15 Ways to Eat More Veg at Midlife

It can be a challenge to eat more than five portions of fruit & veg each day even when you like vegetables. Now research tells us that eating 10 portions of veg is what we need to stay healthy for longer. Most people don’t come nearly close to having enough vegetables in their diet.

I bet you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to manage to eat more vegetables? Let me help you with no less than 15 Ways to Eat More Veg at Midlife. These are some of the tips I use with my clients who want to increase their veggies but don’t want to feel they’re just staring at half a plate of boiled veg each night.

Eating a rainbow variety of coloured fruits and vegetables is a trend that’s as both beautiful as it is beneficial for nourishing your gut. Incorporating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your diet supports both your gut and your overall health and well-being.

Taste the Rainbow for Gut Health

The colours in plant foods represent a unique array of plant chemicals called polyphenols that can only be broken down by the gut bacteria, essential for nurturing your gut microbiome. That’s aside from the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they already provide. By embracing the rainbow you’re providing your gut with a diverse array of nutrients to thrive.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Eating a rainbow of foods isn’t just about nourishing your gut; it’s about uplifting your mood and enhancing your overall well-being. Colourful fruits and vegetables play a crucial role in supporting your gut and therefore your brain. Phytonutrients found in red and purple foods, such as berries and grapes, boast powerful antioxidants that protect against inflammation and promote cognitive function. Meanwhile, the vibrant greens of leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are packed with chlorophyll, a nutrient that supports detoxification and digestive health.

1.Your Rainbow Roadmap to Wellness

Start by embracing the rainbow and incorporating a spectrum of different and colourful fruits and vegetables into your meals each day. From vibrant salads to nourishing smoothie bowls, let your creativity and taste buds guide you on a culinary adventure like no other.

2. Meat-free Mondays

This is a really great way to prioritise plant-based foods in your diet at least once a week. Bulk up with beans‍ which make your meals go further. Switch half or all of the meat to prepare meals like stews, curries, and Bolognese with plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, or tofu.

3. Make a Frittata

Perfect for a simple lunch or a lazy weekend brunch, whisk up eggs with veggies like onions, mushrooms and peppers – or anything else you have in the fridge. If you can make this a large, deep, Spanish-style omelette, it will even last you into the week.

4. Don’t forget herbs and spices

These count as vegetables, too, and are easily incorporated into practically any dish, from soup to eggs and remember different varieties and colours of vegetable count as well.

5. Experiment with courgetti and boodles

You can get courgetti and boodles (butternut squash noodles) from most supermarkets or make your own with a spiralizer. Blanch for a minute or two then serve with Bolognese or Thai curries – or your own choice of meal. You can also gently fry with olive oil and garlic for a delicious side that takes no time to cook.

6. Swap wraps for lettuce

lettuce makes a surprisingly good stand-in for tortilla. wraps when you’re serving up fajitas. As you get more adventurous, you can also use tougher greens like kale or chard if you fancy but you’ll want to blanch and pat dry before you wrap. For now, baby gem and Romaine will be your friends.

7.Cauli and broccoli rice

Cauli rice has become a bit of a trend. Available ready-made also very easy to whizz up yourself in a food processor. Simply chop and pulse until a fine, rice-like consistency. Perfect whenever you might have rice or as a veggie side dish. This can be fired in some coconut oil or with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Broccoli rice is the lesser-known cousin prepare in same way.

8. Plan ahead

Cook up extra roasted vegetables, vegetable-based stews or grains at the weekend and pop them in the refrigerator or freezer to use throughout the week. Cooking in bulk can save you both time and money, ensuring that you have plant-powered meals ready to go whenever you need them.

9.Take advantage of your freezer

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious than their fresh alternatives. This is because they’re frozen within hours of picking, which seals in nutrients that are normally lost over time in fresh fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits, vegetables, lentils and beans are also good options with long shelf-lives, always handy when you need to whip up a healthy meal.

10. Mix it up

The key to a healthy plant-based diet is diversity – not just eating the same few vegetables on repeat. Keep a local seasonal food calendar and try to include one new fruit or vegetable in your diet each week. Different varieties and colours count. Test out different preparation methods for and experiment with different grains such as quinoa, freekeh, bulgur.

11. Goodbye boring salads

More colour generally means more of those healthy polyphenols. Incorporate texture and crunch with toasted nuts and seeds, experiment with different ways of preparing such as spiralizing or grating, use fresh herbs for extra flavour or add in cooked and cooled grains to bulk it up.

12. Hidden greens

The great thing about green leafy vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach or cabbage is that you can chop them finely and fold them into cooked dishes. They’ll wilt down and push up the plant power of your dish in a flash without being too obvious. Perfect for picky kids and adults who aren’t keen on solo greens.

13. Smuggle in more veggies

Casseroles, bolognese sauce and chilli are all ideal places to smuggle some extra vegetables, like tomatoes, peas and broccoli. Vegetable dodgers will barely notice if you grate carrot, red pepper or courgette, or finely mince mushrooms (which have a surprisingly meaty texture).

14. Make the most of dips

Don’t stop at hummus there’s a heap of possibilities when it comes to making bean-based dips and spreads. They’re easy and cheap to make and can be used as a creamy filling, a quick addition to salads, a dip for chopped vegetable sticks and crackers or as a substitute for mayo.

15. Switch up your mash

Sweet potatoes have a far greater nutritional value than standard white potatoes. If switching to sweet potato mash is too much of a stretch, consider half-and-half Instead. Try other combos of other root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, beets or carrots, which are all delicious roasted, crushed or mashed.

If you know your midlife or digestive health has been getting you down for a while, what is holding you back from making some changes? A great start is to book in for a free Health Review with me where you’ll have the chance to talk about your symptoms and how they impact your life.

You’ll gain valuable insights and learn immediate steps to reclaim your vitality.

Together we can make a plan that might involve working with me at a deeper level alongside functional tests. I offer a range of options and I’d love to help you make the key food and lifestyle changes to turn your health around.

You can arrange a FREE 30-minute Health & Energy Review to help you decide if nutritional therapy one to one programme is right for you.