|Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake|
Just with other holidays, people sometimes try to use this as an excuse to consume grease, sugar and fat in large quantities. Do not get me wrong, you can still enjoy your Mardi Gras celebration, just skip out on the King Cake.
I know this is the slogan for Subway; however, I try to make sure my daily diet consists of eating fresh. What does that mean? It simply means eating things that come from the ground. Once or twice a year I do something called the Daniel Fast. It is for religious and health purposes. Basically what the fast consists of is eating only things that are grown from the ground (fruit and vegetables) and only drinking water or decaffeinated tea.
I know many adults who still say they do not like fruits and vegetables. Really? If you are in your 20's, 30's, 40's and beyond, all I have to say is, "Get over it."
I have learned to LOVE eating my fruits and veggies. I never had a problem eating them as a child. And now, I have added many new ones to my palate and absolutely love it.
You do not just have to consume raw fruits and vegetables. Get creative with your fresh meals.
There are so many recipes for salads, main dishes, and desserts in which all ingredients are simply a fruit or vegetable.
Not only that, but smoothies are filling because you are drinking a thick liquid. So you get full more quickly and you are consuming all natural products. It is a win-win.
There are literally millions of ways you can make a salad. There are now salad bars in almost every restaurant and cafeteria in America.... however; the problem is not that people are eating salads but it is what they put on the salad to call it a salad.
I have seen people eating salads that are piled with turkey, ham, chicken, bacon, cheese, eggs, sour cream, olives, and drenched in ranch or blue cheese dressing. You cannot even seen the lettuce once they have finished assembling their meal, haha.
3. Soups & Stews
This is where the vegetables make their appearance and shine. Soups and stews are a hearty meal and usually can stand alone without a side dish. Be careful with the soups and getting carried away with the salts and seasonings. Again, the purpose is to try to keep them as "earthly" as possible.
Basically all you need is chicken or vegetable broth and a spread of your favorite chopped veggies. Simple as that. One of my favorite vegetarian soups is a spicy potato and poblano soup and a roasted red pepper soup.
You can always throw in some penne pasta noodles or pinto beans (extra protein) and make it a stew or chili to thicken it up. Experiement and get crazy.... just keep it healthy!!
In Conclusion... while the rest of the world enjoys stuffing themselves on food in celebration of Fat Tuesday, stuff yourself on vegetables and fruits. Trust me, you won't feel guilty the next day :)
~ Q. Olivia