The healthiest, most sustainable lifestyle today means having a balanced diet with an emphasis on eating more plants. Fortunately, there are many easy options we can choose from in order to better our health and make us feel good. Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, has come up with 7 easy ways to incorporate more plants into your meals without having to sacrifice your favorite foods. See below for her simple tips.
7 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Plants into Your Meals Guest Post by Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind
- When you are making a sandwich, swap out the bread and replace it with lettuce or a collard green wrap. If you are ordering sushi, you can request it to be wrapped in a cucumber instead of rice (these are called “naruto rolls” in Japanese restaurants). Easy swaps can add more nutrients into your diet while also saving you calories throughout your day.
- Think out of the box when it comes to how you prepare your vegetables, and get out of the habit of eating the same foods over and over again. Mix it up! Puree carrots, cauliflower, spinach or even squash into your favorite meals. Some ideas include: soups, sauces, lasagna or even meatballs. You won’t even taste the difference but you will be incorporating a lot of vegetables into your meals.
- Breakfast is a meal where we often forget to add vegetables, but it’s easy to turn regular eggs into a fancy vegetable omelet. Try spreading avocado on your toast instead of butter for more fiber and less calories. You can even add tomato and onion on top for an extra veggie boost. Keep chopped up vegetables in your refrigerator at all times so it’s easy to toss them into any snacks or meals.
- Fruit smoothies are terrific ways to easily sneak in greens. Blend in a handful of spinach or kale with zero compromise to how good your smoothies taste. If you first wash, dry, chop, and freeze your greens, you will not only reduce spoilage and waste, but also make it easier to whip up a cold refreshing smoothie.
- Take your favorite mixed green salad and chop up nuts, like Setton Farms Pistachios or their Pistachio Chewy Bites, for added crunch and protein. Greens don’t have to be eaten by themselves. The same goes for quinoa or rice. You can also sprinkle pistachios over yogurt or oatmeal for extra protein and heart healthy fat. The possibilities are endless with nuts—think smoothies, trail mixes, granola and cheese. If you are looking to cut back on calories, pistachios are the way to go! They have 49 nuts per servings and are also the lowest calorie nut.
- Up your nutrients by switching your wheat pasta to vegetable pasta. Spiralized zucchini, butternut squash, and even sweet potato comes out amazing! You’ll even find them served in many restaurants as a gluten-free alternative to pasta. Top it with your favorite tomato sauce and a little cheese for a comfort food fix without the guilt.
- Craving salty pretzels and fried potato chips? Luckily, you can easily make your own. Try baking chopped kale, thinly sliced sweet potatoes or beets with a touch of olive oil and sea salt. Many markets are even carrying them pre-made for easy snacking on the go.
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Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind is the founder of Hands On Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York. Sara has dedicated her career to educating clients on how food and lifestyle choices affect health, and how to make the right choices to look and feel your best each day. Sara translates the complexity of integrated nutrition into usable tools with easy-to-cook recipes that appeal to the entire family. Sara counsels privately to offer highly customized health and nutrition plans for her clients. She also works with parents on shopping and cooking smarter to create healthier homes. In addition, she teaches beginner to gourmet cooking classes with her signature “toss it in” approach. In addition, Sara regularly works with corporations and non-profit organizations to lead workshops and lectures on healthy eating.