WebMD BlogsFood and Fitness

A Fitness Trainer's Hacks for Including More Fresh Produce

fresh produce
Gina Harney - Blogs
By Gina HarneyCertified personal trainerOctober 22, 2019

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!
WebMD Blog
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
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.

More from the Food and Fitness Blog

  • Cauliflower

    Cauliflower Craze: Is There a Downside?

    “If cauliflower can somehow become pizza, you can do anything” goes the popular quote on social media. It’s funny because it’s a bit ...

  • pumpkin seeds

    What Is Seed Cycling?

    They may be tiny, but seeds are huge on social media right now. Seeds like pumpkin and sunflower are being touted as the newest natural ...

View all posts on Food and Fitness

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More