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A Fitness Trainer's Hacks for Including More Fresh Produce

fresh produce
Gina Harney - Blogs
By Gina HarneyCertified personal trainerOctober 22, 2019
From the WebMD Archives

Most of us are juggling so many responsibilities, it can often be a tremendous feat to make a meal, let alone pay attention to all of the specific nutrients it contains. I’ve pretty much never had lunch and thought, “Oh yes, definitely got my vitamin C and omega 3s in that one!” I’m like, “Yay! That was a good meal” and move on. Though I don’t keep track every nutrient, I definitely make it a point to have protein and produce in every single meal. When I do this, I find that I have so much more energy, and I feel more satisfied from the extra fiber and nutrients. And I find that when my meals include protein and fresh produce, I don’t crave sugar or salty snacks.

Here are some of my favorite easy ways to amp up the nutrition and fiber content of my meals:

  • I serve any casserole-type dish with zucchini noodles or on a bed of spinach. This means that when I enjoy more indulgent dishes like enchiladas and lasagna, by having them on a bed of fresh greens or with some zucchini noodles, one portion size is very satisfying. It creates more volume in the meal and also adds in some bonus nutrition.
  • I add spinach and cauliflower rice to every single smoothie! Spinach is a pretty common smoothie ingredient, but I totally understand if you’re raising your eyebrows at the cauliflower rice. I use the frozen cauliflower rice and add ¼-⅓ cup. I promise you can’t taste it, and it gives smoothies an amazing creamy texture!
  • I turn leftovers into omelet filling. I love stuffing omelets with whatever sautéed veggies we have left over from dinner. It cuts down on prep time, waste, and gives these sad veggies another chance at life.
  • I add tons of chopped veggies to my Bolognese sauce – mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini are my favorites. I’ll also do this with soup: tons of veggies, herbs, chicken, and broth into the Instant Pot, and it makes a heartwarming soup in 20 minutes.
  • I serve fruit as a dessert. One of my all-time favorite desserts is to chop an apple and microwave it for 2 minutes with cinnamon. When it’s done, add some chocolate chips on top or a tablespoon of peanut butter. So good!
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About the Author
Gina Harney

Gina Harney is the blogger behind the healthy lifestyle brand, The Fitnessista, which reaches millions of viewers all over the world. She’s been featured on Greatist, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Shape, Fitness Magazine, and Well + Good. She’s the author of “HIIT It!” and the voice behind the Healthy In Real Life podcast. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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