After endless days of roasts, puddings, chocolates and alcohol over the holiday season, at some point (usually between the hours of 11pm and 12am on New Years Eve/Day) we finally decide to heave ourselves out of our bean bags and get back to being healthy and fit. The guilt of what we’ve consumed over Christmas and New Year’s is usually the culprit for our inevitable resolutions to get back to the gym and eat more vegetables.
But why is it so hard for us to increase our fruits (and especially) our vegetable intake?
According to The Australian Dietary Guidelines, the recommended number of serves of vegetables a day is 5 for women aged 19 years and over and 6 for men aged 19 year or over. This sounds like a lot for many of us, who struggle to keep up with this suggested serving of vegetables. If you are guilty of this, you are not alone.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only 7.0% of Australians aged 18 years and over met the guidelines for recommended serves of vegetables a day in 2014-15, these rates were similar to 2011-12. No doubt the statistics will be similar again for 2016-17 period with an alarming 96% of Australians failing to eat their recommended daily intake of vegetables throughout October last year.
Nutritionist and CEO of Nutrition Australia Victoria division, Lucinda Hancock says in a media release, “Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which all help keep our minds and bodies working day-to-day, and reduce our risk of chronic disease in the future”.
Vegetables are underrated and so is the method we choose to cook them. That’s why I’m going to show you fun, fast and easy ways to increase your vegetable intake on a daily basis that puts a delicious spin on those bland ways you usually cook vegetables.
Add Veggies into Breakfast:
Fruit is fairly common to add to your breakfast, but a great way to increase your vegetable intake for the day is to start off on the right foot and add more vegies to your most important meal of the day. How about adding spinach to your mixed berry and Greek yogurt smoothie next time? Or if you do have bacon and eggs, fry some tomatoes to have with it and maybe even some sautéed spinach with feta.
Why should soups be made exclusively in winter? No matter what the weather, soup chocked full of vegetables is one of the best and healthiest meals you can have. Think about it, it’s filling, full of the healthy stuff and low in carbs and calories. It’s a win-win situation. If you still aren’t convinced about eating hot soup on a 30-degree day, then why not test your taste buds with a cold soup such as a cucumber or tomato gazpacho? Check out some cold soup recipes here.
Say what? Yep, they are chips that are made entirely out of vegetables. Vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnip, beetroot and even kale can be turned into your favourite TV treat just by slicing them thinly, adding a pinch of salt and baking them in the oven. So next time you are about to sit down to binge watch re-runs of The Office, how about you binge eat on something a lot more healthy (you’ll be consuming your recommended daily vegetable intake without the effort)? Check out all the crispy chips you can make with a range of vegetables here.