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Lean and Green: Six Ways to Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Diet

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Do you know how many vegetables you should be eating every day?

National guidelines recommend that adult men and women consume between 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. If you exercise regularly, you may need to eat even more than that.

If that sounds like way more veggies than you typically eat, you’re not alone: it’s estimated that only 1 in 10 adults are actually eating enough veggies.

It may sound like a lot to consume in one day - but there are ways to make it easier. So whether the idea of veggies makes you gag, green with giddy, or somewhere in between, here are six not so obvious tips to up your veggie game.

Dinner is just about the easiest place to add veggies to your diet - for most people, that’s the only time they’re eating vegetables at all - so for today, we’re going to skip it. Look for a future post with some veggie-filled dinners!

Breakfast

Green Eggs, No Ham

The most obvious way to add vegetables to your plate first thing in the morning is to incorporate them into an egg or egg-white omelette. Some easy options include spinach, bell peppers, and zucchini. You don’t have to make it complicated, though! Got some peas leftover from last night’s dinner? Throw ‘em in the pan!

If you don’t have time to whip up fresh eggs in the morning, check out these omelet muffins from Kirbie’s Cravings - you can make them ahead of time, store them in the fridge or freezer, and heat them up in the AM.

Veggies In Your Oatmeal? Oat Way!

Yes way.

If eggs aren’t your thing, you can sneakily add some vegetables to your oatmeal, too! Click here for The Conscientious Eater’s recipes for chocolate zucchini oatmeal, pumpkin pie oatmeal, and carrot cake oatmeal. (Cake for breakfast? I’m sold.)

Lunch

Between Bread

The sandwich: a classic lunchtime staple - and with good reason. Sandwiches are so customizable, you could eat a completely different one every day!

If you’re not looking to eat your sandwich on a bed of lettuce but still want to add some more vegetables into your meal, there are plenty of easy ways to do it.

If you’re eating a classic cold cut sandwich, throw some lettuce or even spinach on there. To get a little creative, try some shredded carrot or zucchini.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, check out this lavash wrap with roasted veggies from Keeping The Peas. Remember, you can use any kind of bread you have at home to eat this! And if you’re not looking to go completely vegetarian, feel free to add a grilled chicken breast to your meal as well.

Side Salad, Hold the Lettuce

Perhaps the easiest way to add vegetables to your lunch? Salad.

If the idea of salad makes you groan, fear not. Salad does not have to be boring, bland, or blah. And think outside the lettuce leaf here! Here are three salads with zero lettuce: Downshiftology’s broccoli salad, Belle of the Kitchen’s cucumber Greek salad recipe, and FoodieCrush’s healthy quinoa salad.

Dessert

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, we’ve got you covered. Give these two desserts a try.

Popeyes’s Favorite Muffins: check out Veggie Desserts’ sweet spinach muffins with chocolate chips. (Maybe these could be for breakfast, too!)

Double Chocolate, Double Happiness: bite into Evolving Table’s double chocolate zucchini bread!

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