It is estimated that 87% of Americans don’t meet the recommended daily vegetable intake (1). Though there is no research on the percentage of Americans who attempt to meet the recommended daily intake, it’s likely that it’s almost as high. Though salads are a great way to get one or two servings of leafy greens, it can be easy to feel stuck in a salad rut, and turn to a more tasty, but less nutritious meal or snack. To combine the best of both worlds (lots of variety and more vegetables) try to remember the Triple S attack--smoothies, swaps, and snacks.
Green smoothies have truly taken the world by storm, and for good reason! Green smoothies can be prepared ahead of time for breakfast and taste delicious while packing in 1-2 servings of vegetables with kale, spinach, and even avocado. You can stick with all veggies if you are focusing on increasing your intake, or add some fruits, like the apples in this recipe to give your smoothie the sweet kick you’re craving.
Very little goes better with a burger or sandwich at lunch than a side of fries, but if you’re lacking in the vegetable department, you can use the included side as an opportunity to supplement your diet. Swap your french fries, soup, or even side salad for steamed broccoli or the seasonal veggie that’s offered. Challenge yourself to make this swap every time you eat out for one month, and before you know it, swapping will be a habit!
Almost everyone gets hungry in between meals. Your snack breaks are the perfect opportunity to fit more vegetables into your daily diet. Instead of packing a salad with a diced chicken for lunch, make the chicken breast your main lunch dish, and pack baby carrots, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes to snack on throughout the day.
Though it still takes a conscious effort to make sure you’re getting your recommended daily vegetable intake, it can be more tasty, more fun, and easier to accomplish when you know that there are non-salad options to implement every day, with the Triple S attack!