I am always seeking more ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. As summer kicks off with so much amazing produce available, here are some tips and tricks that I use to pack in loads of nutrient-rich, power packed foods!
It is sometimes hard to remember that certain fruits and vegetables aren’t grown year-round despite the mass availability in our grocery stores. Choosing produce in its prime growing season not only ensures that it will be full of flavor, but also guarantees that it will be richer in nutrients. Plus, your body naturally is drawn to certain foods based on the season. Hot soups, root vegetables, and cooked produce are more warming and perfect in the winter months, while raw fruits, veggies, and salads are refreshing and perfect in the summer months. Here is a great guide to seasonal produce.
As you may have read, on my vision board we have reminders of things to do TODAY. On there, we have foods that we strive to eat everyday. We also have a note to “Eat salad for lunch.” This is one of my biggest focuses to ensure that I pack in nutrient-rich leafy greens, good fiber, and lots of veggies. I must admit, however, that the last thing that appeals to me mid-day (when I am typically starving) is a boring bowl of lettuce. Instead, here is how I make my salads totally delicious, filling, and exciting:
Smoothies are an awesome way to load up on fruits, but I am also a huge fan of adding veggies into my smoothies as well. Not only does this cut down on the sugar, but it also adds so many awesome antioxidants. I love making green smoothies loaded with spinach and/or kale or even frozen broccoli. Recently, I have been adding beets to my smoothies, which are so delicious! Check out my Beet Beery Smoothie Recipe.
I keep cucumbers, jicama, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and/or carrots on hand. I like to pre-slice them in the beginning of the week so that I can have them easily accessible for a mid-day snack or to have after work (when I am starving), while I make dinner. I’ll eat them raw by themselves or roasted. I love dipping them in hummus like Hope Hummus, the Miso Sauce, or even a yogurt-tahini sauce!
I crave something sweet after meals. Having fruit after dinner totally satisfies this craving. In the summer I will have fresh berries, in the winter I will eat a half of grapefruit, or if I haven’t gone to the grocery store and don’t have any fresh fruit I will eat a few pieces of frozen mango (it is so delicious)!
My last piece of advice is to diversify the fruits and vegetables that you eat. Don’t be afraid to try new ones. Farmer’s Markets are an awesome place to discover new produce and they will likely have great suggestions or recipes on how to use them.
Yay for Summer!