12 Weeks = 12 Goals: Vegetables

OK, vegetables…not the sexiest topic in the world, but how often are you eating them? You can’t really have enough, they are an amazing source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

If you think about how much veg you consume, where do you sit? 1-2 serves per day, sometimes none, sometimes more, always more? In an ideal world, you want to aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. It sounds like a lot, but it’s an easy number to hit when you know how.

GETTING STARTED:

Vegetables – in my opinion… just load your plate. As you’ll see on my recommended healthy plate, vegetables make up a large portion of the plate. They are low in calories and therefore you can go to town, the more you eat, the more you’ll feel full. The fibre will also help to slow digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer, so its an all round good food to feature on your plate.

As always, I recommend starting small and working up.

Increase your vegetable intake by at least one cup of vegetables per day for one week, and then increase each week until your plate is loaded with veggies. Last week I was talking about starchy carbs and this week it’s essentially just non-starchy vegetables.

How much veg should you be consuming?

Aim for variety & eat the rainbow. Different colour vegetables have different nutrients and increasing variety of colours and types of vegetables has a really beneficial effect on our gut microbiome.

In an ideal world, you want to consume around 5 serves of vegetables per day and some great tips to help you do that are:

  • Add spinach or kale to smoothies (you can’t taste it and it’s a great way to up your veggie intake).
  • If you are having eggs for breakfast, add some spinach, mushrooms and/or tomatoes or simply have avocado and tomato on toast.
  • Stir fry’s are a perfect way to increase variety, colour and flavour.
  • Batch roast different vegetables as part of your food prep and these can then be reheated with weeknight meals or added to salads for lunch.
  • Make soups that are loaded with veggies.

WHY vegetables are an important component to your plate?

  • High in fibre
  • High in vitamins particularly vitamin A and C.
  • High in minerals – dark leafy greens are a really good source of iron and be sure to add some vitamin C to increase the absorption (for example a squeeze or lemon juice or some tomatoes on your plate).
  • Amazing source of antioxidants which helps to reduce free radicals in the body (can be caused by exposure to toxins such as alcohol, medications, drugs, chemicals etc).

Now that you are armed with the HOW and WHY of the importance of vegetables, I hope you join me by assessing your carbohydrate intake and remember, start small and work up!

I’d love to see your photos of you participating in my 12-week challenge. Feel free to email them to share with our community or tagging details below.

Have a great week.

Amy x

 

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