This time of year is when illness abounds, people start to eat comfort food and the clothing layers start to become a lot more forgiving than the old summer dress. It becomes a lot easier to make a spaghetti bolognaise for dinner than a fresh healthy salad, which means your daily intake of veggies has gone from an abundant 4-5 serves every day during summer to 0-1 serves a day during winter.
But it is easy to keep your veggies up during winter, as soon as you know what a serve is. Not only are you doing as you are told, but you are helping keeping off the winter weight by “buffering” your meal with veggies.
One serve of vegetables is any of the following:
½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, spinach, pumpkin)
½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
1 cup of green leafy vegetables or raw salad vegetables
½ cup sweet corn
½ medium potato or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, etc)
1 medium tomato
So here is how you can bump up your daily intake during winter:
- If you are making pasta, make half pasta and cauliflower mix. So your sauce is still mixing with pasta, but there is some steamed cauliflower in there too. I mix broccoli in with my quinoa, so I am having a half portion of grain instead of full portion.
- Put a bed of baby spinach as your base for any meal. Having chicken breast for dinner, hope about lay it on a bed of spinach. Even a stirfry goes well on a bed of spinach. I don’t use dinner plates at home, as they are too deceptive with trying to fill up the empty space, so we eat from largish bowls at home. I fill the bottom of the bowl with green leafy (lettuce or spinach), and then I put my meal on top. I am tricking myself into thinking I have this great big bowl full, so I don’t feel deprived.
- Drink a veggie juices before dinner. This is a sneaky little appetitie trick too. If you have a juicer, then while making dinner you can quickly whip up a carrot, celery and beetroot juice. Just a cup will do. Drinking it before your dinner will help you feel fuller and eat less.