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Lifestyle Challenge: Week 3 - Veggies

Polly Pitchford - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are you ready to ADD foods to your healthy eating lifestyle?  We associate "diets" with taking food away, and that's why diets don't last for the long haul.  We need to feel full, nourished and satisfied after a meal, not deprived!

The number 1 BEST advice for healthy eating is to add 4 cups of vegetables to your day for 7 days!  All vegetables are good but the best are the dark leafy greens.  So that means having a salad made with Romaine and toss in some watercress, spinach, parsley, chopped broccoli, chopped kale, or peppery arugula.  Now that you have a green base, add any other colorful vegetable and/or fruit, go easy on the cheese, stay away from creamy dressing and just use 2 Tablespoons maximum of an olive oil dressing.  If you want to get the vegetable quotient in all at once then make this salad BIG and add a small portion of protein for your Main Meal Salad.  Or you can split it into 2 salads: one for lunch with a whole grain bread sandwich, and one for dinner along with brown rice and a steamed vegetable.

I realize that I'm writing this blog during a balmy 78 degree Florida afternoon and a salad sounds wonderful!  If you are layered with socks and sweaters in a northern climate, however, I understand that a cool, crisp, raw salad doesn't exactly appeal!  Here's what you can do:  Throw a cup of frozen spinach, kale or collards into your bowl of soup; saute the same veggies in with your stir-fry, or chop them up fine and add to a rice or pasta casserole.  Just make the attempt to add 4 cups of any kind of vegetable to your day and see how your hunger and fullness factor do.  

Not only do you get the most amazing nutrition form these plants but their low calories and high fiber content will fill you up and hopefully you will eat less of the saturated fats from meats, cheeses, and butter seasonings.  

The result?  Lose a few pounds, gain more energy, get regular (not to be ignored in our quest for health) and discover new food favorites!!  It's a win win win win!!  

As with the previous 2 weeks, take a day to plan for the challenge, shop for the challenge and do a little prepping for the challenge.  You'll then get off to a successful start with a plan and a full vegetable drawer!

Oh yes, and you can choose to ignore the previous challenges (water and white flour) and just focus on this weeks challenge OR keep those 2 going and add this one to the mix.  That's completely up to you but you probably know my recommendation!

Do your best!  Don't kick yourself for not getting the full 4 cups, just increase what you typically do!  Have fun for your health!



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