Easy and Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Your Diet

It is common knowledge that we need to eat vegetables daily to help ensure that we are consuming a healthy, nutritious diet with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet because of their high nutrient and vitamin profile.  Therefore, eating vegetables help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases while also ensuring we’re fueling our bodies with adequate vitamins and minerals which all have different positive benefits for the body. However, I know for some, it can be difficult to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, and in fact, the overall population tends to fall short in meeting what is recommended to consume on a daily basis.

Recommendations on the number of servings of vegetables and fruits you should aim to consume per day varies based on your total caloric consumption (i.e. age, gender, weight, activity level), but as a general rule of thumb, the USDA advises filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. For today’s post, I’m going to focus specifically on vegetables and how you can easily and creatively incorporate more into your diet!

  • Vegetable noodles. A great alternative to eating spaghetti/pasta is using a spiralizer to make zucchini or squash noodles! They taste very similar to actual noodles; just simply swapping out half of your serving with zucchini noodles will help to increase your vegetable consumption, and you won’t hardly even notice! Zucchini can even be thinly sliced to make an easy zucchini lasagna. It may sound daunting and time consuming, but there are plenty of easy recipes (see our Pinterest page for ideas!) out there. 🙂
  • Add veggies to tomato sauce. Serving pasta or spaghetti? You can easily add cooked spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, etc. into your tomato sauce. It’s an easy way to add in an extra serving with minimal effort! Another alternative to regular spaghetti is spaghetti squash! It’s filled with nutrients like beta carotene and fiber.  See our Pinterest page for how to cook spaghetti squash and easy recipes!
  • “Mashed potatoes and rice.” Cauliflower is extremely versatile and can be mashed/blended to replicate mashed potatoes! Cauliflower has a very neutral taste, similar to potatoes, so with a few simple seasoning additions like sea salt, pepper and a little butter, you have yourself a creative vegetable serving added to your day! Again, as I stated before, even just swapping in half the mashed cauliflower with your mashed potatoes is an easy way to sneak in a vegetable serving.
    • Cauliflower can also be made into rice. Using a food processor, process a head of cauliflower until it turns into the consistency of rice. Sautéing it in a little olive oil, sea salt, and pepper can serve as a tasty alternative to your typical rice dish. Trader Joe’s also sells cauliflower rice in their freezer section if you’d rather purchase it instead. 🙂
  • Spinach. Spinach can be added to smoothies. Even though it will turn the smoothie green, it’s tasteless but will give you that additional veggie serving for the day! Add spinach (or other veggies of course!) to omelets as well, as a simple way to increase your vegetable consumption.
  • Pile on the veggies. Add extra vegetables to your sandwiches or wraps like shredded carrots, sliced beets, tomato slices, cucumbers, onion, spinach, peppers etc.! There are many options for the type of vegetables you can add, and it will add a nice flavor addition to your meal.
    • Making or ordering pizza? Add on extra vegetables! You can even puree the more starchy vegetables like carrots or butternut squash, and use it as a sauce on your pizza crust or as a spread on your sandwich or wrap.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! There are many ways to add vegetables into your diet.   With a little creativity (but little extra effort), you’ll find yourself eating more vegetables and enjoying them in no time!



USDA. (2015). My plate. Retrieved from: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/about

USDA & HHS. (2010). Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/dietary_guidelines_for_americans/PolicyDoc.pdf

Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

Today I wanted to focus on SHOPPING in particular, food shopping! One of my favorite things to do ☺. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming at the store with so many different options. We walk in and are bombarded with a plethora of choices which may either make us want to pull our hair out or simply just grab the first things we see without much thought to the process. The last thing we want to do is take the time to read the food labels to determine the most nutritious items because who has time for that, right? Well, with just a few simple tweaks to your weekly (or bi-weekly) shopping trip, your shopping trip can be enjoyable AND healthy.


I always have a list of things I need to get at the grocery store with me when I shop. Without one, I KNOW I’ll forget things that I need and will end up having to run back to the store. An easy way to keep track of things you need, is to create a list on your phone and add to it when you run out of something. That way you’re not scrambling around last minute trying to remember what you need or don’t need. You can even take it a step further and plan ahead your meals, so it’ll give you a better idea of exactly what you’ll need.

BONUS TIP: To save money, CLIP COUPONS! It takes just a few minutes to scan through your weekly Sunday ads and clip coupons of items you know you use. Some grocery stores will double the savings of your manufacture coupons too! Overtime, these few extra minutes can lead to A LOT of money saved. Don’t forget to check your grocery store’s weekly ad too. Typically the new weekly sales begin on Fridays.


Fresh wholesome foods are always located on the perimeter of the store. Here is where you are able to find fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, meat, and fish. The center isles are typically where the more processed foods that may contain additives and artificial ingredients are located. However, all food is energy (calories=energy) and moderation is key to having a healthy, balanced diet; so although some foods may be more processed than others, it shouldn’t be viewed as off-limits or ‘bad.’ This leads me to my next tip.


Here is where you will be able to determine an item’s serving size, caloric total, nutrient breakdown (i.e. fats, proteins, carbs) and the vitamins & minerals (i.e. vitamin A, C, calcium) of what you’re buying. A good ‘rule of thumb’ is to limit high sodium, cholesterol, sugar, saturated and trans-fat foods while looking for more fiber, vitamin (i.e. A, E,C), mineral (potassium, calcium, iron) rich foods. I will save ‘how to read a nutrition label’ for another post!

Some ideas in case you feel lost in regard to great protein, carb, and fats include but are not limited to:
-PROTEIN include: lean meats, skinned poultry, legumes, nuts, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs (and egg whites), seafood, tofu
-CARBOHYDRATES include: vegetables, fruits, oatmeal (i.e. rolled, steel cut, old fashioned, oat bran), potatoes (i.e red, white, sweet), 100% whole grain bread, whole grain cereals, beans, quinoa, rice
-FATS: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, peanut and almond butters, nuts and seeds, cheese


The shorter the list of ingredients the better. Limit the amount of food items you eat that contain ingredients in which you cannot pronounce. If we cannot recognize the ingredient, our bodies will not either.

Healthy eating does NOT have to be boring. Don’t be afraid to try different foods; variety is the spice of life!

From Hectic to Healthy: How to jump start your day in a healthy way!

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to put our own health on the backburner when our days are filled with long hours at work, cramming for exams, lengthy commutes, driving your kids to and from extracurricular activities; the list can go on and on. Whatever the case may be, sometimes the last thing we want to do is fit in time for healthy eating right? Well, what if I told you that eating healthy CAN fit into your hectic day-to-day life by making just a few EASY and MANAGEABLE tweaks to jumpstart your day.


          I think the biggest issue is the lack of time in the morning.   We don’t want to lose any more precious minutes of sleep than we have to, so it can be easy to opt for convenience breakfast food items in the morning. One way to change this habit is to take the time the night before to have your breakfast already made for you in the morning to just grab and go! A few easy and delicious suggestions include:

  • Overnight oats: this may be one of my favorites. The flavor combinations are endless and it’s so simple and easy to make. Store in your fridge overnight and simply reheat in the morning! A simple google search can lead you to many overnight oat recipes!
  • Smoothies: have the ingredients lain out and readily available for you, so that in the AM all you have to do is dump it in your blender and go. You can even take a few extra minutes and put together a few frozen bags of smoothie ingredients to have in your freezer for mornings when you want a smoothie for breakfast.   Prepping your own pre-made smoothie bags can also save you money! Great suggestions for ingredients in your smoothies include a combination of protein (i.e. greek yogurt, milk) carbohydrates (i.e. fruit like bananas or berries), and healthy fats (i.e peanut or almond butters).
  • Hardboiled eggs: have some hardboiled eggs made and stored in your fridge to grab in the morning paired with a side of toast and fruit!
  • DIY Breakfast Sandwich: put together a sandwich the night before using a whole wheat English muffin or toast, an egg, and slice of cheese and there you have yourself a hearty, satisfying breakfast!

And there you have it! A few simple, quick breakfast ideas to kick start your day in a healthy way!