An email from my Coaching Client:
I loved the Brussels sprouts! Do you have any other vegetable recipes? I get tired of the same steamed veggies all of the time! I was thinking about spaghetti squash – then I just remembered about cooking cauliflower and mashing that, I haven’t made that before either - trying to think of varieties of things.
First of all, major kudos to her for totally embracing the fat-loss lifestyle. She was barely eating any vegetables before she started working with me, now she’s asking about spaghetti squash! That tells me she is serious about living a lean, healthy LIFESTYLE, and has accepted the fact that her old way of eating (lots of processed foods, little to-no veggies–corn and potatoes don’t count) was not working for her.
My second reaction to her email was: ick, steamed vegetables are super gross. Now that’s just my opinion, probably because I thought that was what I was **supposed** to be eating for all of those years I was on (and off and on and off) a diet. I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate steamed veggies…. probably at a restaurant where my choices were limited and I was desperate to eat some greens.
Vegetables are a major part of the fat-loss lifestyle. They are high in water and fiber and have fabulous nutrient density. I don’t need to convince you on the importance of eating vegetables, do I? Nah, you know they are essential, especially if your goal is to lose fat!
So why aren’t we eating more of them?
When I was in my old dieting mode, I know why I wasn’t eating them…they tasted disgusting and I didn’t like them! Apparently I also had the mindset of a toddler during my dieting years: I don’t like vegetables. I don’t want to eat them. They are yucky.
It is no longer acceptable for me to think like that. When I first started living the fat-loss lifestyle I adopted a new mindset and I was prepared to do things different. Because I wanted different results.
First, I looked at a giant list of fibrous vegetables and picked out the ones that I would tolerate or would like to sample.
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Low and behold, I came away with a great looking list! But I wouldn’t last long if I had to have any of them steamed.
My next step was to start looking for recipes and asking my “healthy” friends what they were eating for dinner.
There were a fair amount of failures and sad looks from my husband when I told him what was for dinner. But I got some right & that was enough to keep me going.
My goal: eat vegetables at every main meal by filling ½ my plate with fibrous vegetables. (Bonus points if I could incorporate a veggie into a snack)
It took practice, and lots of time to develop the habit, but now I have an arsenal of tried and true recipes and make it a goal to eat between 5-9 servings of vegetables a day. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat vegetables:
- Grilled Asparagus with a little sea salt
- Roasted Garlic & Broccoli
- Green Peppers stuffed with homemade tuna salad
- Broc-cauli Chowder (recipe from Practical Paleo)
- Mashed Faux-tatoes (steamed cauliflower mashed in the Vitamix with butter and herbs)
- Roasted Bacon & Brussels Sprouts—everything is better with bacon!
- Kale Chips—I like sprinkling mine with cayenne pepper & lime juice
- Flash boiled Green Beans with shallots (or onions)
- Baby Spinach in EVERYTHING!! Smoothies, eggs, paleo pizza, sautéed on the side, soups….
- Sautéed Mushrooms (also delicious in omelets)
- Grilled Pepper and Onion kabobs
- Celery and almond butter
- Homemade Coleslaw
- BAS (the big ass salad—term coined by Jill Coleman)
- Juiced (kale+cucumber+celery+spinach+apple+lemon=yum!)
If my hunger, energy and cravings start to feel out of balance, one of the first things I look at is: how many vegetables I am eating? I’m not perfect, and I don’t always get them in, but I do my best and notice a huge difference in my body when I consistently eat my greens (and whites-cauliflower & browns-mushrooms.)