How to eat healthy once a day is a no brainer. Find something green in a 24 hour period, and eat it. That’s it. Surely, you can do that, right?
Well, not so fast. I’ve seen lots of clients that live on an un-healthy diet of carbs and white-ish things, with a side of burger. So telling them to simply “Just eat more vegetables!” (even once a day!) is pretty much a recipe for them never getting anywhere as far as a healthy diet goes.
I mean, we’ve been told since we were kids to eat more vegetables. It just doesn’t work that easily. Most veggie-challenged people envision trying to choke down plain lettuce or a side of over-steamed broccoli, and they immediately race to a bowl spaghetti instead.
But today is going to be different.
I’m not going to tell you to “just eat more veggies”. I’m going to show you how to eat healthy veggies at every meal, and you might find it’s actually easy (and not as boring) as you once thought.
If you need some nudging, research from the University of Liverpool in England reports eating 7 servings of fruits and veggies daily significantly lowers mortality, and death from cancer, heart disease and stroke. So, literally, veggies can save your life.
My challenge to you is, no matter how many or few healthy foods you are already eating, to get one type of veggie in at every meal.
Here’s how to eat healthy 5 times a day:
Healthy Breakfast: 2 eggs with a giant handful of spinach, peppers and onions. Add a half of a small avocado instead of your usual cheese (avocado is more fat than fruit, but c’mon, we’re trying to improve your health, might as well swap cheese for a better fat!) and serve it up with a cup of berries. 2 servings
Healthy Lunch: Spinach salad loaded up with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, carrots, grilled salmon and a splash of lemon juice and olive oil. 2 – 3 servings
Afternoon healthy snack: Tabbouleh prepared with parsley, tomatoes, onions, bulgur, olive oil and tablespoon of feta cheese on top (yes, you don’t have to make it yourself! You can buy it ready to go from the deli counter at the market). 1 serving
Healthy Dinner: Roasted chicken with a small sweet potato, roasted cauliflower and a green salad. (If you love cauliflower, check out my recipe for Flank Steak and Mashed Cauliflower from Chef’d!) Need dessert? Me too. Grilled peaches with a spoonful of ricotta and a drizzle of honey. 3 servings
See?! Not so difficult (nor boring), right? Use this sample day as the foundation for your week. Change up the produce for added variety. Swap peaches for pineapple, almonds for cashews, Tabbouleh for hummus and crudites, spinach salad for arugula, roasted chicken for salmon…the possibilities are endless.
You don’t have to bother with measuring cups and scales, I’m just looking for you to get MORE veggies and healthy foods in during the day!
I like for my clients to eat 2 servings of greens a day. Leafy greens are packed full of nutrients with very few calories, and they take about 2 seconds to throw into a bowl and drizzle with balsamic when you’re pinched for time.
As a reference, usually that salad you (hopefully) grab at lunch will have 2 – 3 servings in there.
So there you have it. eating more veggies doesn’t mean soggy green beans. Bon appetit!