Food. You need it to survive. Indeed, eating food is one of the most basic ways to stay alive, along with drinking lots of water and not texting while walking.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you might already be on the same page about healthy food and vegetables. At the very least, you might already be on the road that is part of the path towards a healthier you. Now even more so than just food itself, eating healthy food (with a sharp focus on the very broad category of vegetables) and exercising regularly is key to promoting an overall healthy mind and body. Knowing that, one of the problems I’ve come across in talking to some people recently is that when it comes to vegetables, they are often viewed as quite unappealing and boring. No doubt it’s much easier to cozy up to a steak or a juicy cheeseburger than trying to get some warmth out of hugging a celery stalk. Now that is one cold vegetable, which is also chock full of fiber I might add.
Recently, I’ve found that some of my acquaintances and friends have a lot of trouble convincing themselves to alter their habits and try to regularly make healthy food choices. Sure, I dig my greasy late-night burger or dirty side street slice of pizza now and again, but I’m talking about averaging out your diet on the healthy side and just eat good and healthy food overall. Now when I say “good food”, I’m not talking about burgers. Why? Because no one needs convincing when a burger is placed in front of their face.
If you’re not already on board, vegetables are a tough sell especially “boring” stuff like broccoli and spinach. Yeah, it seems like the boring foods which are actually so good for us are also the foods that aren’t all that fun to prepare, and even less fun to eat. That’s right. In the case of vegetables, both the journey and the destination are nothing to write home about. Unless of course…a) you love vegetables and b) you know how to make vegetables interesting.
Is it possible? Can you bromanticize broccoli? Can you develop a penchant for parsnip? Can one lust for lettuce? And in fact, is it possible to get sexy with spinach? Now before I break the alliteration ceiling, I will say that the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to all of those crazy questions.
The key is in your attitude
If vegetables are unpopular with your palate, you may just need to change your outlook about them. The hard part about learning to like something is just like changing a bad habit. You just need to think about how the benefits of consuming vegetables outweigh the adverse affects that not eating veggies can have on your health down the road. As well, since most vegetables are pretty mild in terms of intensity (unless we’re talking about durian), it should be easy enough to work them into your regular diet.
Here are some dull vegetables that can sneak into your kitchen’s good books if you can keep an open mind, and maybe get a little creative.
Spinach: Does spinach make you suffer? Stick it in a blender and mix it in with an omelette. Or chop it up and sneak it in with the salad. Really, spinach is fairly innocuous but it is also very, very good for you. Don’t deny it. Eat it.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are one of the few (possibly only) foods that have Vitamin D, and yet they’re not super appealing when you start to think about their fungal nature. I personally love them, except in Chinese soup where they start to become a slippery mess.
Avocados: Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat and fiber. Once you know they are ripe (they should feel firm, but not hard), slice them up and throw them in a salad. Or make guacamole, which already sounds like a bit of work. Personally, I slice them in half, grind some pepper and/or some paprika on the halves, and eat them like that.
Broccoli: Broccoli. Few vegetables get as bad a rap as the amazingly powerful broccoli. Broccoli is so rich in calcium and fiber that you should always eat it at every opportunity. If that’s a problem for you, you can blend it up and mix it in with some ricotta cheese and stir it in with some fusilli pasta, or whatever your favorite is. Or, steam your broccoli for 10 minutes and grate some cheese over it and you’re done.
Vegetables with every meal
Do you have any tips for working more vegetables into more of your meals? Our rule of thumb for an overall healthy diet and even healthier constitution is to have vegetables (or at least 1) with every meal. And that goes for breakfast as well.