Eating more salads and vegetables to aid in a successful weight loss plan is probably expected, no matter what diet you are encouraged to follow. That said, a balanced nutrition protocol that includes super greens (the type of greens that are especially dense in color and flavor) can do so much more than just improve the numbers on the scale. Adding nutrient-dense foods, like a superfood powder into your diet may also help address the health of the “whole” body—physically and mentally.
Most medical professionals, nutritionists, dietitians, coaches, and trainers will agree that there are no foods healthier for your entire immune, digestive, and cardiovascular system than eating the right types of fruits and vegetables. Implementing the right array and number of these into your diet will optimize the body’s ability to adopt new transformation habits.
These essential foods encourage the best lifestyle habits by changing your taste buds to desire more natural and nutrient dense foods that are often overshadowed by the effects of low quality, highly processed and diet derailing restaurant/fast food meals (most devoid of fresh veggies). If you find incorporating vegetables regularly into your meals tricky or challenging—especially if taste and cravings toward these good-for-you greens are hard to adopt—keep reading. You will learn easy ways to add in super greens and other fiber-rich vegetables that help you feel and look your best.
Remember, no one should rely solely on synthetic, rock-hard multivitamin supplements each day to get their bodies and minds in tip top shape. Fresh veggies and fruits are essential to your diet--not only do they provide the bulk of your fiber, but they also contain critical nutrients like vitamins and minerals that balance hormones, enable growth, and strengthen your hair, skin, and nails. Skimping on, or skipping fresh produce altogether means you’ll miss out on all the great sources of low-calorie fuel your body needs to build body strength and optimize brain performance.
Just What Are the Many Ways to Get More Veggies In?
Try Drinking Them!
One of the easiest ways to get your veggies and greens in is to drink them--by juicing or blending them into your protein smoothie or shake.
- Drinking a tall glass of juiced greens or veggies will flood the cells in the body within 20 minutes. Think of juicing or “drinking your veggies” as the best “fast food” there is! Mix in fruit or veggies like carrots, beets will make the drink taste sweeter and still enable you to get much of the essential nutrients needed for healthy cell maintenance and growth.
- Keep in mind that juicing your vegetables limits the amount of fiber that you get from them—so blending your favorite greens and fruits together into a smoothie will allow you to consume the needed fiber.
- Smoothies: Kale, lettuce, spinach, and other green veggies go well with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and apples. The mixed results will be hard to distinguish, but the taste will be worth it. See our recipes for more inspiration.
Want A Super Easy Bonus? Just Add in a Greens Powder
Most people report that eating enough greens through diet alone is one of their biggest challenges. And then choosing the right dark, leafy, super greens known for aiding in weight loss and boosting the immune system is even harder.
The best detox sources on earth are found in dark greens vegetables like kale, swiss chard, spinach, watercress, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. There are also other green superfoods such as sea greens like spirulina and chlorella that help to create a natural thermogenic fat-burning effect in the body.
Consuming these specific superfood greens daily helps detoxify your body and makes it less acidic, too. Combined, these effects help the body to shed unwanted weight, recover faster from exercise and lift the mood. Added minerals like potassium that are naturally abundant in super greens also help to preserve your muscle mass by keeping your body’s alkaline-acid levels in balance. When your body is too acidic, it may be harder to maintain lean muscle, which can cause a weight loss plateau.
So, one of the most convenient ways to get all of these super healthy greens is to add in a scoop of Transformation’s greens powder, Super Greens to your regular, daily protein shake or smoothie. You can scoop it, blend it or simply mix it with water as it tastes great on its own.
What’s Fiber Got to Do with It?
Bringing high-fiber foods into your diet will help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. Soluble fiber found in foods like okra, avocados, legumes, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and bananas, for example, give your body a chance to absorb nutrients and sugar. It also has the added benefit of lowering your levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and improving heart health.
- A generous handful of spinach or any other dark leafy green and bananas get bonus points for their combined potassium and fiber levels. If your fatigue is from adrenal dysfunction, your potassium levels are properly low and need to be supplemented. Bananas might just give you the energy boost you need without the caffeine jitters and crash.
- You can easily bulk up your diet with fiber rich dark leafy greens and anti-inflammatory berries by tossing them into your daily smoothie.
- Try to sneak as many fruits and veggies into your diet as you can by making it a goal to add two to each meal. If you are following your personal macros diet plan or considering on how to eat more veggies, focus on making half of your plate veggies and snacking on fruit with a handful of nuts and seeds for a healthy option.
- You can even make a generous green salad for lunch with a variety of dark leafy greens like arugula, romaine, baby lettuces, mixed greens, cucumbers, microgreens, berries, and hemp seeds to bulk up your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Be Better Than Iceberg
There are so many better-for-you greens out there that are better than the boring iceberg greens. Think outside the simple iceberg salad bar. Adding dark leafy greens to your diet is always a good idea, but it’s especially great for giving your stomach’s microbiome a supportive boost. When the good bacteria in your belly is abundant, you have a better chance of fighting off foreign pathogens.
- Greens like chard, kale, spinach, and collard greens are packed full of vitamins C and E as well as magnesium, zinc, calcium, and potassium to help support a healthy immune system while also packing in a healthy dose of fiber to support the gut. Try adding a few handfuls of dark leafy greens to a pot and steaming them for a few minutes until they turn vibrant green in color. Then simply drizzle some olive oil on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Veggies are also great in soups, so use them abundantly in all your soups for a savory and comforting meal by plopping them into the broth while it’s boiling. Greens in your chicken/beef bone or vegetable broth is easy to digest and can make the perfect healthy dish at any meal!
Mix Super Greens Into Protein Bites, Trail Mixes and More
To better help combat fatigue and energy, eating fiber rich vegetables and fruits high in nutrients such as selenium and iodine helps the body process thyroid hormones and prevent energy crashes throughout the day. Plus, whole fruits and vegetables made from natural ingredients usually contain less calories.
- Make Our Utter Bliss Protein Balls and simply mix in Super Greens for an added boost.
- Create your own Trail Mix with nuts, seeds, avocados, gluten free granola, dried and dehydrated fruit and vegetables for the perfect go-to snack.
- Choose super portable options such as, whole oranges, pears, apples, and bananas when on the go and dine on a salad of chickpeas and spinach.
- Don’t forget about iodine-rich sea vegetables- seaweed is fun to eat and portable, as well. Eaten alone or with your favorite protein source, it’s a great go-to any time of day.
Have Your Pasta and Eat It, Too
There are two different techniques to try in order to incorporate more vegetables into a pasta dish: Cook regular pasta and simply add healthy vegetables to it, or make your own vegetable pasta.
Get Saucy and Dressy
Not just an added health bonus in soups, but you can also add the full spectrum of superfood greens and vegetables into sauces and dressings, which is an extremely useful method for picky eaters or children who refuse to eat whole or raw veggies. You'll simply need a blender or mixer to puree the veggies to hide them in sauces.
- Consider using different types of vegetables in your puree: tomatoes, squash, carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, and cauliflower—just to name a few—in your weekly meals.
- Spinach and basil mixed with cashews or pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic are the perfect pesto blend! You can even hide vegetables in meatballs, raviolis, and lasagnas. You can sneak them into a completely vegetarian recipe with the use of meat by adding greens and other colorful and healthy vegetables.
- The key is to add them to the mix before cooking by the method of pureeing the veggies--so they are easier to mix. And once they are cooked, it's usually impossible to see or taste the veggies.
Wrap It Up!
Get into the habit of using vegetables as wraps and sandwich bases. Swapping and replacing processed carbs with vegetables can really help stabilize blood sugar, stave off the hunger cravings and aid in your desired weight loss goals. So, when trying to reduce carbohydrates or if you are simply tired of eating bread, you can switch to green vegetables as your base.
- Use lettuce as a wrap for a different take on a burrito, taco, or “sushi” roll.
- Another option is to use a few thick lettuce or kale leaves instead of bread for a sandwich. You can stack your tomatoes, cheeses, meats, portobello mushrooms and/or other grilled veggies on top.
Level Up Casseroles
Most casseroles tend to be bland concoctions of leftover rice, noodles, tuna, or other bits that haven't been eaten. If your family dreads the leftovers you put in a casserole, add more green vegetables to kick the flavor up a notch.
- Adding vegetables like zucchini, spinach, cooked kale or other mustard greens, green bell peppers, eggplant, artichokes, and shredded carrots or broccoli stems, will not only make your casseroles look more pleasing with a variety of colors, but also give it more flavor. You can use an assortment of veggies to make the casseroles bolder. Mash, grate and, of course, puree them into the foods! Do not be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you and your family.
- Experiment with using butter, herbs, and other savory spices to transform bland vegetables into outstanding and delicious foods. Garlic and onions are easy ways to add flavor to veggies.
- Herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, or sage can make vegetables more interesting and appealing as well. Play around with your lonely spice rack and see what you come up with!
Breakfast of Champions
Who says breakfast can’t be full of veggies? Starting your day with a good source of protein and super green vegetables and fresh fruits is the perfect brain and body fuel.
- Include vegetables such as zucchini and carrots in muffins as you make them. Grate and mix them into the batter and add in vanilla extract and cinnamon for natural sweetness. The final result does not taste bitter.
- Add zucchini to pancakes, and you will not believe you’re eating vegetables for breakfast.
- Eggs with your favorite greens (spinach/kale) alongside avocados, finely chopped bell peppers will keep you fuller for longer.
Take Away: Sneak in Super Greens For Brain and Body Power
Like anything else worth working for, getting healthy, lean, and fit takes commitment, change and persistence. It is easy to neglect your veggies and get off track when we are running around trying to check off each item on the endless to-do list. The truth is, even with the best motivation and coaches, we all make mistakes—some, we do not even realize, that can damage our health now and in the future.
If you are looking to get healthy, change your eating, and transform your lifestyle, start sneaking Super Greens into your diet.
Nancy Lin is a Holistic Nutritionist, who believes in honest and optimum wellness through fundamental lifestyle practices. She holds a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Therapy with an emphasis in Cognitive Disorders from the University of Florida. She has also conducted clinical research, assisted with dietary supplement product formulations, development and testing, and practiced therapeutic care at hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Florida and California.
Nancy believes in an integrative, comprehensive, and functional approach to your body and brain’s best ability with emphasis on addressing the root cause of health issues, not just treating symptoms. Her use of food with dietary supplements, and functional movement are at the core of what she preaches.