But Vegetables Are Boring! …and Other Adult Excuses to Not Eat Your Vegetables
Welcome to Part 2 of the Vegetable Excuse series – if you missed part 1, it’s an absolute MUST READ. It gets in to WHY this post just had to be written. You can catch part 1 here >>> Veggie Excuse 1 – Vegetables take too much time
But if you DON’T want to read it, here’s the cliff-notes.
- Everyone has excuses to why they don’t eat enough vegetables
- I polled the top RD’s in Canada to get practical solutions to the top 5 excuses
- People are inherently lazy. We take the path of least resistance. And as we take that path more and more, our brains form habits – they can do these things with minimal effort, minimal brain power. We develop habits around not choosing veg because its EASY.
- Choosing fruit and veg is about making an EVERY DAY food decision, not just going by taste. It’s about FUELLING your body well, and if you don’t eat enough currently, developing healthy habits that your brain learns as the path of least resistance.
- We are wired to crave high sugar, high fat foods, which veggies are not. But vegetables can STILL be fun. And delicious. Today’s post is about how to do that.
The Vegetable Solution
I’ve taken the top 5 Veggie Excuses out there, and given you the TOP Dietitian tips on how to combat them. I’ve had to split up the posts, because there was SO MUCH good information. So consider September month of the vegetables – the posts will be dripped out slowly to teach YOU how to get more vegetables in! It’s not about going from 1 serving of veg a day to 20. It’s about beginning to fit them into your lifestyle, and developing healthy habits that make it EASY to include them in your day.
Veggie Excuse #2 – Vegetables are Boring!
Oh.my.GAWD. Vegetables NEED NOT be boring, y’all! I think this myth is the easiest to eradicate. Veggies can be SO freaking delicious.
When I asked a client once, how do you think we can get another serving of vegetables in, he said to me ‘Andrea, I’m not going to sit around all day munching on raw celery.’
I had to laugh. REALLY? Is that what you think I was going to suggest?
What RD’s Have to Say
Dietitians aren’t barbarians. We aren’t going to sit around force-feeding you plain boring raw vegetables all day if you don’t love it. Here are some of the TOP practical RD tips on making vegetables fun and delicious!
What to do With Raw Vegetables
Chelsey Love, likes to keep it simple. By pairing raw veg with a delicious and nutritious dip, you add a ton of flavour, not to mention, make a well-rounded snack. She LOVES recommending pairing veg with guacamole and hummus – and the best part is, these can come in single-servings for ease of use! I personally love to buy the roasted red-pepper hummus from the grocery store in individual servings to make the healthiest choice, the easiest choice. Veggies are a great vehicle for delicious dips over chips.
While this suggestion of Chelsey’s is for fruit – it’s one of my FAVOURITES, and I had to include it. She says, for people craving something sweet after dinner, try jazzing up a serving of fruit such as a sliced apple, sliced pear, or sliced peach. Microwave until warm, sprinkle with cinnamon, and top with a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt.
Nazima from Nutrition by Nazima loves to wrap her fruit and veg up. It’s her favourite way to get an extra serving of fruit and veggies in for even the pickiest eaters! She absolutely loves using rice paper for veggies or fruits. It is so eye-catching, everyone will want to try it!
She loves making these fresh fruit rolls especially since no one complains that there is fruit for dessert when this is served.
Once you get the hang of using rice paper, change up the fillings and serve it with your favourite dipping sauce. I personally love to use the pre-packed shredded carrots for when I’m really in a rush, slice up cucumbers and cabbage, and then make a peanut dipping sauce. (Peanut butter, a splash of soy sauce, lime, minced ginger, garlic, and crushed chili flakes – then add water to thin it out!)
In Week 1, I talked ALL about adding simple flavours to vegetables. Here is a recap:
Andy De Santis teaches his clients that deliciously cooked vegetables can be ready in 5 minutes flat. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and brussel sprouts, can all be baked at between 350-375 F for 5-7 minutes.
I also find stir-frying veg SUPER quick. Slice, and toss in a pan on high heat with a bit of avocado or olive oil. On my plate in 10 minutes flat!
- A sprinkle of old parmesan (goes AMAZING on zucchini, cauliflower, etc) – a little goes a long way with this nutty, delicious cheese.
- Diced, canned jalapenos. I love to roast corn with these delicious, slightly acidic, spicy slivers of goodness. A bit of cumin and lemon added – and you have yourself a TON of flavor!
- Try new seasonings! Garlic, onion, ginger a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of pepper can transform vegetables. I’m also a big fan of the pre-mixed spices – current obsessions: roasted red pepper spice, and the ‘greek’ seasoning.
One of my FAVOURITE tips comes from Whitney from Whitty Nutrition. Make fun vegetables a weekly challenge!
She recommends spending a little more time in the produce section at your favorite grocery store and picking out 1 or 2 items that you either have never tried or that you haven’t purchased in a very long time.
For new items, look up a recipe using that item as the star of the dish in order to learn how it can be cooked/eaten. This:
- introduces a new food,
- adds an element of fun,
- gets people in the kitchen,
- and she has had many people discover new and interesting flavors that they love!
For those choosing items they haven’t purchased in ages, rediscovering veggies that they ‘used to like’ and is a great trigger for special memories. For some it is picking up something simple like broccoli that they never seem to purchase but used to enjoy, and for others it can be trying to recreate their grandma’s cooked spinach or roasted brussel sprouts. YUM!
The TRUTH of the matter is, vegetables can be boring – but that’s a personal choice. A cop-out, if you will. Make veggies fun again with FLAVOUR, and learning interesting ways to serve them!
This week, your mission is to choose 1 new vegetable. Get on Google, or check out these amazing RD blogs. Try a new recipe. It doesn’t HAVE to be elaborate – my favourite recipes are often the simplest ones. Spiralized zucchini? Super quick. Stir-fried bok-choy? Even easier. Bell peppers, de-seeded, and roasted in the oven with olive oil for 20 min? Quicker than the chicken cooking along side it!
Here are some great veggie recipes to get YOU trying new things!
Crunchy Peach Salsa – Nutrition and Culinary Solutions
How to ‘Pinterest’
Of course, Pinterest is an AMAZING recipe mecca – let’s say you find a vegetable at the grocery store. Go to Pinterest. Type (Vegetable) Recipes. Ie. Parsnip. If you want to get really technical, type Healthy (vegetable) recipes. You will find a TON of ‘Pinspiration’ there!
Next week, we talk about veggies you HATE, and what to do about it!