NNMC Increase Produce: Make Produce the Star

As we finish out this week of the challenge, my last tip has to do with the way you structure your meals. In our society, meals are usually built around meat, with other food groups coming in to take a supporting role. I'm asking you to flip this on its head. Instead, focus first on the vegetables and fruits and then add in your meat or other protein option. When you do this, not only will you increase the quantity of produce in your diet, but you'll also be filling up on those fruits and veggies, which may help with weight loss, if that is your goal. For some, this might be difficult. If you're so used to thinking about your meals with only one structure, you may feel lost for how to switch it up. To ease into this idea, a likely familiar option is a stir fry. Choose a variety of veggies that you love and cook them in a pan with a little oil. Then, consider your protein option, whether it be chicken, grass-fed beef, pork, or tofu. Serve over brown rice and you've got an easy, plant-centric meal that is sure to please everyone. Another great way to get inspiration for this style of cooking is to look at websites like 101 Cookbooks and Vegetarian Times or buy a couple of vegetarian cookbooks. Resources like these will often have recipes that are chock full of produce and you can always add in a little meat if that is a deal breaker for you. However, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try a vegetarian recipe now and then (come on in, the water's warm). By simply incorporating these recipes into your repertoire you'll start thinking about food in a whole new way and increase the produce in your life. So get out there and get cooking!