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Make veggies your starter!

Simple new lifestyle habits can help you achieve your health improvement goals more consistently and quickly. One such habit that we recommend is to start both lunch and dinner with vegetables.

The best part about such a new habit is that, once developed, it becomes part of who you are and how you live, and it sticks, even as other aspects of your life may be in continual flux.

There are numerous benefits to starting your major meals with vegetables (fiber), including the following:

  1. Salads and vegetables - raw or cooked - are rich sources of fiber. Since fiber isn’t digestible by the human body, it moves slowly through the stomach, making you feel fuller for longer

  2. If weight management is important to you, include veggies before breakfast, lunch, and dinner to reduce overeating and to feel more satiated (staying full for longer)

  3. Fiber-rich foods are also a source of prebiotics. Prebiotics help good bacteria grow in your gut. Since the human body doesn’t digest these plant fibers, they travel to the lower digestive tract to become a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut, thus ensuring you’re keeping your digestive system balanced throughout the day

There’s no doubt that you’ll benefit from a fiber-rich diet. But how can you easily include them in your diet, especially if you are not a huge veggies fan!

Here are a few tips that will help:

  1. Puree veggies into soups: Make veggies the “base” of your soups by pureeing them and adding spices, for example broccoli, red pumpkin or spinach soup. Jazz it up by adding a teaspoon of butter or cream

  2. Spiralize veggies into noodles: Use a spiralizer to shape your veggies into noodles! For instance, try Zucchini noodles, aka Zoodles, or try carrots, squash, cucumbers, sweet potato, eggplant, and beets. They are easy to make, and a great way to include more veggies in your eating plan. They’re also an excellent low carb substitute for high carb foods, such as actual flour-based noodles

  3. Blend veggies into smoothies: Veggie-based smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack. Green smoothies are a very popular way to hide loads of leafy greens in a fruity package! You can also combine them with some nuts to enjoy a meal full of fiber, vitamins and minerals

  4. Replace starchy grains with veggies: If you want to limit your grain intake at a meal, say rice or wheat, replace it with equal amounts of veggies. For example, make lemon rice using cauliflower, make cucumber-curd rice using equal quantities of cucumber and rice, thus, reducing the rice portion size relative to a typical curd rice meal. Chia seeds are also a fiber-rich food you can use to replace rice entirely, including as a replacement in curd rice

Visit the Recipes section for even more interesting recipes that will help you easily include fiber-rich foods in your diet and flatten your glucose spikes.

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