3 Simple Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Life!

There was a time, long ago, that I did not like vegetables. The thought of them made me cringe and the only way my mom could get me to eat them was by pureeing them and sneaking them into my food! I was a notoriously picky eater growing up with a voracious sweet tooth. If you had told me at the age of 17 that I would one day be eating a diet mostly made up of veggies I probably would have laughed in your face. It was not until my senior year of high school that I was forced to start eating vegetables more regularly. Because of some upsetting literature we were reading in English class, I decided to switch to a vegetarian diet. This was very humorous, because vegetarian means getting meals from vegetables i.e. the food I hated! 

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I still remember the day I declared myself vegetarian very clearly. I didn't even think about the fact that I was going to have to start incorporating greens into my life. I felt so much conviction for the moral cause that I simply did not think about the huge change I was about to make. That night I went to a friend's birthday dinner and ordered and tasted tofu for the first time. Everyone at the table looked at me funny- I was sitting with a bunch of meat eaters. My first bite was underwhelming to say the least. The tofu was undercooked, under seasoned, and not firm at all. I remember chewing each bite, trying to seem enthused, and thinking that one day I would get used to this mushy meat replacement.

I'm happy to say that I have come a long way since then! While I still eat tofu, I eat good tofu and enjoy it. After years of experimenting with vegetables and slowly adding them into my diet I absolutely love them. A day without vegetables is like a day without sunshine. I'm not kidding! It may sound silly but when I eat glorious plants I feel so good. I feel energetic, light, satisfied, and enjoy healthy digestion. 

I completely understand that changing the way you eat can be a challenge. I have had my fair share of experience with that. So I wanted to offer you guys some simple ways to incorporate more veggies into your day. 

1. Eat a salad with dinner- This might seem super easy or extremely overwhelming depending on where you are coming from, but it is very helpful! This is one way I ensure that I am getting my greens in for the day. If the salad isn't my main dish for the night I always begin dinner with one.

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2. Follow the 80/20 rule with your plate at lunch and dinner- I'm not saying you have to go full on raw vegan to be fueled by plants. Just eat more of them and you will eat less of the other things! If you can fill your plate with 80% veggies then you can add whatever else you like to the other 20% of your plate. If you do this with your lunch and dinner, I guarantee that you will start feeling the benefits. Although you might not reach this goal everyday, it is a wonderful thing to keep in mind when you are planning a meal.

3. Drink your greens! Anyone who knows me knows that I love green juice. It is so spectacular! So drink up, and don't be shy! You can start your day off with a beautiful green juice to set yourself up for success. I also love to have green juice when I feel an afternoon energy slump instead of drinking coffee. Here is one tip with green juice: make sure it is not too fruity! Even if you have good intentions you can end up consuming way too much sugar if you are drinking a green juice with a ton of fruit in it. If you do add fruit (which I do) try adding a little bit of apple or pear. I also love adding ginger or lime to green juice because they aren't sugary but they cut the bitterness of the veggies.

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These are three ways that you can get more plants on your plate. Try one, or try them all! 

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Stay Balanced,

Natalie