Ever since I started to lose weight several years ago, I knew power-loading with vegetables would be a huge key. Non-starchy vegetables have become my best friend at the table. Learning to fix a big variety of vegetables many ways is such a gift to someone who is losing weight. Vegetables come in so many colors and sizes. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and, best of all, if they are not starchy they are low in calories. For those of us who like to eat and want to eat more than a small cup of food, vegetables are the perfect foods to turn too. They also contain fiber that helps in digestion and works with the body to move food through the digestive system.
I eat what I call the “big fours.” They are soups, salads, sandwiches, and stir-fries. These are my favorite as you can load them up with vegetables.
Many vegetables can be eaten raw such a carrots, celery, radishes, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, and sprouts. If you are going to cook the vegetables, steaming is the best method. When you cook them with steam you do not lose the nutrients that you would from boiling them in water.
Here are some tips and tricks that are great with fresh vegetables:
Lettuce: For a long time I was buying spring green lettuce until I saw a lady with several bags of romaine lettuce. I asked her how she could use so much romaine. This is the tip that she gave me that has been great. She told me that she could keep romaine lettuce longer and that it had more nutrients than iceberg. When buying romaine lettuce, she buys the head with the least red on the stems. Once she is at home, she rinses each head of lettuce in cold water and then puts them up to drain. When the lettuce has thoroughly drained, she wraps each head in two paper towels and then puts them in their own individual plastic bag you get at the grocery store. She said that if lettuce is fresh when you buy it and you follow this process, the lettuce keep two to three weeks.
Celery and Carrots: Prepare you carrots and celery so that each stick or stock is equivalent to the height of a wide-mouth pint jar (i.e. approximately 5 inches). Put them in the jar, fill the jar with water, and place the lid on the jar and refrigerate. When you are preparing lunches, just drain the water and put the carrots and celery into a plastic bag.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms have a short life and need to be used promptly. I stopped at the mushroom processing plant in Fillmore, Utah last week; an expert there told me that the best way to preserve the life of mushrooms is to put them in a lunch size paper bag. Close the bag and leave a little hole so mushrooms can still get some air from the fridge.
Remember, vegetables can be your best friends as you are working to lose weight. When you eat out, a grilled chicken salad or steamed vegetables with chicken or fish are wonderful menu options—just remember to take your own salad dressing and to order vegetables with sauces and butter on the side. As you incorporate vegetables into your daily meals, you will progress toward your weight loss goals and will feel better both physically and mentally.
Meet Dian in person in Utah. Dian new book is now in 47 Associated Food Store including: Fresh Market, Dans, Maceys, Dicks, and Lins. To see Dian’s schedule go to here website at www.DianThomas.com.
Dian Thomas' new book "Tipping the Scales in Your Favor, is also available at Deseret Books as well as on her website at www.DianThomas.com. A video by BYU on her weight-loss journey is also on her website.