Increasing Your Vegetable Intake – Episode 04
Author:Kristin Longacre

July 27, 2021

Today we’re going to talk about vegetables and why they are important to your health.

Next time you see greens powder advertised on Instagram, take a step back from what they are selling, save some money and grab a few vegetables instead. Chances are they have a little less sugar, no added chemicals, and well they’re a much healthier way to get your greens in.

As a society, we have pushed healthier and more vitamin-filled vegetables to the side in favor of convenience.

Let’s talk about why and how we can change that.

Topics Covered:

  • Why vegetables are important
  • What vegetables should you eat?
  • How many vegetables should you eat a day?
  • HOW do you eat that many vegetables a day?

Full Transcript:

Welcome to be your best self health chats, weekly casual conversations about taking health into your own hands. I am your host, Kristin Longacre. Hello. Hello. So Normally I am recording from my office back home.

Um, today we are on location and that means you may hear some nature in the background, some jet skis, and I’m not sure what else. So hopefully it’s a little quiet here until we get our little chat finished today.

We are going to talk about vegetables and why they’re important to your health. Yep. Those green beans and Brussels sprouts actually do mean something more than your parents just being mean to you. Insisting that you finish everything on your plate for dinner. Next time you see greens powder advertised on Instagram. Take a step back from what they’re selling. Save some money and grab a few vegetables. Instead. Trust me, your parents were right.

Chances are those greens have a lot of added sugar, some chemicals, and well vegetables are the healthier way to get your greens. Vegetables are something that the U S overall has gotten away from the standards required in schools are minimal and many kids have never touched a green bean in their life. It’s no one person’s fault has this society.

We have pushed the healthier and more vitamin-filled vegetables to the side in favor of convenience. I get it. It’s much, much easier to get a kid to eat a side of fries and call it a day. Instead of a bowl of green beans, I have nothing against potatoes. They’re delicious, especially when they’re fried in oil and covered in salt, but it’s time to expand our palette when it comes to vegetables. That leads us to the first question of the day.

What are the vegetables that we should focus on? Truly there isn’t a bad vegetable out there, but I want to be sure to start getting more color in our lives.

There are sweeter vegetables, such as corn peas or carrots to just the ones with your sugar, bad for you by any means, but too much of it can result in too much sugar elsewhere in your diet. Especially there are sweeter vegetables like corn peas or carrots, but don’t limit yourself to just the speed vegetables with the higher sugar content.

They are not bad for you by any means, but too much of it can result in too much sugar in your diet, especially if you are limiting sugar, anywhere else. If peas, corn and carrots are all you like, that’s a great place to start. There is no reason not to eat them. However, branching out into broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, and peppers of all colors is a great next step. All of these vital high-end vitamins filled with fiber and are a little bit lower on the sugar content.

The next question is how many vegetables should we be consuming a day? Now this is on the extreme side, but one UK study has shown that eating seven serving of vegetables a day along with the little bit of fruit can reduce mortality from all causes by 24%. Okay. That’s one study and it’s the extreme side of it.

The CDC recommends two to three cups of vegetables a day. This is a more realistic option, especially if you are not used to eating vegetables.

Now, the last piece we’re going to dive into today Is how do you get those vegetables in your diet? Believe it or not, it’s not as hard as it might seem. It takes a little bit of planning, but it can actually work out a lot better in the long run. If you take a few steps, as soon as you get your groceries, my first trick is, as soon as you get your vegetables home from a grocery store, wash them. And if you have time, get them cut up and prepped for the week. This way you have no excuse not to add them to your meal.

When it comes to breakfast, the easiest way to get vegetables in is mixed. Whatever you are enjoying in with some vegetables. So for example, if you’re eating some eggs, throw some spinach in, maybe some onions, some peppers, even that half a cup of spinach can shrivel up really quickly when it’s cooked into eggs, that you won’t even notice it.

Smoothies are another way that makes it easy to sneak in a ton of vegetables. You can easily blend a cup of spinach or kale, add in some cauliflower crumble, and not even know that they’re in there because the other fruit will cover up the taste.

When it comes to lunch or dinner, I have an easy rule of thumb. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Then fill the rest with your meal. A go-to lunch for me is half a plate of mixed raw vegetables, such as sweet peppers, carrots, broccoli, sugar, snap, peas, cucumbers, along with two tablespoons of hummus to dip it in. Plus a protein such as some lunch meat or grilled chicken.

Again, going back to cutting up those vegetables. When you’re organizing groceries, there’s little to no excuse to making an easy lunch like this.

When it comes to dinner, there are plenty of options on a lazy day. I’ll repeat my lunch, but I love a good vegetable steamer from the frozen section at the grocery store. They’re an easy way to throw a side of vegetables with your dinner.

Keep an eye on the other ingredients that may be in those such as any added. I prefer to stick with the ones that are just vegetables and add any seasonings to it. After they’re cooked, cooking with vegetables mixed into your dinner is always a good option, such as tacos throw in some peppers or onions with chicken grilled mushrooms on top as a favorite of my husband’s, or even chopped up peppers, jalapenos, and onions mixed into a hamburger. When you grill it, simple things like that add so much flavor and you get the vitamins and nutrients that come with the vegetables. 

Zucchini makes a great substitute. For many things, chances are, you’ve heard of zoodles or zucchini in place of pasta. We’ve bought them already zoodles before, but you can also do them yourself at home. Last summer, we discovered zucchini boats, where you take the seeds out of the zucchini and fill the rest up with something else such as taco meat or shredded chicken with cheese on top. Squashes are great for this too.

These are just simple ideas, but a quick Pinterest or Google search will give you thousands of ideas on how to incorporate vegetables into your life. My best advice is don’t overcomplicate it.

Hop on over to our show notes and share your favorite way to incorporate vegetables into your meals. To see all of the show notes from today, or share your thoughts, please visit podcasts best health Make sure to subscribe to our podcast so you can get our weekly chats directly on your favorite app. We’ll see you back here next Tuesday.


Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

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