Now that we are getting back into the swing of things after a three day weekend, I’m sure some of us are feeling that post BBQ bloat. All the burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, booze, desserts, and steak in some cases made for a tasty weekend for most of us. What are we supposed to do when that indigestion creeps in, and we feel a bit sick this week? A healthy alternative to get you back on track is increasing your vegetable intake. There are numerous benefits to eating veggies healthily (not loaded with butter & salt). I know the trend is to make some kind of shake with the trendy veggie (kale at the moment) but I invite you to actually cook your vegetables, season them then eat them. You may end up enjoying them more.
- Dark Leafy Greens: These would be your spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, arugula, chards, and other delicious options in the produce aisle. These are great stir fried, in omlettes, steamed, roasted, by themselves, as a side dish to your entree or cooked as the entree itself. I always say spinach is an everything vegetable. It can go from being a side dish to the main meal. These dark vegetables don’t require a lot of salt either, if at all, and only need a bit of garlic if you want to eat them on their own. If you want to experiment with different sauces, go for it! Just be careful of how much salt or sugar is in it. A lot of those bottled jars of sauce or toppings are heavy in either salt or sugar for “flavor.”
- Salads: These can go beyond the usual that we’re used to. You can liven them up with different colored peppers, nuts, grains, olives, mushrooms – the works. A good salad can be filling enough for a meal as well any time of day too. Breakfast doesn’t have to be solely what we consider breakfast foods. Whether you pile it up in a jar, or have a sophisticated travel case for it, they can be brought anywhere with you for healthy fast food on the go.
- Avocado: There are many ways to eat this, and various outlets have recipes galore when it comes to this super fruit. My top two ways to enjoy an avocado is sliced up with tomatoes and a pinch of salt, or as guacamole. I grew up hearing how you should eat some avocado each day to maintain your health. As an adult, I can feel the benefits from eating it regularly.
- As always, drink plenty of water. If you don’t like the taste of flat water, slice up a lemon and add it in for some flavor. If lemons aren’t your thing, you can slice up a lime, cucumber, or even grapefruit – whatever it takes to increase your water intake.
My trick for purchasing quality vegetables without the supermarket price tag, or suffering with how low the quality of food some supermarkets products are, I shop at my local Asian Supermarket. Not only is it probably a better place to find vegetarian options, the prices tend to be lower and their produce is fresher. I understand being loyal to certain stores with all the perks they give out; whether it’s points for gas, or other items, but a little shopping around can help make your money stretch further.
Whether you love vegetables or not, there are so many to try and combinations to mix, match, and prepare them that you will find something you love. They are a great way to maintain your health and vitality, and help get back on track after over indulging this weekend or any period of time where we eat too much unhealthy stuff.