Tag Archives: vegetables

Ways to Eat More Vegetables by Lisa Johnson, RD

Spring has sprung which means the garden-fresh vegetable selections will be more plentiful. And, most people adapt to warmer months by lightening their load when it some to food choices. Spring cleaning isn’t just for our environment we know!

The benefits of a lifestyle high in vegetables are well established. Any healthcare professional will encourage this adaptation based on solid research. A lifestyle high in vegetable intake will prevent most chronic health conditions including:

> Heart disease

> Diabetes

> Cancer

> High Blood Pressure

> Stroke

> Obesity

Yet, even though we know this, too many people still report a very low intake of less than 1 serving per day! Clearly this correlates with statistics on obesity. But we all know baby steps are needed to support lasting change. Therefore, I am supplying easy ways to increase your vegetable intake as well as a link to find a fresh produce farm near you! I encourage you to aim for consistent application in at least 1 area you are not currently choosing non-starchy vegetables as 35-50% of a meal or snack.

Yikes, 35-50%! Yes, that is correct. The USDA My Plate guidelines recommend 50% of your plate to be derived from non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Many trendy-dieters find fault with these guidelines because 25% of your meal or snack are still allowed from starches or grains. My belief is, however, that if we consistently applied the guidelines as directed; including the activity guidelines and empty calorie restrictions, we would not have the health epidemic we do. So instead questioning the research, lets work to apply the knowledge we have. Let’s aim for 35-50% of every meal and snack being derived from non-starchy vegetables!

Here are basic meal and snack ideas to get you going.

Breakfast:

* Scramble or serve left-over veggies with eggs such as greens, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, onions, squash, cauliflower, zucchini, or cabbage. For time-savings prepare egg-veggie muffins ahead to reheat.

* Or, toss your favorite greens into a smoothie with frozen fruits, or use beet juice as a smoothie base!

Lunch:

* Choose more salads, veggie-rich soups or wraps which are easy to stuff with spinach, shredded carrots, cucumber slices, lettuce or tomatoes.

Dinner:

* Use more veggie rice and noodles, either fresh or frozen. A common veggie peeler makes zucchini and squash ribbons like butter!

Snacks:

* Pack raw veggies like carrot chips, grape tomatoes, snap peas, celery or cucumber slices.

* Use carrot chips, cauliflower, celery, bell pepper, or cucumber spears for healthy dips like hummus or guacamole.

For local, fresh produce at better-than-grocery prices, find a farm near you at: https://ncfarmfresh.com/index.asp. If that doesn’t fit your lifestyle try home-delivery through The Produce Box: https://theproducebox.com/how-it-works/or at least shop the perimeter of the store.

Let’s make this spring and summer our healthiest ever!

Beginners Guide to Enjoying Carbs by Nicole Freeman, nutrition student from UNCG

Dozens of myths exist about carbohydrates, commonly known as carbs. As an advocate for health, a common battle we have to fight are incorrect health myths! Here I will address popular carb myths. Carbs are not good for your body. This is the scariest myth I have heard because the truth is actually the exact… Continue Reading

Refrigerator Pickles by Lisa Johnson, RD.

I am determined this summer to give you so many ways to use fruits and vegetables that you cannot help but to enjoy more! This week we will showcase refrigerator pickles. You might replace the word “refrigerator” with “easy!” I’ve always loved pickles and we all know they are a “free” food when it comes… Continue Reading

Healthy Habits for a Happy Life

Healthy habits make being healthy easy because they are not based on trying…they are based on living. When we talk about being healthier or losing weight; we often say we are “trying.” Trying defines the period between recognizing you need to change and actually changing. Trying is exhausting and ineffective because it cannot produce results.… Continue Reading

Skinny Dip for the Holidays!

Have you attended your first holiday party yet, or been asked to bring a dish? Well, if you haven’t, you will soon! I have a super-easy, super-healthy suggestion…Skotidakis Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip. Last weekend, I picked up a pack of 2-16 ounce containers at Costco with some celery, bell peppers, and Gluten Free Crunchmaster Crackers… Continue Reading

Rethinking Your Goals

Most adults who have attempted to lose weight will admit it is not an easy process. We are built for survival and our bodies naturally want to hold onto energy reserves in the way of body fat. Is it possible for aging adults to healthfully lose weight? Sure it is, especially if there is room… Continue Reading