NRNM: Veggie Variety

In fierce opposition to the ADA’s National Nutrition Month, I’m doing my own advocacy with National REAL Nutrition Month. Throughout March, I’ll post ideas and tips for something you can do to improve your own health habits, along with stuff you can do to painlessly share what you know with the people you love. (All the posts thus far are right here, or click the “National REAL Nutrition Month” label below.)

NRNM: Veggie Variety

People (wisely) say, “Variety is the spice of life.”

There are (terrible) variety shows…
(Seriously, you guys. What the devil is going on in this clip? Can you believe this used to pass for entertainment?!)

There are (sweet and deadly) variety packs…

And CrossFit is defined as “constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity.”

I’d like you to commit to making your veggie intake varied and functional, too!

I’ve previously written about how the rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help prevent tastebud boredom – but eating a variety of vegetables also packs a punch for your immune system and overall health. That color variety also represents different vitamins and minerals. The more you eat, the more of the spectrum you’ve got covered.

Tip (And Challenges!) For You
This weekend as you’re prepping your food supply for next week (Is Sunday your cooking day like me?), plan for enough different veggies so you can go a whole day without a repeat.

2@ breakfast + 1@ snack + 2@ lunch + 1@ snack + 2@ dinner = 8 varieties!

I know that’s a lot of veg, but it’s really not too hard! Let me help with an example…

Breakfast: defrosted frozen, chopped spinach and broccoli
Snack 1: sliced cucumber
Lunch: sautéed kale and spaghetti squash
Snack 2: snap peas
Dinner: stir-fried zucchini and raw jicama

Look at that! Easy-peasy! And I didn’t even include a salad which really helps you enjoy a variety pack of produce.

You can make prep easy on yourself by creating a grab-and-go situation in your fridge:

Tip For Your Near & Dear
Do you have people in your life that say they do not like vegetables? My guess is that for most of their meals, veggies are an after-thought. I have to be honest: before I became a dino-chow devotee, vegetables were definitely C-list celebrities in my kitchen. They were the Lee Majors of the Donny & Marie hour. But now, veggies are like J.Lo. to me… sexy superstars. (Yes, my J.Lo. distraction continues. She’s just so PRETTY.)

Anyway. Vegetables.

Here’s my suggestion for your veggie-phobic friends and family: make them a veggie dish recipe with a “gentle” vegetable like carrots, zucchini, green beans… they might not be ready for a heavy-hitter like kale or beet tops. And they’re probably not prepared for tasty green things in their natural state, so dress ’em up a little bit. The addition of coconut milk, nuts, and/or fruit can really help ease the transition… and as long as those accessories are healthy, too, it’s a win-win. Here are some ideas for you:

Post to comments and let us know your favorite go-to veggies… what new ones you might try this week… and if you have a picky eater in your house that needs veggie convincing.

Our New Project: Strong Sense of Place

My new project is taking all of my attention right now, and I'd love for you to join me for new adventures! It's called Strong...

Read More

Rants & Rave: 25 April 2020

We could all use some happy distractions right about now, right? Here are some of the things I found online lately that made me happy....

Read More


  • barb says:

    I just did a post on my blog about 3 new veggies I've added to my way of eating.
    I love what you're doing for Real nutrition month!


  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Barb –> I LOVE the name of your blog… and now I'm curious about cooked arugula. I've only eaten it raw. Thanks for sharing!

  • Holly says:

    So I am having a love affair with cabbage of all vegetables. Sauteed in a TBS of grassfed butter, salt, pepper, and a little carraway seed it is like a buttery piece of rye toast. I love it! And I'm shocked by it. Random, right?

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Holly –> No joke: cabbage is my favorite vegetables. And people look at me TOTALLY weirdly when I say that. I agree 100% that cabbage + caraway + fat = rye bread. LOVE THAT! And now, I love you, too. Welcome to the Cabbage Club.

  • Amy says:

    I tried jicama this week because I've seen it mentioned on here quite a bit and I was curious. I love it! It's so crunchy and refreshing. I pushed it on one of my coworkers, too – not sure if she really liked it, but it was worth a shot!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Amy –> I'm with you: I love how jicama seems like water in solid form. That crunch — with just the slightest sweetness. It's really good sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder, too… and awesome for scooping up guacamole.

  • Lisa Lou says:

    Add me to the cabbage club–it's my favorite. My other go to veggies are raw kohlrabi, baby bok choy, asparagus, snow peas, raw baby spinach, and roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Sadly, they don't have kale where I live. Everybody is always talking about kale chips–gives me veggie envy. AND…guess what my last name is??? It's Broccoli. Seriously.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Lisa Lou! OMG! That's the best last name EVER.