So what is a healthy diet anyway?
That, my friends, is a subject of great debate between medical professionals, nutritionists, coaches, moms, athletes, the FDA, and basically anyone who has the luxury of choosing what foods to put in their mouth. And as with most things, you can find information to either support (or condemn) whatever style of eating resonates with you. So whether you eat whole foods or live off of take-out — you can find stats and experts who support your choices. But it also means that anyone who disagrees with your choices can just as easily dispute your diet. Which makes everything so wonderfully confusing.
BUT — there's also a unifying theme that's shared among the most reputable diets out there. There's one thing that the majority of us could all do to get our health on the right track. Ready for it?
Eat more vegetables.
Now the thing is, it's not all about variety and eating the 'rainbow' — it's really about volume.
So just how do you do that? How do you eat all those recommended servings in a day? How do you keep from being overwhelmed and not getting stressed about it? The simple trick?
Let the veggie portion of your meals account for at least 50% of your plate.
No need to count servings or portion size, or tally up your intake for the day. Just think 'half the plate'.
Start with veggies that you like. Add more to your plate each day. Be conscious of it. Work up to and be aware of that 50% goal. Every time you sit down to a meal with the intention of eating at least 50% vegetables you will be creating a new pattern of thinking that will eventually become a habit. Each little step in the right direction will add up to big changes in your mindset and your health. Just be mindful to start from wherever you are and aim for progress, not perfection. And celebrate each success along the way.
Before you know it, your diet will improve — along with your mood and overall health. This one little trick has made all the difference in my struggle to eat more vegetables and I know it can work for you too. So why not give it a try? Good luck! And trust me, your belly will thank you.
P.S. Need some ideas for all those veggies you'll be eating?
My friend Mollie over at Parsley & Pumkins has put together an amazing cookbook — The Casual Veggie. It's a collection of 166 recipes, highlighting 29 veggies, brought together in a collaboration of 48 food bloggers (myself included!). It's pretty amazing.
But you wanna know the best part? Forty seven of the recipes are 8SAFE*— 47!!! And another 26 can be tweaked with easy substitutions. So that's a total of 73 allergy-free recipes right at your fingertips. Crazy, right? And each veggie has at least one 8SAFE recipe, so no one gets left out!
*The 8SAFE label identifies a recipe as being free of gluten, wheat, milk (dairy), soy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish & shellfish.
So how do Honey Coriander Glazed Rainbow Carrots sound? Or maybe Sweet Potato Cookie Cuties are more your style? Click HERE for the full list of recipes from the cookbook that can be made easily with allergy-free ingredients. Then go check out The Casual Veggie to find out more about this unique cookbook and why you're going to want one for yourself! Happy eating, everybody!
*This is an affiliate link. As a contributor to The Casual Veggie, I'll receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) for every cookbook purchased through my link. That commission will not only help support my blog, but $2.50 of your purchase price will go to The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties' food allergy program as well. Thanks for your support — you rock!