We used to be a family that for dinner we had a main course of meat, a veggie, and a carb side dish. Since beginning this I have discovered if I can cut back on my carb side dish and filling it up with fresh veggies, I feel so much better! I consume fewer calories, I get the vitamins and minerals that my body needs, and I feel healthier and get sick less!
I have a hard time eating veggies, but I've found that many meat dishes can be "cut" with them! Tuna salad, ground beef, even burgers. When you make them, put in more cut up veggies, like celery. The veggies tend to take on the flavor of the spices you are cooking your met in! You save calories and fat by cutting down on the meat, but you don't sacrifice the flavor at all. One "meat dish" serving can then also include a full serving of veggies!
Always make sure your fridge is stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. This may mean shopping a couple times a week, but I guarantee when you open your fridge door and see all the healthy food your diet is so much easier!
I have a hard time eating fruits and veggies, so I try to eat them first at each meal, before I fill up on carbs & protein. Or I'll have a piece of fruit while I'm cooking/preparing my main meal. Not only do I make sure I get my freggies, I usually end up eating less during the meal because I already have something in my tummy.
When I'm baking rolls for my family's dinner, I also slide in a little pan of vegetables to roast for me. I especially love blanched brussels sprouts with olive oil just spritzed on them, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Carrots are amazing roasted a bit, too, with some onion slices.
Prepare a big zipper bag full of colorful, crunchy veggies like carrots, broccoli, radishes, green beans and store in a portable cooler. Add a few small hummus containers and Spring Water. Bring a brochure that lists all the benefits of eating veggies and as you read, you will feel healthier and happy that you are actively doing something good for yourself. We did this and drove right past our usual fast food places....and reaping the benefits today!
I used to try to sneak in ONE more bite of treats and pretend like it didn't matter. (Or maybe two) But one way I can be naughty about eating is measuring out juuust a little more of my veggies than I planned. Even if you "cheat" hardcore on this one and DOUBLE your veggies... the extra 20 calories is probably not going to hurt.
whats helped me a lot is using the 1 ingredient rule. I try to stay clear of anything in the grocery store that contains more then one ingredient... I make everything at home myself from scratch and freeze extras if necessary. This keeps me from putting a lot of preservatives and extra sugars and salt. Saves me so much time not having to read every label as I go through and my meals turn out bright and colorful!!
I put plastic "bins" in my veggie drawer to help keep the veggies separated and easy to see, quick to grab. I wash and dry the veggies before I put them away in the refrigerator. Saves so much more time later. Then I put them in their specific bin, which is actually a large food storage container. The fruit that I keep in the fridge is also in it's own bin. Keeps them from rolling around and being shoved out of sight out of mind darkness in the back of the fridge.
Once I learned that on average a tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories, I started looking for other options for cooking and salad dressing, and I found Braggs. Now I use it in stirfrys, and on salads. Just drizzle it over your salad with some fresh lemon/lime and any fresh herbs/spice you like, and you will have created a 0 calorie salad dressing.
No this isn't where I went to school!
Doing something fun will keep you motivated, especially when you get results!
Balsamic vinegar (especially aged vinegar) has a great flavor that intesifies and sweetens when you reduce it. Bring a small pan of balsamic vinegar to a boil and then simmer until it thickens. When it coats the back of a spoon, it's done. It makes a great salad dressing or veggie dip and is extremely low calorie!
Most days I have no problem getting my quota of 5. However on the days I need a quick boost I always keep a V-8 in the pantry (I prefer it room temperature) to add to my total. Tastes great and I know it's good for me, however the lower sodium is the one I select.
I try to make a bag of frozen veggies with every dinner. I eat the veggies first, before moving on to any other food. After I'm done with a bag of veggies I am almost full, and therefore I don't eat too much of anything else. Pig out on the veggies, and then you won't be able to pig out on the dessert and other fattening foods!
I add vegetables to pre-made or canned stews, soups, and chilis to make them last longer, reduce the amount of calories per serving and sodium I ingest, and keeps me fuller. In the long run, this seems to save money, too. It's also a great way to use leftover vegetables, or last night's leftovers. Might also be a good way to get kids to eat more veggies without them noticing. It's win-win-win-win.
I refuse to pay more for less. Those cute little individual packages of snacks for kids and other controlled portion needs are every where! They are bad for my budget and the environment. I just measure out 100 calorie servings or 1 serving size and store them in tiny reusable bowls with lids. The kids love to help and it might take me 20 minutes a month. It also helps to make sure i do not grab the whole box of cheese-its when watching a movie!
Take a slice of lean lunch meat and wrap up slices of veggie/fruit inside...some yummy options are bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, romaine, apples, etc. The possibilities are endless. I take 3 slices of Foster Farms lunch meat (45 calories) and wrap up some yummy slices of yellow bell pepper...that's it! Yummy, healthy and easy to take along on ice in a baggie.
save money and time on fresh veggies buy getting them from the salad bar in smaller portions. you can also buy fresh pizza toppings, salad toppings etc. when you only need a little bit of something check there first!
When I go shopping I always go to the fruits and veggies section first and pick up ... anything. It saves me from wandering into the less healthy stuff and it ensures that I always have fruits and veggies around.