• Ashlea Hartz, N.C., RYT

Boost Your Breakfast With Veggies!

We all need to eat more vegetables. Well almost all of us, there is probably a small group out there doing a great job but for most Americans we need more plants in our diet. In the Eating for Health model we recommend at least 6-10 servings of vegetables per day. How many of you can say you hit that bench mark?

These servings are broken down into three subcategories of vegetables which makes the Eating for Health model unique because it is not just the amount of vegetables, but the variety of vegetables that is important. Here is the breakdown that should be your goal each day if you are looking to improve your health through diet.

2-3 Servings of Leafy Vegetables (Servings Size is 1 Cup)

Leafy vegetables are the first to be ignored but arguably the most beneficial. This group includes spinach, kale, arugula and other salad greens. But also includes the leafy tops of carrots and beets that are usually chopped off and thrown out. Leafy vegetables are bitter, and bitter foods while not always appealing are extremely nutritious and help support healthy digestion. They are also packed full of vitamins (like A & K) , minerals (iron and magnesium), phytonutrients (chlorophyll & carotenoids), high in fiber and are low in calories so the more the merrier!

2-3 Servings of Crunchy Vegetables (Serving Size is 1/2 Cup)

Crunchy veggies are usually the first to come to mind when you are asked to list a vegetable. Carrots, broccoli, green beans and beets all fall into this category due to their crunchy texture when eaten raw. These share many of the same benefits as the leafy such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. The Cruciferous family, such as Brussels Sprouts & cauliflower, are also praised for their anti-cancer benefits.

2-4 Servings of Unrefined Starch (Servings Size 1 Cup root veg or 1/2 Cup whole grain)

These include kid favorites and common comfort foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and whole grains like rice, millet and corn. These foods have a sweeter taste and a soft texture that makes them appealing. Unfortunately most starches in the Standard American Diet (SAD) are refined or processed such as white bread, donuts, cookies, cakes, potato chips, and pretzels. So instead we need to fill our diet with unrefined whole foods in their most natural state. Bake potatoes, roasted squash, and whole grains like millet or wild rice should be a staple everyday.

So how to you pack all these veggies into a 24 hour period? Start early and eat often! Try to make it a focus at every meal to find a way to incorporate 1 or 2 servings of vegetables. That includes breakfast! One of my favorite ways to eat more veggies is to add them to a smoothie, blended up with fruit and you can't even taste it. If you want to try this with you kids I think they will like it too!

Below is a recipe for a quick and easy smoothie that adds 3 servings of veggies!

Veggie & Berry Smoothie

Servings - 2

1 1/2 Frozen Bananas

2 Cups Mixed Frozen Berries

2 Cooked Baby Beets ( Love Beets work great here)

1 Handful Fresh Spinach

1 Cup Coconut Milk (Full fat recommend)

2 Scoops Collagen Protein Powder

Add to blender and blend at high speed. Then add the following Booster Foods:

1 Tbsp Maca Powder

2 Scoops Amazing Greens Powder ( adds greens like wheatgrass, chlorella & spirulina)

Blend again on high until a smooth consistency with no chunky fruits.

Enjoy this well rounded breakfast full of fruits, veggies, healthy fat and protein!

Watch this recipe video on my YouTube Page and Subscribe for more Healthy and Delicious Recipes!

Veggie Berry Smoothie Recipe Video

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