February 4, 2009

Fear of vegetables? I has it!

Vegetables. As an adult, we're supposed to like them, right? Well, guess what? I DON'T. Not really. I never have. Most of the time, I haven't even forced myself to eat them. But now, with Weight Watchers, and the change in my eating habits I'm trying to make, vegetables are not an option anymore, they're a requirement.

Fruits, I can do. I like fruit. I have never eaten as much as I should, but adding it to my diet works because I like the taste! Vegetables are a whole other story. So, what do you do? It's only been a few days, and already I have some tips that are working for me about how to get more veggies into your diet, and I thought I'd share them.

Mix It

I got one of those Deceptively Delicious cookbooks last Christmas from my sister. It's a great idea to hide vegetables from your kids, and works to get veggies into your body as well, but it won't teach you to like vegetables. You can still mix it though! I find that if I mix zucchini or asparagus into pasta with sauce, it makes it a lot easier to eat it. I can take a bite of veggie with a bite of pasta and it helps me forget about what I'm eating. You can slice up mushrooms and put them in a quesadilla or on pizza, and it's combined with a taste you already like.

Dip It

A no brainer really! You can get fat free dressing, and dip veggies into it. One woman at my WW meeting even said she gets her dressing on the side at restaurants and then dips the salad in the dressing - uses much less than pouring it all over top!

Start Small

This is a huge one. Eating vegetables every night is a serious lifestyle change for me. I have to change the entire way I eat every day. So, just like anything else, start small. I know that eating better is a life change that I'm going to keep up for the rest of my life. So, it's okay for me to start small. I might slip up once in a while, and that's okay. If you want to run a marathon, you don't start by running a marathon. You start by jogging a little ways, then build up. The same goes for veggies. Last night I made a quesadilla. I put two thinly sliced mushrooms inside it. I know it's not even a full serving, but I'm still getting used to the taste and even the idea of eating these things. I put shredded zuchini in my mexican rice bowl the other night, it wasn't a lot, but it's enough for a start. Gradually, I can build up the amounts until I'm eating at least one full serving every time, and enjoying the taste!

Make it Mandatory

I decided when I started my new way of eating that breakfast isn't breakfast without a fruit. Same with dinner and vegetables. Whatever I'm eating, I just have to find a way to work those things into the meal. By doing this, you take away the choice not to eat it, and it becomes a way of life.

Use Cookbooks

I find it a lot easier to eat veggies if they're mixed in with something delicious, so I bought a Weight Watchers cookbook and am starting to fix meals from there. That way, it's just part of the recipe. I don't have to figure out how to work it in, because it's all written down on the page.

Use the Internet

If you don't eat vegetables, guess what? You also don't know how to cook vegetables. I have no idea how to cook zucchini unless I'm putting it in pasta and just cook it in that water. A simple search for how to cook xyz veggie and you get lots of results. You may even find a delicious recipe you want to try!


Enz said...

Congratulations on your veggie plan. I love most vegetables, but there are a few I've never tried but your suggestions have given me some ideas how to try them. I could replace okra or fiddleheads for zucchini some time - I love zucchini. The great thing is it really doesn't have its own flavour, it takes on whatever it is cooked with or in. I've never tried artichokes and I hate eggplant - but maybe I've never found the "right" way to cook them yet. I like your way off thinking. So..I'm off to find a way to cook eggplant for this week - and then cook it and eat it. That's my mini goal this week!

Pink Ink said...

I love the internet for recipes. It is amazing.

Saved me the other day when I wanted to make artichoke dip. I've found good sugar cookies this way, too.

Kori said...

I cannot tell you how great it is to hear you talking so realistically about how to go about doing this, making the decision to do so, and then putting it into action. This is inspiring on a ton of different levels that have nothing to do with adding vegetables to our meals. So thank you SO much. I love veggies, of all kinds, except lima beans, so I don't have that problem, but I know others who do; if you don't mind, I will share these tips?

Kalei said...

I also found that if you food process it into small pieces and sprinkle it into your foods it is almost un-noticeable....like if you make a burger (protein style-no bun) then finely chop the good stuff into it can be as much a part of the burger as the vegies! I would suggest mushroom, celery, onion(for taste), carrot, zuccini...the heartier the veggie you may want to saute it first to soften it.....but you probably have your fave stuff already....

One more:
Lettuce wraps, tofu or chicken with a peanut sauce or very small amount of teriyaki served with peeled pieces of carrots, sprouts, cucumber salad......soooo tasty! and it can be good for you too!

Megan R. said...

You can also try dicing up veggies (zucchini, peppers, squash, mushrooms) really small and mixing it in with meat, when you make hamburgers or meatloaf or something like that. You can hardly taste them, and you are still getting your veggies!!