How to Eat Healthy When You Don't Like Vegetables
When you don't like vegetables, it isn't always easy to figure out what foods you can eat and still be healthy. It can seem like every good diet plan includes a green leafy salad with all of the trimmings guaranteed to make you and every other non-veggy fan cringe.
But learning how to eat healthy when you don't like vegetables doesn't have to feel hopeless. It's simply a matter of looking at foods differently and deciding which ones to keep, which ones to possibly try, and which ones to save for splurge days.
Eat Healthy with the Vegetables You Do Like
It's possible that you don't hate ALL vegetables. Just some (or most) of them. If this is the case, you have a great starting point: Eat the vegetables you do like. Maybe you don't like anything green, for instance, but you're okay with corn or carrots. So for your next meal? Add a side dish of corn or carrots or whatever vegetable you like. Or try a new one you think you might be able to tolerate.
There are many options for cooking vegetables: Steaming, boiling, microwaving, grilling, etc. Some even prefer the crunch of eating raw vegetables. You might find by trying a different way of cooking them, especially if you're firing up the grill, that you actually like some vegetables you didn't think you would.
If You Don't Like Vegetables, Try Eating More Fiber
When you don't like vegetables, adding more fiber to your diet is another way to eat healthier. Among other reasons, eating more fiber will keep you healthy by causing you to feel full sooner, so that you don't overindulge while eating, and to keep your digestive system working regularly and properly. It also flushes fat out faster, so it won't stick to your hips and thighs.
Outside of vegetables, foods with high fiber are those with whole grains, bran muffins and cereals, dry beans, some fruits (oranges and apples, dried fruits like apricots, dates, prunes and raisins, or berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, to name a few), and nuts and seeds (ex: almonds, soynuts, whole flaxseed).
Fiber One offers some great options for fiber. They sell a number of products, from yogurt to pancakes, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a bad one in the bunch. Try their Honey Clusters cereal or one of their chewy bars (like Oats & Chocolate) for a perfect snack or meal-on-the-go.
Eat Brown Rice and Whole Wheat Bread Instead
This is really more of a continuation from the above section. People are learning more and more about the benefits of choosing unenriched foods over enriched. This basically means rather than eating so much white foods (like white potatoes, white rice, white bread, and so on), a healthier choice would be to try foods made from whole grains. In place of white rice, for instance, try brown rice. If you don't care for the grainier texture, mix some white and brown rice together. Every little bit counts.
As for breads, companies like Nature's Own have made it a lot easier to switch from plain white bread to whole wheat. Whole wheat bread is obviously the first choice, but now there's also whitewheat bread. Whitewheat bread isn't necessarily unenriched, but it is another good source of fiber, as well as calcium and iron – not to mention it's made with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. The bonus of whitewheat bread vs. regular white bread is that it tastes the same, yet it's lighter and fluffier. And it's better for you.
Don't Like Vegetables? How About Fruit?
Maybe you don't like vegetables, but if you like fruit, it can be a great substitute. Fruit can be eaten raw, or you can mix it into other foods (like yogurt or cereal) to make them more filling. Some like fruit in Jell-O, ice cream, milkshakes or smoothies. It can even be frozen for a nice summertime snack. When in season, cut some small squares of watermelon into an ice tray, stick a toothpick into each one and freeze. Kids will love them. You will, too.
It doesn't matter how you fit fruit into your diet, just fit it in somewhere. It is such a great natural snack, it's really a shame that all of us don't eat more of it. Real fruit juices (orange juice, apple juice, grape juice and more) are another good source for fruit, as well as for vitamins.
Take Vitamins When You Can't Take Vegetables
I never understood the importance of those Flintstones Vitamins my mother used to make me take, but as it turns out, they really were good for me. Fast-forward to...a couple years later, and vitamins are still a part of my day.
You can search around or talk to your doctor to find out what vitamins are best for you, but as we get older, certain vitamins and minerals become more important. Vitamin C, for example, is good for fighting sickness and infections, Potassium helps the heart, Calcium strengthens bones and teeth. Magnesium is one that a lot of people overlook, yet it helps to lower anxiety. So if you're interested in learning more about vitamin supplements, it's worth the research.
These are only a few suggestions for a healthier way of eating, but as you can see, if your nose still crinkles when you think of vegetables, all is not lost. Eating green leafy salads might be the best way to go for some, but it doesn't mean you're doomed to a lifetime of clogged arteries if you don't.