Your childhood memories may be fraught with negative associations attached to vegetables from being punished for not eating them to being fed unusual and rather distasteful combinations like sweet potatoes and marshmallow. Yuck! But you are not a child anymore and you may already have discovered that you actually like vegetables, at least on occasion, or maybe you like them but you are in a vegetable rut. Perhaps you only eat certain kinds. Or you kind of eat your meat and potatoes first, and dabble in the greens every third spoonful.
Have you ever really pondered this topic? Vegetables are so healthy and so not full of calories that we say you really don’t even have to consider them in your calorie count, with the exception of starchy varieties like corn and potatoes.
One trick to make sure that you are eating nutritiously is to eat your vegetables first. Instead of focusing on the meat or starch, just make sure your vegetables are consumed. The strategy will fill you up, help you to reduce your caloric intake, and it will deter you from eating the foods that are not as healthy. Another strategy is to sneak them in by incorporating vegetables into your cooking. For example, have you ever thought of mashing cooked cauliflower and potatoes together, or adding additional vegetables into a soup or stew?
Do you still hear shades of childhood when we suggest that you eat your vegetables? Come on. You’re all grown up now. You can do it! Plus, think of all the calories you’ll save by focusing on veggies. You will feel full more quickly and they are better for you.
To make the experience more exciting, explore some new varieties. Here is a list you can use. Check off the ones you eat regularly and circle the ones you never tried. Why not include some vegetables you rarely eat into your next meal?
Artichokes asparagus beets black-eyed peas bok choy broccoli rabe brussel sprouts butternut squash cabbage carrots cauliflower chard celery chickpeas collard greens cucumbers eggplant green beans kale leeks lettuce mushrooms parsnip peas peppers radish shallots snow peas spinach squash wax beans okra onions tomatoes wax beans yams zucchini
This is not a complete list of course. Did we leave out any of your favorites?