Veggie Tales


Some of my girlfriends are in the middle of a weight loss competition (think Biggest Loser style -- but without the sexy that is Dolvett Quince.  And, total tangent here, but if I was a male trainer and I was that hot, I would drop the "Dolvett" and just go by "Quince."  Wouldn't you?)  I'm not competing in the challenge but I am a part of their group.  So I still see what's going on and it helps to keep me motivated.  I'm not trying to lose weight but I'm working every single day toward a healthier lifestyle for me and my children.  Anyway, a few weeks ago one of the girls proposed us each setting a mini weekly goal to try to acheive.  Mine was to add more vegetables to my diet. 

Ya'll.  I'm totally an 8-year-old when it comes to vegetables.  Give me a can of french cut green beans (and throw in a beef cube, please, for added flavor) and I'm good.  I've never been a big veggie eater.  Green peas were a big part of family dinners growing up.  I hate green peas.  Know what I would do?  I would either toss them into the heating vent by my chair or put a big spoonful in my mouth, bring my napkin up to my mouth, and then spit them into the napkin.  I was anti-veggie.

I'm realizing that as I get older either my tastebuds are changing/ have changed or some veggies aren't as bad as I thought.  Or maybe I'm just growing up.  Regardless, I've kind of been kicking ass when it comes to this whole vegetable eating thing.  And this is good - it's great, even.  I want to raise my kids to be as healthy as possible and I know that the best way to do that is setting an example myself.  I'm already raising one picky eater (Karis is currently being picky too but I'm not sure if she's legitimately picky or just going through a stage) and my stepdaughter is pretty picky as well.  I can't stand it!  I want Kyan and Zhariah both to broaden their horizons and be willing to try new things and realize just how many great foods - even great healthy foods - there are out there.  I wish I hadn't been so picky.  I wish I wasn't in  my 30's and just now realizing that, hey, vegetables aren't so bad.

Here are a few things I've done to make veggies more palatable for me:

1) I've discovered things that I never tried or don't remember trying.  Asparagus is one of these.  I don't know that I'd ever eaten it prior to a year or so ago.  I just had in my head that I didn't like it.  But you know what?  Asparagus is GOOD!  I DO like it!  Same with eggplant.  How versatile a vegetable is that?  And cucumbers.  And zucchini.  Sugar snap peas.  There are so many vegetables that I only thought I didn't like.

2) I'm learning to season things the right way.  I made broccoli to go with our dinner last night.  I have never been a broccoli person.  Ever.  (And, it would be quite a stretch of the imagination - still - to classify me as a broccoli person).  But I mixed in a packet of ranch dressing mix and  you know what?  I had a pretty good size serving!  It's not something I would've picked off a menu and ordered but it made the broccoli tasty for this non-broccoli person.

3) I'm "sneaking" veggies into dishes.  Spinach in pasta dishes.  Cauliflower in mashed potatoes.  Carrots shredded into spaghetti sauce.  I've gotten to where I almost always chop an onion to add into ground beef/ ground turkey dishes.  (Sidenote here: I probably would not eat red meat very often at all, exception being a big, greasy burger, but my husband . . . meh.  He's a meat and potatoes man and, in his mind, ground turkey does not count as meat). 

4) I'm making vegetables into snacks.  Dipping onion rings (or onion strips) into egg beaters and then coating in panko and baking -- instant onion rings.  I love onion rings!  I make kale chips -- Jaidan and I are both big fans of these.  They are really good and a decent alternative to potato chips.  I chop up onions and red peppers and put them on top of my English muffin pizzas.  Easy - and yummy - ways to add veggies to any diet.

Please, don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to go to a potluck and load my plate up with veggies (except macaroni and cheese which totes counts as a veggie in the south) and you'll be hard pressed to find me with a side salad at a restaurant.  I still don't like cauliflower and carrots -- two reasons I have to sneak them into dishes!  And those canned green beans make their way onto my dinner side rotation a couple nights a week.  But I'm doing so much better and, seriously, I'm so proud of myself.  Point: Brandi!
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