A few days ago I did something I had not done in months.

I went inside a grocery store.

I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the freedom I had in stores before Covid-19.

The freedom to walk up and down the aisles….Select my own produce….. impulse buy…..

Touch my face, even….

All the bliss was brought abruptly to a screeching halt when I saw a sign by the meat products, limiting customers to two per person.

As a vegetarian who is sometimes vegan, normally I wouldn’t’ think twice about a sign like this. Even though the rest of my family does eat meat, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and moved on with my day.

“Guess we will just have meatless dinners for the next few weeks,” I would have thought……And come to think of it, I probably did.

But then I overheard another couple wondering aloud about what they were going to eat for dinner now

“Pizza?”, the husband suggested.

“I guess…maybe mac and cheese,” the wife replied.

Then what?

This was when I realized that I might be able to offer some help! While adhering to the guidelines of social distancing, I suggested some tips that could help them incorporate more vegetables into their dinner plans.

Just in case you might also be struggling to do the same, I’d like to offer up some suggestions to you, as well!

  1. Keep it Simple. Let’s face it. We have enough on our minds these days, we don’t need to add anything else to worry about! Prepping fruits and vegetables ahead of time by washing, peeling, and chopping them when you get home so that they are ready in a pinch will make you more likely to incorporate them into your meals and snacks throughout the week!
  2. Include veggies with every meal. This can be easier than you think! Remember that couple’s conversation I was eavesdropping on? Pizza can easily be topped with sautéed mushrooms or green peppers. Mac & cheese? Why not stir in some broccoli?! Spinach and onions can be thrown into an omelet. You can add a tomato to your bagel, or a handful of greens into a smoothie. The more you open your mind to the possibilities, the easier it will become!
  3. Eat your veggies first: Vegetables are sooooo much more than a bowl of iceberg lettuce smothered in ranch dressing. Try one of my favorites – sliced tomatoes, layered with fresh mozzarella and basil, topped with balsamic glaze! Your sides don’t have to be boring! And eating them first will not only ensure you get your recommended daily allowance, but they will also fill you up – making you less likely to indulge on the foods that are not as good for you!
  4. Swap it! Try out some new recipes that make veggies the central part of the meal – like grilled portobello burgers rather than beef, substituting zucchini noodles for pasta, or swapping cauliflower rice for traditional rice! Give it a try and you just might find some new favorites!
  5. Be a Sneaky Chef! When all else fails, pull out the blender and sneak the veggies in. One of my favorite go to cookbooks for this is actually called “The Sneaky Chef”, by Missy Chase Lapine. This book teaches you to sneak leafy greens into a smoothie, or cook and puree a variety of veggies into things like pizza sauce, scrambled eggs, soups and stews, casseroles, or even cupcakes! I can personally testify that my kids never even knew what I was up to!

These are just a few tips to help you get started. If you’d like to dive in deeper, join us for our FREE plant based webinar today at noon! Next week we will participate in a 10-day plant based challenge to put these principles into practice! We’d love to have you join us!