I was feeling pretty good about myself as my midwife went through her “health history” questionnaire with me a couple of months ago. Yes, I exercise regularly. No, I don’t eat processed foods (much). No, I don’t drink, smoke, or take drugs. Yes, I eat sweets, but not more than a few times a week. And then she asked this: “How do you think you could improve your eating habits?”
And there she had me. I had to ‘fess up and face the facts. I try to eat well, but I’m probably woefully under-vegetabled. So I made a commitment — as I have done in past pregnancies — to eat more vegetables.
Over the past four months I have tried many things, and this is what I have found to be successful in the vegetable-promotion campaign: Keep it simple. Keep it easy. Keep it tasty.
It’s been a long time since I bothered to buy broccoli. Too much work. I have to chop it up and it generally ends up over-cooked or over-spiced. But I bought some last week and remembered that I could eat it raw. And so I did. And so did my children. Along with carrot sticks. And we liked it a lot. Easy peasy.
So, keep it simple.
But when I have a few extra minutes and I want something a little fancier, I try to find an easy way to prepare the veggies. I’ve found a few recipes that are almost too easy to prepare. Like tossing cauliflower with olive oil and curry powder and roasting it in the oven for half an hour. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and I inhale it when it comes out of the oven. In fact, roasted vegetables have become a favorite. So little hands-on time, and while they are roasting, I can focus on the main dish.
Also, when I need a snack, I try to steer myself toward something plant-based: celery or apples with peanut butter. Bananas and Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey.
See? Keep it easy.
But sometimes I want something a little more indulgent. And my indulgence, usually, is this: a salad wrap. Whenever I have leftover flour tortillas, I rejoice because I know I can make salad wraps with them for lunch. I indulge myself by adding a bit of cheese or deli meat, and then pile it high with lettuce, grape tomatoes, olives, capers, artichoke hearts, cucumbers, bell peppers or whatever else I have on hand, then drizzle it with olive oil and grind some Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning on it and I’m good to go. I generally end up with salad all over my lunch plate, but it’s just as tasty when eaten with a fork as it is in a tortilla.
A little more work, but so worth it. Keep it tasty.
What are your favorite ways to eat vegetables? Raw? Roasted? In a salad? On a stick? How do you add more vegetable goodness to your life?