Eating more vegetables is goal many people have. Every time I share my produce hauls on Instagram or I publish a “What I Eat in a Day” post (n.1 & n.2), I get flooded with DMs and emails from people telling me that they love the amount of vegetables I cook and eat and that they would love to get more serious about their veggie intake as well.
Because I really want to help you and inspire you to consume a variety of vegetables (and fruit) in each one of your meals, I decided to put together this quick guide with my best advice on how to start eating more vegetables!
8 Tips to Start Eating More Vegetables Right Now!
Take notes and start implementing these tips right away and you’ll see a great improvement in your daily veggie consumption starting from… well, NOW!
1. Buy more vegetables than you think you can eat
Usually, we tend to not want to buy too much produce because we are afraid to make it spoil. But if you think about it, having the fridge full of fresh fruit and vegetables that are going to expire soon, can give you great motivation to consume more of it.
When you open your refrigerator and see that there is a bunch of zucchini that needs to be used, you’ll feel “forced” to cook those instead of making yourself a sandwich.
2. Find exciting ways to turn vegetables into indulgent dishes
It’s amazing how the same exact type of vegetable can either be a depressing, bland side or a mouthwatering entrée you can never have enough of.
Think about Swiss chards, for example. If you just cook them with water or chop them up in a raw salad, they are pretty uneventful and honestly, not that great. But if you find ways to make them taste indulgent (I love to bake them au gratin with some dairy free cheese and my handmade gluten free breading), then you’ll want to have them on your table all the time.
You can do the same making amazing vegetable patties (or you can but them pre-made of you find a good brand that uses only clean and gluten free ingredients)
3. Create a partition rule in your plate and stick to it
Envision your plate as if it was divided into 4 wedges. Fill one of them with protein and carbs and make sure that the other three wedges are filled with veggies. Ideally you want to have 3 different types of vegetables and combine raw and cooked produce for a variety of nutrients!
Want an example? Check out this Grain Free Pesto Noodle Bowl I made. There are three types of veggies: zucchini, kale, onions combined with egg and a creamy dairy free pesto.
4. Learn to transform your salads with simple, healthy seasonings
Sometimes, to make salads taste better, we end up drenching them in heavy dressings that sort of defeat the purpose of eating salads in the first place. In Italy, where I am from, dressings do not exist. Even the so called “Italian Dressing” that is sold abroad is a foreign invention that Italians know nothing about. The only seasonings for salads we use are a really good extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and maybe a few drops of balsamic vinegar.
Chopping some fresh basil or thyme into your salads (especially in the summer) can be a great flavor enhancer too.
And as a last tip (take notes because this an absolute game changer), I love to toast a tablespoon of sunflower seeds in a small pan and sprinkle them over my salad. They add so much character to it!
5. Sneak vegetables into your favorite dishes
Do you like to make smoothies? Add baby spinach or kale to them. Do you love to have an oatmeal porridge in the morning? Grate a zucchini or yellow squash into it (or you can even skip the oats altogether like I did here).
If you are more of an omelet type of person, you can stuff it with grated carrots and asparagus or stripes of bell peppers. And, if you love to cook rice for dinner, why don’t you make a stir fry with a bunch of mixed veggies?
Start from the recipes you already like and find creative ways to redesign them in order to make them more veggie oriented.
6. Use vegetables to make your sauces
Foods like cauliflower and pumpkin can easily be used to make an indulgent cheesy sauce for a Mac and Cheese. You’ll be eating a delectable pasta dish feeling like you are cheating, when instead you are consuming lots of vegetables 😉
My NOmato Sauce, which I like to use as a replacement for regular marinara (I don’t do well with tomatoes), is packed with lots of different veggies such as beetroot, mushrooms, cauliflower and Kabocha squash. And again, you can enjoy a good plate of pasta while having a bunch of vegetables at the same time.
7. Make sure you get your dose of vegetables when you eat out!
Often times when we are out, we get tempted by indulgent foods we see on the menu and forget to eat our veggies. As soon as you are handed the menu, make sure to take a look at the side dishes they offer first, and then pair them with your main. This way, you can make sure to have a balanced and veggie packed meal even when you are out of the house.
Before you order your sides, make sure to ask your waiter how the vegetables are cooked. If they happen to be deep fried, breaded or cooked with butter and cheese, request a simpler preparation and have them either steamed, grilled or cooked in extra virgin olive oil and salt.
8. Find creative ways to make vegetables more fun
Bored with eating zucchini? Turn them into zucchini noodles! Tired of eating salads? Stuff those leaves of lettuce with your favorite filling and turn them into lettuce wraps! And if you are kind of over baked sweet potatoes… why not turn them into delicious Sweet Potato Toasts?!
If you know how to get creative in the kitchen (here is a fun 10-step exercise to do so), whole foods and simple ingredients can never be boring because you can always find new ways to prepare them.
If you need more personalized help with this transition, and you are looking for a targeted program to make eating healthy fun and sustainable, know that I work with selected clients and offer them customized one-on-one coaching programs, where I help you:
- Find effective ways to stick to a gluten free / dairy free or AIP diet without ever feeling restricted
- Learn how to cook without recipes and make simple meals taste good
- Incorporate more vegetables into your diet and learn how make them taste great
- Gain confidence and be more creative in the kitchen
- Learn a variety of exciting healthy recipes that the entire family will love
- Experience a healthy version of Italian food and culture
- Learn how to accommodate the whole family regardless of your food limitations
If you are interested in working together, answer to the questions in this form, so that I can understand your needs. And if I am confident I can help you reach your healthy eating goals, I will get in touch with you personally.
I hope you enjoyed my tips to start eating more vegetables and it’s going to help you make a positive change in your eating habits! Share this information with others who may need to hear it, on Instagram and Facebook, save it on your favorite Pinterest board and subscribe to my weekly newsletter so that you never miss a post!!
And if you have other tips on how YOU started eating more vegetables, please share that in a comment below!
Lots of love and ciao!