Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to Lose Weight: Eat Your Veggies!

I know, I know.  That probably isn't what you want to hear.  I probably sound like the mother of a five-year-old.  I am.  Never-the-less, my kids eat their veggies, and we all want our kids to eat their veggies, so why not eat them ourselves?
My son's favorite snack is veggies!  They cab be a tasty treat anytime of the day! 

Do you find at times that you feed your kids better than you feed yourself?  Kids really do follow by example, and if they see you eating that nice plate of raw, fresh broccoli, carrots, and snap peas (a favorite combo in our household), they may just want to taste of that goodness.

Learn from the bunnies!  I recently visited a bunch of bunnies who preferred veggies over biscuits!    True story.  Someone had tossed a bunch of biscuits in their cage and they were untouched.  However, there were scraps of eaten vegetables everywhere.  This bunny was munching on some sweet romaine!
"But what if I don't like vegetables?" you may ask.  Start to.  Some vegetables may be an acquired taste, but I encourage you to try to eat your veggies, and even raw if possible.  Buy your veggies from local growers, which are more likely to be pesticide-free.  Our local grower even showed us how he keeps those pesky bugs away without pesticide when we inquired about it.  He showed us rows of onions surrounding each row of produce growing.  Soap-water works great too.  Either way, its a win-win.  You support local growers, and you get pesticide-free produce for cheap.  When you purchase that broccoli that was just picked that morning, bring it home, cut it up, and eat it, you may be surprised to find how sweet it is!  Fresh picked produce is leagues above the early-picked grocery store produce any day!
Our local grower's strawberry fields are surrounded
by onions, garlic, and other veggies and herbs
 to ward off insects naturally.
You can't find these beauties in a typical
grocery store!

Find ways to include more vegetables in your diet, even if that means cooking them.  Include vegetables in stir-fry, make your own lettuce wraps (recipe here), or stuffed bell-peppers (recipe here).  Use a nice big romaine leaf to wrap your burger instead of a bun.  Add spinach, onions, and bell peppers to your eggs.  There are plenty of ways to include veggies in every meal!

Experience salads again.  I'm not talking about the iceberg lettuce sprinkled with red cabbage and shredded carrots kind of salad.  I'm talking about making salads into masterpieces that you eat.  If you like fruit, add a few berries to your salad.  Berries go really well with spinach, broccoli, walnuts, and feta.  Of course, when adding ingredients to your "masterpiece," please do measure!  And do not use salad dressings with preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or a lot of fat and calories.  Look in the refrigerated produce section in your grocery store for salad dressing.  You can find the healthy, tasty stuff there!

So, what do you do if you try that freshly-picked pesticide free broccoli yumminess and you still don't like it?  You can drink your veggies.  I recommend doing this via a smoothie because, unlike most juicing, you get all the fiber.  I have a few good recipes for smoothies on my blog.  You can find them HERE.  They all include a serving of vegetables and taste delicious!  My husband and I and two of my children drink a veggie-fruit smoothie every morning.  My son who doesn't care for the smoothies (because he has refused to try them) eats vegetables ALL THE TIME, so I'm not worried about him.
This is the celery-pineapple-spinach smoothie I made this morning.  YUM!  Recipe to come!
Why does eating your vegetables help you loose weight?  

Last year, my oldest son kept asking for his Easter candy.  All day long.  I decided it was a good opportunity to give him an example of calorie dense food. 1 cup of broccoli- 25 calories, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein, 60% dv (daily value) of Vitamin C, 10% Vitamin A, 2% iron and 2% calcium. 1 Trader Joe's Easter gummy- 28 calories, 0g fiber, protein, and everything else.  Wow!  What an amazing difference.  Now, which of those 25-ish calories will fill you up more and provide you with more nutrition?  The answer is pretty obvious.  This is the main reason why vegetables help you loose weight.  Also, when you replace unnecessary carbs with veggies, i.e. romaine lettuce leaf instead of a hamburger bun, you save calories.

One last thing.  When eating a meal, your plate shouldn't be filled mostly with proteins and carbs.  The biggest portion on your plate should be vegetables.  
The diagram above is a great example of how our plates should look.  Notice that the biggest portion on the plate is vegetables.  This a good picture to remember each time we assemble our plates!

Pile the veggies on!!!

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