Resource: What To Buy Organic
The Dirty Dozen
These are the produce items that typically contain the largest amounts of pesticides; it is recommended to but these organic (in this order):
9. Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes
10. Peppers: Sweet bell and Hot
12. Kale / Collard Greens
The Clean Fifteen
These produce items are rarely treated with pesticides:
2. Sweet Corn
5. Sweet peas - frozen
12. Honeydew Melon
Resource: Glycemic Index of Fruits and Vegetables
For weight loss, it is best to consume fruits and veg from the lower end of the Glycemic Index (GI) - in this chart, these are in green.
Low GI Vegetables (low to high):
* Alfalfa sprouts
* Brussels sprouts
* Bell peppers
* Chili peppers
Moderate GI Vegetables:
* Green beans
* Carrots, raw
High GI Vegetables (limit these):
* Red beets
* Carrots, cooked
Very low GI Fruits (low to higher):
Low GI (lower to higher):
* Apricots, dried
High GI (lower to highest):
Resource: Learn to Prepare Vegetables
Just Get Started
When you’re starting something new, sometimes the hardest part is to know where to start. I find that this it true when trying to improve my diet: how do I prepare a new food? What is an easy recipe?
But once you have a few preparations under your belt, it comes easier and it is easier to branch out, expand, and experiment. So, just get started!
Very straight-forward ways to eat vegetables. Eating Veg on its own.
- (You can eat many vegetables raw, but not all)
- Prepare a salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc.
- Wash and cut up: carrot sticks, celery sticks. Also try sliced cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper. You can eat these plain, with a little Lite Ranch dressing or other low-calorie dressing, peanut butter, or hummus.
- It is not recommended to eat cruciferous veg raw because they contain a substance that suppresses your thyroid's hormone production. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabagas and turnips. See below for cooking veg.
- Also, it is recommended to eat some fat when you eat broccoli because it contains fat-soluble vitamins. Try cheese, butter, or olive oil.
- Make a fancy snack (but not too fancy): slice cucumbers or zucchini, put a small dot of Ranch dressing in the middle, and place a small halved cherry tomato on top.
Simple ways to cook vegetables:
Cooking vegetables will decrease the amount of some vitamins and phytonutrients contained in them, but not a lot. Cooked vegetables are still very nutritious.
- Steaming is probably the easiest, especially if you have a steamer basket. (A basic one works very well, costs less than $10, and takes up very little storage space.) You can steam just a little bit if you want your veg to remain crisp - try this with broccoli or cauliflower to eat them the same way as raw vegetables.
- Sautéing is also easy, but usually requires a little bit of oil or butter. Just wash and cut up some veg, heat a little bit of oil in a skillet, put the veg in when the oil is hot, and stir and cook until it is done to your liking. Cooking minced garlic or ginger first will add flavor to the veg.
- Try sautéing onions and red peppers and mushrooms to accompany (high quality) sausage or bratwurst.
- Stir-frying is sautéing over higher heat - you need to stir the veg more often.
- Roasting takes a little longer, but does not require much attention. Roasting is done in the oven. Cut up your veg - either in slabs (broccoli, cauliflower) or slices (eggplant, beets), or lengthwise (zucchini, Brussels sprouts). Sprinkle or toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook in a 400 degree oven.
- Frozen Vegetables are convenient and nutritious. They loose almost no nutritional value by being frozen.
Combine veg into your whatever you are preparing
- Look for recipes that contain a lot of vegetables.
- Add veg to a sandwich or taco.
- Make a little pizza with a portabella mushroom cap, pizza sauce and a little cheese.
- Add veg to everything you are cooking.
- You can add greens, green beans, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, or frozen broccoli to tomato sauce or other pasta sauce, soup or chili. Even if you di not prepare it yourself - just throw in some frozen veg.
- Add mushrooms, fennel, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, potato or sweet potato when you are baking or roasting meat.
- If you have fruit and vegetables already washed and cut up and ready to eat, you will be much more likely to eat them.
- Keep different kinds of frozen vegetables in your freezer. You can steam or microwave them quickly and easily for a quick snack any time, or add them to other dishes.
- If you don’t already have a good cookbook or online resource, get The Joy Of Cooking. It will tell you almost anything you need to know about cooking vegetables, or anything else.