I feel guilty if I do not have vegetables in my meal. Probably because I am influenced by mom that I have to eat them with meals. Not everyone likes vegetables. Many come out with excuses. Let’s look at these excuses and try finding workaround.
1. Vegetables are expensive.
One of my friends always complain that veggies are expensive. Later I found out that he was referring to organic veggies. While it is good to eat organic stuffs, to force yourself to eat only them may not be the long term solution.
- Buy in season produce as their prices are more reasonable.
- You really have to look around to find stores offering better price. Try local farmer’s market or a specialty chain.
- If you know you are not able to finish all your vegetables at a time, buy portion at a time, rather than wasting money throwing out spoiled veggies which are stored too long. Choose items that you really want to eat.
2. I just do not like vegetables. I hate the way they taste.
Yes, some vegetables taste weird. I admit that I hated celery some time ago.
- What I did, I add it to foods I like. I dip celery in my favorite light salad dressing. My friend serves green salad in every of his dinner. He makes variation each time by changing from Mandarin oranges to cucumber and avocado. He also changes the dressing type, from light Caesar to light raspberry vinaigrette. What I realized is that seldom one will say no to fresh vegetable salad. Most people are attracted to assortment of veggies in different shapes, colors, flavors and textures, when all tossed together.
- Try veggie couscous. Serve it with grilled eggplant with tomato paprika sauce. Simple yet tasty.
- If you still do not like veggies in solid form, drink their juice (without adding any sugar) each day. Drink it between the meals. Take note that juice does not give you fiber.
3. I do not know what to cook with vegetables.
- Buy some books online from Amazon to learn how to cook veggies. Take a class to learn new ways of cooking. You can boil or even fry them, like what Chinese typically do. Or you actually can cook vegetable soup. You will realize veggies can be cooked in so many ways than just boring steamed. Keep trying until you find something that appeals to you. Even that, keep experimenting. No one wants to eat carrots every meal.
- In fact, you do not have to cook vegetables. My Thai friends eat them raw. No need to steam or fry. Simply chop them and serve them with a dip or toss them lightly in some vinaigrette juice.
4. They take too long to prepare.
Yes, it is true that you need to wash, spin dry, chop, shred or dice the vegetables before cooking them. But, it is also true that you need to do the same to prepare a grilled chicken or pasta. Therefore, regardless veggies or meat, cooking need time.
- If you are really busy without much time to cook, buy pre-packed veggie packs. Just open and toss them in the cooker.
- Alternative, you can prepare your veggies on Sunday night. Cut up the veggies for the week and store them in the fridge.
- To get the juice out from veggies, use blender. Put carrots, celery, ginger and water, you will have something different.
5. I eat out a lot
Whether you eat in or out, you definitely have a choice.
- Even at fast food restaurant, nowadays you can order salad. Make sure you get the low fat dressing to keep calories down. When you order grilled chicken sandwich, ask for extra lettuce and tomatoes.
- Instead of hanging out at a typical bar, try juice bar or smoothie stops.
6. Vegetables rot so fast. They go bad before I want to eat them.
- If veggies go bad quickly, that means it is good. If it does not, it is bad for you. What it means is that these veggies are planted without much pesticides and no preservatives are added. Unlike canned or packaged processed food, fresh produce rot quickly.
- Instead of buying whole load of veggies, buy the supply to last for 3 to 4 days. Once you reach home, make green salad right away. Store it in a covered plastic container. By doing that, the salad you make are freshest because veggies you have bought are at their freshest.
- If you really have to buy veggies during your once a week grocery shopping because of time constraints, store them properly. My mum likes to wrap leafy veggies in newspaper. She also store acidic fruits like apples and orange away from veggies because they emit gases that pre-ripe the veggies. You also can store the veggies in airtight plastic contained inside the fridge.
- You actually can store veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, peas and spinach in freezer.
- If you realize your veggies are about to rot, make them into vegetable juice. Store them in the freezer. Just defrost a portion overnight for your next day breakfast.
- If you do not have time making the fresh vegetable juice, canned 100% vegetable juices have longer shelf life.
- Another option is to buy those frozen vegetables.
I do not really want you to get an easy way out by doing only the last 2 options. Fresh produces are always healthier than frozen packing which may come with preservative.
7. Other foods are more convenient.
It is actually not an issue of convenience. If veggies are not in front of us when we are eating, we are less likely to eat them.
- Look for single-serving veggies packets, such as carrot and dip packs, celery and peanut butter and sugar snap peas and dip. While you are watching movie, instead of the usual pop corn, pop one of those.
- Keep ready-to-eat-vegetables sitting on your kitchen counter. Put a glass of 100% vegetable juice center in your refrigerator.
In a nutshell, it may seem one may have many excuses not to eat vegetables, but they all can be solved with creativity and self discipline. From now onwards, be sure to include vegetables in your daily diet.
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