Happy 2018! Now is the time when magazines and websites start talking about New Year's resolutions. We don't necessarily believe in them (so many set you up to fail!), but we do believe in making every year better than the one before it. And so we present you with Feel Good Habits. Every day this week, we'll be running tips to help you with a new promise you might have made yourself.
A banana here and a few pieces of arugula there do not make for the most nutritious days. The truth is, we could all probably stand to eat more fruits and vegetables. (Just compare your typical day's menu to this.) It doesn't have to be this big crusade, either. Here are 12 super-easy ways to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your standard day.
1. Plan ahead.
If you have produce washed, chopped, and ready to go, you'll be a little more likely to actually eat it.
2. Add produce to breakfast.
Making scrambled eggs? Add some spinach. Grabbing a spoon for yogurt? Toss in some berries. Dishing out some oatmeal? Add pears, apples, persimmons, or roasted sweet potatoes. You'll end up skipping the donuts, feel full for longer, and you'll have one small victory under your belt before you even really start the day.
Some Fruit- and Vegetable-Heavy Breakfast Recipes
3. Buy some produce you've never had before.
If your shopping list always looks the same — apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, string beans, more apples — make 2018 the year that you buy produce you'd normally avoid. Pick up at least one new-to-you food every time you shop. And try it! You'll be surprised at how much new stuff you like and actually want to buy/eat again.
4. Eat a side salad with lunch and dinner.
Salads are not hard to make. Just pile up some greens and toss them whatever you have on hand and then dress it (with olive oil or lemon juice) and eat it. Instant bonus servings of fruits and vegetables! If you want something with a little less guesswork, we have some recipe ideas.
3 Salad Recipes We Love
5. Or vegetable-laden soups.
When it's this cold out, salads can be a tough sell. Instead, have some soup that's got a rainbow of vegetables floating in a nice, earthy broth. Make a big batch ahead of time and you're set with easy-to-reheat meals for the week.
Vegetable-Filled Soup Recipes
6. Replace carbs with veggies.
Zoodles are more than just a catchy name. They're trendy because they're good. Same with cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crusts.
Zucchini and Cauliflower Recipes
7. When in doubt, make vegetable quesadillas.
Vegetables covered in cheese and folded between a tortilla? Yes, please. Storing ingredients (peppers, onion, spinach, for example) already chopped in the fridge makes for a fast and warm meal that feels like a treat.
8. Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables.
Frozen fruits and veggies often retain their high-season flavor and nutrition (because they're picked and then immediately flash frozen). Plus, they'll last far longer than the fresh stuff, so you can always keep them on hand.
9. Make more smoothies.
Yes, they're refreshing in the summer. They're also great in the winter, too. Blend up some for breakfast or a healthy snack later in the day.
Smoothie Recipes and Ideas
10. Embrace slaws.
Another thing that seems more suited for summertime, slaws are actually a good way to eat up winter vegetables.
Winter Slaw Recipes
11. Roast all the vegetables.
Almost every vegetable can be roasted. And they're almost always made tastier by roasting them. You don't even really need a recipe — just a bit of chopping, a tablespoon or two of olive oil, some seasoning, and an oven.
Read more: How To Roast Any Vegetable
12. Stew, purée, or poach fruit and use as a topping.
Whats better than ice cream and pie? Ice cream and pie with fruit on top. If you really want to be healthy about it, you can put the fruit on yogurt or eat it as is.
Stewed, Puréed and Poached Fruit Recipes
Are you trying to eat more fruits and vegetables in 2018? How will you do it?