Before this decision, I knew I wanted to find a way to lower the amount of non-helpful foods (chips, cookies, giant hunks of cheese, etc) I eat on a daily basis, but was also fully aware that just taking them away wouldn’t do the trick. I needed to replace them with something else and fool my stomach into believing everything was normal. “No one’s doing any depriving here…”
Because fruit has a good amount of sugar, I decided that my childhood arch nemesis, vegetables, was going to be the ticket to a healthier, yet still satisfied, meal.
Veggies and I have a troubled past. I willfully neglected them for a while. But now that I’m understanding just how vital they are to my health and energy, the white flag has been raised and I’m welcoming them back into my life in a big way.
So, here we are: the veggies-with-every-meal thing. Veggies with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Veggies when I’m not sure I actually want them. Cooked, raw, cut up or in salads, vegetables are invading my life.
And it’s actually not that bad.
Right before I gave up gluten, I assumed it would be the hardest, saddest thing in the world. I felt the same way about the idea of eating vegetables all the time. Neither was the miserable dirge I imagined it to be. It’s not easy. I don’t jump for joy while consuming cucumbers instead of potato chips. I still have to dip my celery or carrots into something – spreadable cheese, salad dressing, peanut butter – but the point is; it’s doable. And each day I do it is another day I realize that cravings are all about what you’re used to. The less salty, fatty, chocolatey snacks I eat, the less I want them.
The other night, when going out to eat with my parents, I actually ordered a side of veggies instead of a side of fries – and it was painless.
I’m not going to be a zealot about the process, but my hope is that over time, this type of vegetable-infused eating will simply become a natural inclination. Maybe one day, the siren song of the chips in my cabinet will no longer be able to lead me into a state of salty blindness. They’ll call, but I’ll open up the fridge instead, reach for an orange pepper, and shut the cabinet without a second thought.
[Do you think you could start eating veggies with every meal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!]