Staying in Shape through Pregnancy: Eat Your Veggies

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?

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  1. Every day this past week I’ve had a “salad” which is actually just cherry tomatoes halved, a diced avocado, banana peppers, a crumble of feta, and salt and pepper. Maybe a dash or two of red wine vinegar. When I’m pregnant with my boys I generally can’t eat lettuce and can’t get enough vinegary things. Not a whole lot of veggies, but enough to satisfy. 🙂


    lizzie Reply:

    That sounds really good. Banana peppers. I miss those from my days as a sandwich artist. Also, I have my go-to salad as well: spinach, grape tomatoes, feta, capers, and black olives. Then I don’t have to cut anything up.


  2. My favorite salad is lettuce, feta, mandarin oranges, red onion, champagne dressing. Favorite dinner veggie is roasted zucchini “fries” with parmesan. Favorite lunch is a sandwich of hummus, feta, avocado, roasted red pepper, cucumber, and tomato. Now I want to eat.


    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks for the ideas . . . I’ll have to test them out.


  3. Cagesjamtoo (aka Sam)

    April 25th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    It was so funny I read your post as I ate a plateful of stir fried veggies with chicken and rice. This is a rare lunch for me, more work than I like to put into lunch, but is one of my favorite ways to get my veggies. I really like them roasted, but our vegetable at meal times are often an after thought and turn in to a quick can of green beans.


    lizzie Reply:

    In the past my veggies have been such an afterthought that they never even make it into my grocery basket, so a can of green beans would probably be an improvement. But stir-fried sounds pretty awesome to me. I should do that more often. 🙂


  4. Roasted cauliflower is so delicious! Thank you for mentioning it on here. We steam a lot of vegetables, discovered that we really like them in ham and potato soup, but I would love to branch out and spice up the way we eat them. I guess it’s a good thing I love salads and wraps so much!


    lizzie Reply:

    Isn’t it? And so easy! Ham and potato soup sounds great. Send me the recipe! Please.


    Becca Reply:

    I found the recipe off of We LOVE it! I’ve made it maybe three times with different variations- once using chicken instead of ham. We just took it to the cousins dinner Sunday and threw in some broccoli and cauliflower. That’s what I love about this soup. You can change it and add just about whatever you want and it’s still so good! The one warning I have is that the pepper called for in the recipe is pretty strong. I’d lessen it by 1/4 tsp. Anyway, here’s the link:

    I read through a few of the reviews to see what extras people threw in- like carrots- that really add to the soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


    lizzie Reply:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m excited to try it.

  5. eses jogos e o maior monte negro = paia indiota e chichilento


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