As a dietitian, the question I get asked most frequently is, “What do you eat?” So, I though it would be fun to start posting a blog every once in a while with recipes of healthy eats that I enjoy myself and think you will too. I am starting with a typical day for me but let’s face it, not every day is typical. I promise to throw in the days when I eat out and have French fries or eat that piece of chocolate cake that no one thinks a dietitian will eat. It’s all about balance after all!
Let’s start with veggies. Is it really possible to get the recommended 7-9 servings of veggies each day? I am here to tell you YES! The number of servings we need wasn’t pulled from thin air. We now know that by consuming at least seven servings of vegetables each day you decrease your chance of mortality by 40%. Pretty significant. But how does this actually translate into everyday life!? At a minimum, I recommend everyone aim for five servings of vegetables each day. So, what is a serving? A serving is one cup of raw or ½ cup of cooked vegetables.
(½ cup will roughly resemble the size of a baseball, so for one cup think two baseballs!)
What are some other reasons you should eat your veggies (other than just to aim to live longer)? They are loaded with the vitamins and minerals our bodies need; they have tons of fiber which helps keep us feeling full and keeps the digestive system and heart healthy. In addition, they are low in calories which means you can eat as much as you want! I call them your “free” foods.
So here’s what I ate this Wednesday and wanted to share…
Breakfast: My breakfast didn’t have a veggie this morning, but I still have plenty of time. To be honest, I don’t eat vegetables for breakfast very often. My go to breakfast is generally oatmeal with nut butter (YUM) and fruit. You can find recipes here:
Mid-morning snack: I had a BIG, BEAUTIFUl green smoothie (not pictured, but I promise to have an entire post on green smoothies up soon.) I try to have one green smoothie each day, and this usually determines whether or not I get over five servings of veggies in one day! It’s so easy to add veggies to your smoothies, and you can’t taste them. I promise! My go to smoothie is half a frozen banana, 8oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ½ scoop of VegaOne powder, and at least two cups of spinach (fresh or frozen).
Lunch: I walk Molly (my dog) each day over lunch, which is an awesome luxury. I am usually ready for lunch by the time I get back. Today, I had a big bowl of tomato and vegetable white bean soup with a slice of sprouted grain bread and a bit of butter. This soup is loaded with tomatoes, kale, squash, carrots, and potatoes. At this point, I was up to 4-5 servings of vegetables!! You can find the soup recipe here: http://minimalistbaker.com/tomato-and-vegetable-white-bean-soup/.
Afternoon snack: I ate a couple of these somewhat healthy and definiately yummy cookies.
Dinner: Now I don’t always cook, but when I do I try to make enough to last until the next planned dinner. I was hungry while cooking, so I snacked on a handful of tortilla chips. Dinner was an awesome vegetarian shepard’s pie filled with lentils and veggies and topped with mashed red potatoes. I also had a side of massaged kale salad. You can find the salad recipe here:
Evening snack: My favorite part of the day was my evening snack…a raw peanut butter ball (or maybe two)! YUM!!! (Recipe at the end of this post!)
In a Nutshell
So that is how you do it…my tips all laid out for you!
~ Have carrots/celery as a snack; I dip mine in natural peanut butter.
~ Remember your green smoothie.
~ Eat one green salad everyday.
~ Try to have at least one veggie with two meals each day.
~ Add a veggie to breakfast; try peppers/mushrooms/onions in your omelet.
Raw Peanut Butter Balls Recipe!!
~ 1 1/2 cups packed dates, pitted**
~ 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (recommend salted nut butter)
~ 1/2 cup rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)
~ dark chocolate chips
**Soak your dates in warm water for 10 minutes, if they are not soft. Drain water and add dates to a food processor or blender. Pulse until only small bits remain. (Mine rolled into a ball, and I had to push the dates down with a spatula a few times.) Add peanut butter and oats. Continue to pulse until well incorporated, using the spatula to scrape the sides as needed. Fold in chocolate chips. You can roll into balls or press into an 8×8 dish to make granola bars. Transfer to the freezer to set. Store in the fridge or freezer. (Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.)