After years and years of praying, I think God may have actually changed my tastebuds because I just ate the BEST raw carrots I have ever had. In fact, I was CRAVING them!
I know we all constantly read that we need to incorporate more fruits and veggies, whole grains, and non-processed foods into our diet but let's talk straight......if you're not used to doing that, it's really HARD! (Am I right?!?) I can't tell you how many times I've seen/envied other (thinner) women who were chomping away on their raw carrots or celery and felt guilty because all I wanted was a doughnut or a bacon cheeseburger. How on earth could they be satisfied eating that stuff?
And yet, here I am finding that I eat 7-8 servings of produce - usually fresh - everyday. I AM blessed to live in one the most bountiful areas of the country but I'm no stranger to the frozen stuff either. How do I do it? Here are my Top 3 Tips:
#1 - MAKE IT EASY. Anything that is easy is golden, my friends. Apples, clementines, and pre-packaged baby carrots are totally rad. These babies go in my lunchbag everyday. Can't stand them plain? No worries! There are all kinds of low-cal "taste enhancers" like light ranch, greek yogurt dips, hummus, and even light caramel. You'll find that you'll start using less and less over time.
#2 - PREP. If you don't have anything prepared, the next thing you know you're hungry or stressed and your hand is in the office candy dish! (Sugar coma in 3....2.....1....) My husband and I take turns making each others' salads in Rubbermaid containers to go with our lunch or cutting up other snacky veggies like cucumbers and broccoli.
#3 - BE SNEAKY. I cook the majority of the meals that we eat and make sure that I make enough to have leftovers for lunch. (This kind of doubles in the PREP section.) With the help of SparkRecipes, Pinterest, and friends I have found that there are all kinds of ways to sneak more good things into our favorites recipes! Did you know you can make pancakes from bananas?!
I load our homemade pizzas up with peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and even fresh spinach. Mexican has a ton of possibilities with romaine or cabbage, avocado, and creative salsas. Rice gets some extra oomph! with peas, carrots, and edamame. And there are endless possibilities with cauliflower from faux potatoes to faux rice to pizza crust! It's also amazing if you roast it! Also - sneaking around is a HUGE help if you have any picky eaters in your family because they may not even realize the extra goodness they're getting. If you need some recipe ideas, feel free to check out the recipes I've shared: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com
I still enjoy a good burger, but nowadays that burger has a nice big slice of onion in the middle and a bunch of fresh toppings on top. And I still have sweets but I've been able to keep them to a "taste" instead of a cornerstone of my diet. And guess what? Our tastebuds DO change! Little by little as I limit processed, sugary foods I find that I crave them less and when I have them a little goes a long way!
What are your tips/tricks for 5 servings of awesome per day?