You don't have to sacrifice taste for low cal, vitamin rich food. And you DON'T have to eat salads. THIS my babes, is how I sneak greens into my diet as a total FOODIE.
The two vegetables I love to use are spinach + zucchini. Now, before you say EW, hear me out. Because 1. both of these veggies are super easy to incorporate into meals you ALREADY eat. And 2. both of these veggies are incredibly good for you. Here's why:
✖️ V. high in iron. You need to eat spinach if you don't eat meat
✖️ Lutein + Zeaxanthin for keeping eyes healthy
✖️ Vitamin K for strengthening bones. You need to eat spinach if you can't have dairy
✖️ Vitamin A for an immunity boost
✖️ Antioxidants for anti-aging + skin revitalization
✖️ Folates for hair strength + thickness
Everyone needs iron in their diet. Iron is essential for your body to function properly. It restores energy, increases vitality and improves the quality of your blood. The only other veggies that are as high in iron as spinach are kale, broccoli + green cabbage. And these veggies aren't as easy to consume. Enter... SPINACH. All day every day.
FYI: Spinach is v. easy to eat in large quantities because once it's cooked, it drastically reduces in size. And let's be honest, you can't OD on spinach. The more the better!
HERE'S HOW TO SNEAK IT INTO YOUR DIET:
SPINACH SIDE DISH:
✖️ Heat up 1 tsp coconut oil in frying pan on medium heat
✖️ Add 4 large handfuls organic spinach to pan
✖️ Add pinch of salt + sauté with tongs until wilted -- VOILA
(this side dish pairs deliciously with fried eggs in the morning + any meat or fish in the evening)
✖️ Add handful of spinach to your beaten eggs + scramble as normal -- VOILA
✖️ Add handful of spinach to any berry, chocolate or green smoothie. You won't even taste the difference -- VOILA
For my favorite green smoothie with LOTS of spinach GO HERE
And now, for ZUCCHINI.
OK so tossing zucchini into your fave dishes isn't as simple as it is for spinach. BUT. Preparing zucchini on it's own is super easy, super yummy + only takes 15 minutes max.
And here's why you should eat zucchini as much as possible:
✖️ High fiber keeps you feel full
✖️ Low Calorie aids in weightloss
✖️ Vitamin C for immunity boost
✖️ Potassium for increasing heart health
✖️ Calcium for strengthening teeth
✖️ Vitamin A for skin elasticity
HERE ARE MY FAVE 2 WAYS TO PREPARE ZUCCHINI + LOVE THE TASTE. YOU WON'T GET ENOUGH OF THESE...
ZUCCHINI SIDE DISH:
✖️ Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat
✖️ Slice organic zucchini lengthwise into 5-6 slices
✖️ Drizzle with oil + sprinkle with salt, pepper + your fave seasoning (I love Tony's)
✖️ Place zucchini slices onto grill, leaving on each side for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to brown -- VOILA
(feel free to grill sliced yellow onions or portobello mushrooms along side your zucchini. this side dish pairs well with any meat or fish. it's also delish with scrambled eggs)
To replace pasta, how you PREPARE your substitute is key. Otherwise you won't be happy. So, my fave recipe (which I eat all the time) is from my babe Alyssa Esparza. She's an incredibly talented chef who makes following her recipes easy. Here are her zucchini noodles. Or,
Broil cherry tomatoes for 5-10 minutes until they start to slightly burn + inflight
Spiralize your zucchinis + set aside (see below for the best spiralizers)
Add 1/2 cup olive oil to saucepan over medium-low heat
Add 5 chopped garlic cloves, pinch of red pepper flakes + generous pinch of salt
Let sit for 10 minutes
Once garlic is v. fragrant, add the noodles to the pan to heat them up + add cherry tomatoes
Shave parmesan into the noodles + fold in chopped parsley
Salt + pepper to taste + add a quick squeeze of lemon juice
(feel free to add sautéed shrimp or baked chicken for protein. otherwise this dish is amazing on its own)
DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO SAUTEE YOUR ZOODLES, NOT BOIL THEM LIKE PASTA? I think this is a common mistake :) Thanks to Alyssa for this bomb zoodle recipe.
That's it babes! I know it seems so simple but it really comes down to habit. If you start making it a habit to incorporate both spinach + zucchini into your diet with these quick, easy go-to recipes, you'll definitely feel the difference. Especially with spinach. It's literally GRAB a handful, ADD to your dish. The key is to always have these 2 veggies on hand. You'll find yourself always running to the fridge to give the dish you're making a little more LIFE with these veggies And speaking of LIFE, who doesn't want the chance to live longer!! (these veggies are so good for you, they decrease the risk of heart disease + cancer just to name a few)
I'd love to see you greening up your diet so please tag me in your food photos!
Here's to feeling good, looking good + most importantly, EATING good X