Plant-based diets are more popular than ever – good news for our health and the environment. Never mind if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, sometimes it can be tricky to pack in one, let alone all of your ten a day.
To mark the start of National Vegetarian Week, we are joined by Sophie Corfan from Positive Luxury who provides us with ten simple tips for incorporating more fruit and veg into our diet…
1. At-Home Vegetarianism
If the idea of cutting out meat entirely seems too daunting, try opting for vegetarian food when at home and reserving meat-based meals for occasional treats, such as when you’re dining out.
2. One At A Time
Try adding one extra portion to each mealtime to instantly boost your intake by three portions. Think some fruit with your morning granola, some crudités with lunch and a side salad with dinner.
3. Juice It
Invest in a good juicer and you can easily cram in an extra portion or two. Boost the vegetables to avoid too much sugar from overly sugary juice and add a handful of nuts or seeds to pack in that protein too.
4. Plan Ahead
Cooking with vegetables can sometimes require a little more preparation than meat or fish. Try prepping vegetables in advance when you have spare time or batch cook and freeze your favourite curries and soups for meals in a hurry. If you’re really strapped for time, pay a visit to Veggie Pret for a grab and go salad.
5. Eat The Rainbow
When assessing if you’re eating enough vegetables make sure you’ve got a variety of colours on your plate. It’s important to eat a variety of vegetables to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients and benefits.
6. Sneak It In
You can get vegetables into every meal if you think creatively. Finely chopped carrots and celery make a hearty addition to pasta sauces, while mushrooms and peppers can bulk out scrambled eggs for a healthier breakfast option.
7. Cut Back On Carbs
Try swapping starchy carbohydrates for filling vegetables to help you maintain a healthy yet balanced diet. You may be familiar with cauliflower rice or sweet potato mash, but try experimenting with other vegetables too, such as courgette fries or carrot noodles.
8. Simple Snacks
Convenience often plays a part in why we ditch fruit or vegetables for unhealthier foods when it comes to on-the-go eating. Carrot sticks or radishes make an easy at-desk afternoon snack. Plus remember dried fruit counts towards your ten-a-day too!
9. Buy Local
Signing up to an organic veg box scheme or visiting a local farmers market can help you buy in season and ensure you always have the base of your diet in your fridge. Veg boxes, in particular, are a great way of trying new vegetables you might not buy yourself.
10. Experiment With Flavours
Compared to Western diets, Asian cuisines, such as Thai or Indian, lend themselves particularly well to vegetarian fare. Raid your spice rack to liven up the most everyday of vegetables into an Instagram-worthy feast.