled eggs. Thanks for the challenge!

Amy said...

I do love most vegetables so will just make a more conscious effort to eat more.

Water habit is going strong!

ClaireBear said...

I've been reading your blog and I have to say you are simply amazing! Thanks for the tips- living in a house full of meat and cheese kind of men makes it hard to get veggies in, much less fresh produce. But things are turning around!

Duddes02 said...

NYC has great vegetable vendors in the streets. Really cheap too!

I usually buy peppers,asparagus, eggplants, carrots, onion..etc off the street and bake the with olive oil and salt and pepper. mmm

Anonymous said...

love your blog - I always read it, but I dont coment enough. I am joining you in this challenge!

I am going to give kale another honest shot - I have tried it before in a soup, but I want to make kale chips!