Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Nutrition | Posted on 01-14-2014
By Jill Whalen
Here’s a tip I’ve been doing for awhile to keep me fuller and eating healthier.
When I’m craving carbs such as pasta, I make it healthier while still satisfying my carb craving, by simply adding some veggies to the dish.
For instance, after my walk home from yoga today, I knew my body definitely wanted a nice bowl of whole wheat pasta. I was thinking that it would be awesome with some of the homemade pesto sauce I keep on hand. But, rather than just making that, I chopped up half of a yellow squash that was sitting in my fridge, and threw it into the boiling pasta water just about 2-3 minutes before the pasta finished cooking.
I got to satisfy my carb cravings while also getting some extra vitamins from the squash. Plus, the meal was more filling and satisfying overall. I’ve done the same with spinach, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and pretty much anything that I might happen to have around. Doing this is also a good way to get rid of some produce that may be on the verge of get old as well!
It doesn’t have to be pesto, of course. Pasta with any sort of sauce is a really easy way to “hide” and disguise your vegetables. And if you’re really not a veggie person (as I wasn’t when I first embarked on my adventure) you can chop them up really, really teeny, or even grate them into stuff. Even the most fussiest of veggie eaters hardly notice them when you do that.
In fact, spinach is an easy one to add into nearly anything. I’ll chop it up and put it in practically any dinner leftover that I might be eating for lunch. You can also easily throw a few leaves of baby spinach into your sandwiches and not really taste the difference. The “trick” in all of this is to first have the veggies hanging around in your fridge in the first place, and next to simply remember to add them in regardless of what you’re eating.
So my challenge to you is every time you’re making yourself a lunch, think of some creative way to add some veggies to it. Even if the original lunch isn’t very healthy in and of itself, your body will be psyched to have the extra vitamins thrown its way. Plus, the more you do this, and the more creative you get with it, the more you’ll find combos that you like. Eventually, you may even find that you start adding more and more veggies, or bigger and bigger pieces. But even if you don’t, that’s okay. All you have to do right now is take a few baby steps in the right direction!
Let me know in the comments any ways you’ve discovered to sneak some extra veggies into your meals!