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HOW TO UP YOUR WEEKLY VEGETABLE INTAKE

Eating vegetables day after day as is can, to be honest, become a bit of a chore, and a chore with eating nourishing foods is something we absolutely want to avoid. When eating becomes a chore, or we are bored with the way we consume, we disengage and become less mindful about what and how we eat. As a result our body responds similarly, not digesting, enjoying and absorbing the nutrients in our food as efficiently and effectively as it could.

As a nutritionist I encourage eating plenty of vegetables – these should make up most of the diet, however, in doing so it’s important to be creative in the way you see them, even if it simply comes down to the way you plate them up.

To recap why we love and need vegetables… they provide us with:

+ FIBRE to satisfy our appetite, support cardiovascular health, reduce risk of diabetes and ensure our digestive system is in good nick

+ VITAMINS, MINERALS, AMINO ACIDS to fuel the body with micronutrients required for millions of biochemical pathways and to supercharge our immune system so we can function, thrive and reduce our risk of disease

+ CARBOHYDRATE for brain and muscle function

+ and it goes on… but let’s leave it there for now.

This week as something new to integrate into the way you plan and eat your meals, step out of the comfort zone, pick up a few new veggies, herbs and spices and have a play with the ingredients on hand. Some ways you can do so and in the process up your weekly intake of the wondrous veg may be to simply choose one of your favourite cuisines and create with those flavours in mind. Even one new ingredient or a twist on the dressing, addition of a spice can do all of this for you. Consider these…

JAPANESE:

Try adding buckwheat soba, toasted sesame seeds, herbs, blanched/chilled spinach, pickled ginger and vary your dressing to include some flavours such as miso, tamari and sesame oil and you’ve a plate of green beyond words with flavours straight from Tokyo.

Need more recipe inspiration… try this Rainbow Nourish Bowl

THAI:

Speaks peanut satay and who doesn’t love a spot of spicy savoury goodness! Spiralise some vegetables such as zucchini and carrot, add in spring onion, cashews and protein of your choice, then mix together a satay dressing with peanut or cashew butter, lime, fish sauce and tamari and you’re sinking delicious flavours in seconds!

Need more recipe inspiration… try these Singapore Noodles with Tempeh (yes they’re from Singapore but you’ll get the vibe) or these Satay Carrot Noodles

ITALIAN:

Because pasta is so delicious and comforting all at once, but a big bowl of wheat based pasta or rice doesn’t always fuel our bodies with the variety of nutrients we need to thrive. Consider instead, swapping the wheat pasta for zucchini/carrot/sweet potato noodles and trying out a lentil ragu or a lime and goat cheese combo to mix up the meat based options too.

Need more recipe inspiration… try this Zucchetti with Lime and And Goat Cheese

MOROCCAN:

Just a touch of turmeric, cinnamon and cumin and you’re almost walking through the spice markets! Moroccan flavours offer such a punch to the simplest of meals. Try roasting cauliflower with turmeric and sea salt, then tossing through salad with cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and dukkah for an easy weeknight (or anytime!) meal.

Need more recipe inspiration… try this Turmeric Rice with Cauliflower Steaks

AMERICAN:

Because burgers and fries are favourites for many, try swapping the mince burger for lentil and brown rice patty or simply a grilled portobello mushroom, serve with pickles, tomatoes, onion, rocket/lettuce, mustard and sweet potato or parsnip fries for a side to boost your body’s stress fighting antioxidants.

Need more recipe inspiration…try the Parsnip Chips in this delish recipe

 

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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