« Health & Fitness

Lettuce not forget our Veggies this Holiday Season!

by Corey Carter

By Yorvik at de.wikipedia [GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons 

Did you ever hear the old myth that the average person gains anywhere from 5-10lbs over the holiday season? Sadly, this is no myth. One way to maintain your healthy weight and spare yourself the burden of having to work even harder at the gym when the new year rolls around is to stick to your routine and eat your vegetables. In fact, did you know that the U.S. Department of Health recommends that we should get anywhere from five to seven servings a day? Vegetables are an essential part of our diet; they provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that play an important role in the way our bodies function. Not to mention they are low in calories and essentially fat and sodium free. One of the best ways to reap all the possible benefits from eating vegetables is to make your plate colorful. Each color group provides us with awesome preventative health benefits. Here are some ways to insure you are getting for vegetables into your diet this holiday season:

v  Incorporate veggies into some of your favorite foods

o Layer zucchini strips in your lasagna instead of noodles. Yum!

o Add veggies to your quesadilla (mushrooms, peppers, onions, spinach, and tomatoes are all a delicious addition).

o Make your own spaghetti sauce and toss in carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, and chunks of tomatoes.

v  Grilling your vegetables adds excellent flavors. Try brushing veggies with olive oil, light Italian dressing, or another marinade. Turn this meal into a veggie kabob.

v  Only nosh on veggies as an appetizer before a large holiday meal. It will fill your tummy for far fewer calories.

Drink your veggies- try adding spinach, kale, or avocado to your morning smoothie. It may be the perfect way to get the health benefit of veggies right away in the morning.