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Green Your Diet: Five Ways to Trick Yourself into Eating More Vegetables

September 13, 2013

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: I’d eat more vegetables if they tasted as good as cake, or I just don’t like vegetables as much as I like bacon. You might find yourself imagining a world where, instead of recommended servings of vegetables, you could strive to meet recommended servings of cookies.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case—but no need to despair! We’re here with five ways to sneak more vegetables into your diet. After all, The American Heart Association recommends eating at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which can be a challenge. But we promise you’ll be surprised how easy it is with this few tips:

  1. Eat More VeggiesBlend it. Consider starting your morning off with a green smoothie. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it: just add two handfuls of spinach or kale to your usual smoothie recipe and blend for a few seconds longer. The color and texture of your smoothie will change, but the sweetness of the fruit will keep it palatable.
  2. Juice it. Similar to the smoothie approach, making your own juice is an easy way to get an entire cutting board worth of vegetables into one glass. You sacrifice some fiber, but maintain the good vitamins and minerals your body needs. Novice juicers: try this recipe to get a large salad’s worth of greens in just a few sips.
  3. Soup it. As we head into crisper fall weather, veggie-heavy soups are a great way to stay warm and get your recommended servings. Try a tomato-based vegetable soup or a hearty stew. With the right flavor combination, you can spoon your way to two or three servings in just one bowl.
  4. Stir Fry it. If you’re too pressed for time to make a full pot of soup, consider just stir frying your way to a meal rich in vegetables. Add lean meats and a low sodium sauce for protein and flavor, then serve over brown rice. Peppers, broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms are all great stir fry options.
  5. Build it. Okay, so building a big salad isn’t exactly sneaky, but if combined with some of your favorite toppings, you can convince yourself it’s a treat. The trick is beginning with the veggie base and building up. Start with two to three cups of leafy greens, then top with carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. With such a strong foundation, you can afford to add treats like cheese, dressing, and croutons—just make sure the vegetables are still the star of the show.

We’d love to hear from you if you try any of these methods. Sound off in the comments about your experience!

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