Let’s face it, aiming to get 5+ servings of vegetables in the IN.FORM plan each day can look daunting. Eating vegetables is essential to health and weight management because of their phytonutrients and filling fiber while supplying minimal calories. With proper planning, determination and some taste-bud pep talks, getting your vegetables in can be both doable and delicious. Here’s how to make it count: 1 cup of raw leafy greens is equal to 1 serving, ½ to 1 cup of raw vegetables is one serving, and ½ cup cooked vegetables provides 1 serving. Strive to get at least 1 serving of vegetables at breakfast or in a snack and 2 servings in both lunch and dinner.
The breakfast bell rings, but broccoli isn’t typically the food we reach for. Begin with a power smoothie: buy fresh organic kale or spinach and freeze it and add 1 to 2 handfuls (1 cup) into your smoothie. One cup of greens will give you 1 serving of vegetables. Are you wanting to sweeten your smoothie a bit but wanting to save some fruit for a snack? Try adding ½ to 1 cup raw shredded beets or carrots to your smoothie! Here are four ways to give it a whirl:
- frozen kale or spinach with frozen blueberries and Love and Peas
- shredded carrot with cinnamon and Love and Peas
- shredded beet with Stixated and Love and Peas
- sliced cucumber with Liquid Chlorophyll ES and Love and Peas
For lunch, salads are a superb way to get at least 2 servings of vegetables in! By making extra salad the night before, it will be easy to pack your lunch when the morning kitchen rush occurs. Add your choice of chopped vegetables to at least 1 cup of organic Romaine lettuce, mixed greens, kale or spinach. When you couple 1 cup of greens with ½ to 1 cup of raw chopped vegetables, 2 servings of vegetables can be checked off with this nutrient rich lunch! You can eat this salad with your second meal replacement shake of the day to give you sustained afternoon fuel.
For variety, you can have a roasted vegetable and quinoa bowl; add 1 cup roasted vegetables to ½ cup cooked quinoa and 3 ounces of sliced chicken breast for lunch! You’ll be getting 2 vegetable servings in addition to the protein and whole grain serving. Depending on the vegetables you use and the spices, this can be prepared with a Mexican Fiesta flair (cumin, organic cilantro, paprika), Italian flair (rosemary, basil, garlic) or simply Nature’s Sunshine sea salt and fresh garlic!
What’s for dinner? A great strategy is to aim for 1 salad and 1 cooked vegetable with dinner or to have 2 servings of cooked veggies at dinner. Your salad can be simple or it can have delicious toppings such as heirloom tomatoes, chopped avocado or goat cheese. Cooked vegetables can be roasted for a deep, earthier flavor, sautéed in broth, steamed for quick preparation, or stir fried. It’s up to you to decide!
Before you know it, you will be excelling in your IN.FORM meal plan!
“What Is a Serving?” American Heart Association. N.p., 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2015. <http://heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Replenish/WhatisaServing/What-is-a-Serving_UCM_301838_Article.jsp>.
About the Author:
Robin Cook Graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Robin is a holistic health coach. She is also a certified IN.FORM coach and Certified Herbalist using Nature’s Sunshine products. Currently, she is publishing a healthy lifestyle cookbook, Cook 2 Flourish, which is to be released in December 2015. You can learn more about Robin and NSP products on her website www.n2flourish.mynsp.com . You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest. If you are interested in guest blogging for NSP, please contact us at email@example.com with “NSP Blog” in the subject line.