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6 Ways to Add More Vegetables to Your Diet (That Don’t Involve Salad)

We all know it’s important to eat more vegetables. Read on for easy and creative ways to add more vegetables to your diet!

If there is one thing health professionals all agree on, it is to eat more vegetables. Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Increasing vegetable consumption works for jut about any health and nutrition goal. In fact, I tell my clients to load up half their plate with vegetables at every meal!

Why you should add more vegetables to your diet

Vegetable consumption is super important for good health.Vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber – all nutrients that support our health. The current US vegetable intake guidelines recommend 2-3 cups of vegetables per day (1). But, many healthcare experts would agree that when it comes to vegetables, more is.

Several studies show higher vegetable consumption is linked to lower risk of diseases including heart disease, hypertension, and certain cancers (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Here are some reasons why you should add more vegetables to your diet:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Help reduce high blood pressure
  • May reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer
  • Helps with weight management and weight loss, when vegetables replace other refined carbohydrates in the diet (7)
  • Improve GI health, thanks to fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, and soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also a prebiotic, so it feeds the good bacteria in our microbiome.

With all those benefits, you really can’t go wrong with loading your plate up with more vegetables! Salads are wonderful, but I understand the desire to consume vegetables in other ways. Here are six easy and delicious ways to add more vegetables to your diet – no salads involved.

1. Add vegetables to an omelet or frittata

Eggs + veggies = a match made in heaven. This makes for a super filling meal, thanks to the protein from the eggs and fiber from the veggies. I love adding spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes to my eggs! Check out the recipe for this Vegetable Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust for some inspiration.

Add more vegetables to your diet - Daisybeet

2. Spiralize vegetables into noodles

You can turn pretty much any vegetable into vegetable noodles (or zoodles) using a spiralizer. Next pasta night, try replacing half your spaghetti with zucchini noodles.

Add more vegetables to your diet - Daisybeet

3. Make a green smoothie

Add a few handfuls of spinach to your morning smoothie – I promise you won’t taste it! You can also add frozen cauliflower to smoothies without a noticeable taste change, because it has such a mild flavor. Check out this delicious green smoothie recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Add more vegetables to your diet - Daisybeet

4. Make stuffed bell peppers

Cooking stuffed bell peppers is an easy way to increase vegetable consumption. One bell pepper equals about one serving! To really maximize your intake, add more vegetables to the filling, such as spinach, onions, or mushrooms.

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5. Use riced cauliflower in your meals

Just like zucchini can transform into zoodles, cauliflower is a good substitute for grains when it is “riced”. Try replacing half your grains with riced cauliflower if you want an extra boost of veggies on your plate. This cauliflower fried rice recipe is one of my favorites!

Add more vegetables to your diet - Daisybeet

6. Top pizza with vegetables

Because what’s a life without pizza? Opt for veggie toppings next time you order pizza. Some of my favorites are spinach, broccoli, and onions. Or, try this amazing looking roasted mushroom and kale pizza from Half Baked Harvest!

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Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

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Why This Registered Dietitian Loves the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet has been studied extensively as one of the healthiest eating patterns in the world. Read on to find out why!

Greek quinoa salad

One of the oldest diets in the world is back with lots of media attention this year, and just as good as ever. It originated well before “dieting” was even a thing, and has been studied extensively as one of the healthiest eating patterns in the world. It’s a diet where you don’t have to count calories or macros, don’t have to drink detox green juice, and you can eat CARBS! Enter the Mediterranean Diet, one of my favorite patterns of eating.

What makes the Mediterranean diet so great and well loved by health professionals? Firstly, this diet is widely touted for its researched health benefits. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Some research also shows an association between the Mediterranean diet and reduced risk of certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

A Lifestyle, Not a Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not so much a “diet”, rather it is a lifestyle pattern of eating. When we hear the word “diet”, we often consider it a quick fix. We’ll “go on a diet” when we want to lose weight for a beach vacation, slim down for a big event, or get back on track after a few months of indulgent eating.

Diets are typically seen as a variance from our norm, and are so restrictive that we cannot realistically keep up with them for more than a few months. They often eliminate whole food groups which contain necessary nutrients our bodies need. Many of us get trapped in the cycle of “yo-yo dieting” – trying the latest fad diet, inevitably falling off the wagon, then trying to pick up another fad diet a few months later when we still don’t see results.

This is why diets don’t work. In order to see long term results, the way you eat must be a sustainable pattern you can seamlessly incorporate into your lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is the perfect place to start if you are trying to make a lasting dietary lifestyle change!

Why The Mediterranean Diet Works

  • It’s not restrictive. You can enjoy foods from ALL food groups (including wine)! This means you are getting important nutrients other diets are lacking, like fiber, omega-3s, vitamins and minerals.
  • It emphasizes fresh, whole foods. The Mediterranean diet encourages you to eat lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats. When combined into a balanced meal, these foods keep us full and satisfied.
  • It’s simple an inexpensive. You won’t be required to purchase expensive, fancy superfoods, powders or supplements on this diet. It encourages eating some of the most humble, inexpensive foods you can buy in the grocery store, like grains and lentils.
  • It incorporates joy and pleasure into eating. The Mediterranean diet encourages being social and present while enjoying our meals. It is good practice to turn off our screens, put on some soothing music and enjoy a meal together with friends and family. Lifestyle changes become so much easier when our support system is involved!
Greek quinoa salad - the mediterranean diet

What to Eat on The Mediterranean Diet

So, what will you eat when following a Mediterranean diet? The bulk of your meals will come from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. You’ll choose legumes, nuts, fish and seafood as your main sources of protein, followed by poultry and eggs, and choosing red meat occasionally. Season your foods with fresh herbs, spices, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar. Consume dairy like plain yogurt and cheese in moderation daily. Water is your drink of choice, and enjoy a glass of red wine in moderation!

As you can see, there are very little foods you avoid by following this eating pattern. Compare that to Keto, the Atkin’s Diet, Whole30, etc. Easy, right? The Mediterranean diet largely takes the guesswork out of eating well. When your plate is filled with veggies, whole grains, and legumes, it’s hard to get it wrong!

Mediterranean Diet Recipes to Try

Here are some of my favorite, simple Mediterranean Diet recipes. Give one a try for dinner tonight!

Greek quinoa salad
Halloumi salad
Pasta salad with roasted vegetables and tuna - the mediterranean diet
Shrimp scampi zoodles and noodles the Mediterranean diet
the Almond Eater Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini Boats
The Mediterranean Dish Zucchini Salad

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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