Incorporate Summer Vegetables into your Meals
The summer season is a great time to incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into your meal planning, as plenty are in season this time of year, which means they are typically cheaper, and easier to find at local farmer’s markets.
I recommend having a variety of both raw and cooked vegetables, to get different textures, flavors, and nutrients. There are many reasons you should incorporate more fresh produce into your lifestyle: fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, high in fiber which can help you feel full, are full of nutrients and vitamins not found in other foods and can help you maintain a healthy weight. When I speak with clients in the office, I like to focus on increasing vegetable intake, because eating fruit is not difficult for many people- it’s the vegetable intake where most people struggle!
Vegetables are particularly important because, unlike fruit, they have a low carbohydrate or sugar intake. A good rule of thumb is to make half of your largest meal plate, vegetables. Imagine cutting your meal plate in half, and making half of that plate, veggies. Cooked or raw, doesn’t matter, just eat more!
Here are some ideas, for how to incorporate vegetables into your meals and snacks:
- Chop raw veggies such as carrots, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and summer squash and snack on these in between meals
- Roast fiber-rich veggies such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus, in the oven, or on the grill
- Add steamed or sauteed vegetables to pasta and rice dishes