What’s something that you know you should be doing to get fit, but aren’t? For me, it was eating vegetables (along with loads of other things, but let’s focus on veggies this week).

Training with Pamela: How to Eat Your Veggies
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I always felt good about my veggie eating before. I like vegetables with hardly any exceptions (corn is the biggie), and I typically order them in place of fries at restaurants. I eat a salad first at buffets. But when Pamela and I sat down to look at my 3-day food journal she had me keep before our first session, she pointed out that I didn’t eat a single serving of veggies in those 3 days.

It’s true: when we eat at home (which is often), I just don’t make veggies. Oh, we have a nice vegetable medley in the freezer. We’ve got cans of my favorite French-cut green beans. We kept salad in the fridge occasionally. But we never fixed them up on any sort of regular basis.

So one of the goals that Pamela set for me was to get 3 to 5 servings of veggies a day. It has been hard!

But I decided last Sunday that I wasn’t going to let those freakin’ veggies get the best of me!  And I did pretty good: Monday through Thursday, I got in my required servings. Didn’t do so well on the weekend, but more than 50% of the week, I hit my goal? That’s progress.

How did I do it? It does take some forethought, so if you too find yourself struggling to eat your veggies, here are some tips that got me through the past week.

  • Plan, plan, plan. You can’t eat veggies if you don’t have them in your house. Figure out what you like and keep it on hand. I love salad, broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers, so I make sure our fridge is stocked. I’m trying some new veggies, like sweet potatoes, so I’m buying those too.
  • Plan some more. During breakfast, I think about the day ahead and figure out when I am going to eat my veggies. Will I have salad with lunch and dinner? Will I choose carrots as an afternoon snack? Will I steam some broccoli or green beans as a dinner side dish? I figure it out early, and then stick to that plan.
  • Prepare in advance. I eat an omelet nearly every morning for breakfast, and I get one serving of veggies from the 1 cup of bell peppers that I toss in. On grocery day, once all the groceries are put up, I start “processing” the food. Bell peppers get chopped, along with onions and celery. Almonds get portioned into baggies for an easy grab-and-go snack. Why? Because if you make it easy, you’ll do it. But if you have to chop the bell peppers before you start making your omelet, you’ll probably just add that shredded cheddar that looks so yummy and is already ready to go. I know I would.
  • Know your servings. How much counts as a serving? I had to have Pamela tell me several times, so I finally wrote it down in my food journal so that I could get it right. Here you go:
  • leafy greens: 2 cups (imagine 2 baseballs)
  • cooked/steamed veggies: 1/2 cup (imagine a light bulb)
  • fresh veggies: 1 cup (imagine 1 baseball)

This week, I am shooting for five days of getting all the vegetables my body needs to be healthy. Do you have any other strategies to help me meet my goal? Share them in the comments!

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