Growing up in the Texas country, even being raised by certified hippies, meant meat was the center of the plate. I’m sure my parents tried to emphasize veggies, but as a youngin’ I would hear none of it because that’s not how it’s done in Texas. Now I crave veggies every day. I’m quite surprised at the people I hear of that are turning to, or turned to in their day, vegetarian or <gasp> vegan diets to improve their health (Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, Natalie Portman, Kevin Nealon, & Method Man, just to name a few). While I firmly believe everyone is different and there’s no one diet that’s best, I also firmly believe that the vast majority of us don’t eat enough vegetables. I try to make veggies the primary, if not only, ingredient in at least 1 meal a day, and include them in all other meals. I’m still trying to increase my consumption and make sure to celebrate progress with copious amounts of wine. Here are 5 ways to increase your vegetable consumption (don’t forget to celebrate):
1. Meatless Mondays – if you eat meat every day of the week, take one day and decide just on that day you’ll eat nothing but vegetables, every meal. Relax knowing that it’s just 1 day. Then, if you’ve succeeded in this for 1 straight month, try 2 days meatless and increase until you find the balance that works for you
2. Use meat as an accent – Many meats have such strong flavors that you can use a little bit and still have a meaty meal. Try adding a little Organic bacon to your stir-fry veggies if you’re craving meat
3. Reset your palate with a cleanse – When we’re used to eating meat often, eating only veggies can leave us still hungry or just not as fulfilled. The Love Cleanse or other veggie-based cleanses can completely reset your taste buds and accentuate the awesome flavors of veggies
4. Eat high-quality veggies and meats – Not all veggies are the same. Do some taste tests and you’ll find that veggies like Greenling’s Local & Organic ones really are far tastier than alternatives! Also, eating high-quality food means your body will get more nutrition and crave less food
5. Sneak veggies into meals – Like eggs in the morning? Finely chop and scramble in a small amount of any local, seasonal veggie. It likely will not alter the taste but you get some veggie goodness to start the day!
by Mason Arnold, Founder & Cookie Monster