Learning to Love Veggies

Eat more vegetables and the rest takes care of itself. It’s always my advice to people just starting out on the road to eating healthier. Then I throw in two more pieces of advice — get more steps and drink more water. 

The second two are easy even for the busiest people – a couple of quick laps around the block or drinking a tall glass of water before each meal helps you hit those two goals fairly easy. 

But eating more veggies? For many people — if they’re being honest — can be the toughest one. Why? Well, lots of people think they don’t like vegetables. Some of them really don’t like them.

The solution? You have to find ways to eat vegetables and enjoy them. You don’t want to feel like eating vegetables is like a punishment. 

If you really don’t like vegetables, you can learn to like them — dare we even say, love them. While you are creating a long-term healthy lifestyle, chances are your taste buds will need some time to adjust to the cleaner food. Processed foods often have chemicals and flavorings that coat the tongue, making it hard to taste the real stuff when it comes along. 

I start clients of what I like to call “converter recipes.” They are recipes that make it easy and surprisingly delicious to get as many veggies and nutrients in their bodies as possible, so they start the process of feeling energized and amazing without a lot of effort. Once this happens, the cycle has started in a great way: because when you feel great first, it’s so much easier to be motivated to continue to eat that way. And the healthy options just expand from there. 

So even if you already are eating how you want and are feeling how you want to feel this spring, a little extra veggie love added in to your day can only bring more goodness to all the cells of your body. Especially ones that taste so delicious and are easier and quicker to throw together than waiting for take-out on busy nights. This recipe below is one of my favorite salads for that reason. 

Thai Chicken + Cabbage Salad

Makes approximately 4 servings

Notes: To save time, you can use pre-shredded carrots and cabbage in this recipe. Great served with the Cilantro Lime + Ginger Dressing and Easy Shredded Chicken on top. Keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days with dressing on it. 

1 head green cabbage, middle core removed and thinly sliced

½ cup shredded chicken (optional) 

2 medium carrots, shredded 

4 green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped 

¼ cup peanuts, chopped

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Cilantro lime + ginger dressing
to taste

Add ingredients to a large bowl and toss with dressing. Garnish with extra peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges if desired.

Cilantro Lime + Ginger Dressing 

Makes approximately 4 servings

Notes: Also great on grilled steak and seafood!

¼ cup fresh lime juice
(approximately 4 limes)

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tamari sauce

2 teaspoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon unrefined sesame oil

1 tablespoon Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 teaspoon honey

In a glass jar or bowl, whisk ingredients together, or blend together until smooth.  

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