Week 8 – We’ll round out our vegetable challenge tips with a quick reminder of all of the great reasons to eat more vegetables. Check out this article for some great reminders for why continuing with this challenge into the new year is worth it! Go Forward.

Week 7 – We know that vegetables are good for us and we know that within those parameters there are some that are better than others in a variety of ways. Check out this list of the most nutrient dense vegetables and this article that breaks down which vegetables are better to buy organic as well as those that have very few pesticides. Did you know that there is a scoring system that rates foods on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content? “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” (ANDI) scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities. Hope that you have discovered kale:) This might be the most surprising way to enjoy this green powerhouse.

Week 6 – Certainly breakfast is the hardest meal to add vegetables to, so I introduce to you spinach! Popeye loved the stuff. There is even a blog named spinach4breakfast. There are articles specifically written on the benefits of spinach and eggs for breakfast. I would encourage you to be overwhelmed by Yummly’s selection of spinach breakfast recipes. I mean really, spinach ranks top in the world for healthiest foods. And if eggs aren’t your thing, check out Ellen’s delicious breakfast smoothie recipe:

1/2 banana

2 big handfuls of fresh spinach

1/4-1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1/4-1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1 scoop plain whey protein powder

1-2 tbls. water

Add sliced peaches or pears if available. No more than 4 slices per smoothie.

Add leftover cooked, unseasoned veggies (broccoli or carrots) if available.

And one last thing, how can you be 1% better?

Week 5 – Have you ever wondered about the best ways to eat vegetables? And I don’t mean necessarily the best tasting, but getting the most bang for your buck. Well, you can have it all! Check out this article from NPR that explores the most nutritious methods of preparing your vegetables. Fabulously the methods that arguably taste the best, actually are the best. Trust your taste buds! Use a little butter, have that oil based salad dressing, cook your carrots:)

Week 4 – Let’s talk a little Thanksgiving strategy. As you do your menu planning, take into consideration, what choices you have. How can you apply this challenge to your Thanksgiving meal? Here are some clever vegetarian ways to add vegetables to the big day. You don’t have to get rid of the turkey to get more vegetables on your plate, but this might get your creative juices flowing. Share your Thanksgiving vegetable dishes with us on Facebook by joining the Holiday Nutrition Challenge Facebook Group. Go Forward.

Week 3 – Are veggie haters born, or made? If this challenge is proving to truly be a challenge, take solace in this article from WebMD that explains some of the true turn-offs to vegetables and some great ways to move past your childhood traumas or fad diets that made you hate vegetables. Did you know that about 25% of the population is classified as “super tasters” who are particularly overwhelmed by the bitter tastes often found in cruciferous vegetables (those from the cabbage family, including broccoli and cauliflower), some of the leafy greens, and eggplant. Don’t dismay if your taste buds are working against your vegetable intake, there are some simple tricks outlined in the above article.

Week 2 – Ok, so there are a million and a half vegetables out there, but what do you do with them. Check out this article with some truly enticing and creative ways to eat more vegetables.

Week 1 – First and foremost, don’t be overwhelmed! There are so many vegetables to choose from, this challenge will truly release your creative juices. Check out wikipedia’s extensive list. Did you realize that there were so many vegetables? To be practical check out these suggestions for some simple ways to eat more vegetables.

Maybe you eat lots of vegetables already, in which case you might pick a different challenge. If you are like many of us, who struggle to get enough of the rainbow on our plate, we challenge you to EAT ONE MORE SERVING OF VEGETABLES AT EVERY MEAL. That’s right, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all of those snacks in between:) Add spinach to your eggs, have a side salad instead of fries, have two vegetables instead of one at dinner. You get the idea!

Why Choose Eat More Vegetables?
1. You want to be leaner.
2. You don’t eat any vegetables now (fruit doesn’t count!)
3. You want to reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
4. You want to reduce your risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
5. You want to lower your blood pressure.
6. You want to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
7. You want to decrease bone loss.
8. You are constipated or have GI discomfort due to lack of fiber in your diet
9. You have a vitamin or mineral deficiency
10. You just don’t feel good; you are fatigued, apathetic and generally unhappy.