Making small changes in your diet can have a significant impact and no one knows this better than Matt Pohl. As someone who has undergone a life-changing transformation by adopting proper nutrition and dietary habits, he is living proof that, by focusing on several little things, it’s possible to create new, healthier habits that you can continue for the rest of your life. Read on to find out what Matt recommends boosting your daily vegetable intake and avoid some classic dietary pitfalls.
1. GO GREEN
Beginning meals with a salad is a great way to ensure you are getting a good selection of bright-coloured, fresh vegetables. It will also help with satiety, so you don’t feel the need to load up your plate for the main course.
2. EMBRACE THE PLATE MODEL
The so-called “plate model” is healthy approach to eating that, if followed correctly, ensures the right kind of nutritional variety your body needs. Start by filling up at least half your plate with vegetables. The remainder of the plate should consist of one quarter whole grains (e.g. brown rice, quinoa) and one quarter healthy protein (e.g. fish, poultry).
3. GET CREATIVE
Vegetables needn’t be boring. There are so many amazing ways to make them a part of your diet. If you’re not a fan of eating boiled or steamed veg, try adding them to soups, stews and casseroles. It’s also a good opportunity to add extra.
4. FRESH OR FROZEN?
Actually, both! Fresh vegetables are best, but it’s always a wise idea to stock up with a good selection of frozen vegetables for emergencies. They are usually picked at the height of their season and quickly frozen, so they retain most of their nutrition.
5. GET MORE GRILL-POWER!
We all love a good barbeque, but they can often be really meat heavy. What many people don’t realise is that a wide range of vegetables are just as easy to grill. Next time, why not try throwing on some sliced zucchini, mushrooms or asparagus? Simply toss them with a bit of oil and seasoning for a simple side dish with no extra clean up!
6. SNACK SMARTER
Give sweet treats the boot by serving sticks of vegetables with healthy dips between meals for a quick snack instead of candies or chips. (They also make excellent party platters!) Cucumber, carrots and celery are some of the most common choices, but don’t underestimate the flavour punch of bell peppers, broccoli or even green beans.
7. RE-PRIORITISE POTATOES
Potatoes are a famously easy to cook and a beloved comfort food all around the world, but healthier alternatives exist that are just as easy to add to your diet. Next time, mix things up by replacing the spuds with root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes in recipes.
8. BE ADVENTUROUS
We all grew up eating certain kinds of foods and often we continue in the same way through life. However, there’s an amazing array of delicious and exotic options that you’ve probably never heard about or seen. And they’re now more accessible than ever through farmers’ markets, grocers and sometimes even your local supermarkets. Seek out a new vegetable each week when you are out shopping, you never know when you will discover a new favourite!