Let’s Talk About veggies!
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. A diet rich in vegetables provides vitamins, nutrients, phytonutrients, and lots of fiber to support a healthy gut microbiome. A food rule of thumb is to eat a wide variety of vegetables and as many colors of vegetables as you can throughout the day. You want to strive to have half your plate be vegetables for your two biggest meals everyday.
To know that you’re getting the recommended 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day, you can use your fist to estimate! The size of your fist is about one cup. One fist (or cup) equals one serving of non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, and onions. Two fists (or cups) equals one serving of leafy greens, like spinach, lettuce, and arugula.
Starchy vegetables, like potatoes and corn, should be included in your carbohydrate portion of your meal. This means that potatoes and corn fall into the same category as bread, rice, and pasta. They’re not unhealthy to eat, but you do need to be mindful of the portion size. Your total carbohydrate portion should be about 1/4 to 1/2 cup or less per meal.
Reshape Your Mindset
As you work to lose weight, work on shifting your mindset to thinking about vegetables first when you make a meal. Think to yourself, “what vegetables will I fill my plate with?” Then, add your protein and carbohydrate portion as the side dishes to your veggie-filled meal. This will help you to create long-term sustainable healthy eating habits.
Now get out there and eat those veggies!
For ideas on how to prepare and cook vegetables, see this post here: Cooking and preparing vegetables — made easy!