30 Day Wellness Challenge: Week 4 is Veggie Forward.

woman carrying basket of fruits and vegetables
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Note: This post is part of the New York Times Wellness 30 day challenge. Learn more here and if you want to join in- sign up here. Each week I will post about the daily challenges.

Last week focused on ramping up the enjoyment of food and movement with two challenges: (1) make a delicious and satisfying salad meal and (2) add some entertainment to your workout.

This week we find another challenge to increase your veggie consumption as well as a simple way to bring more relaxation into your day.

Vegetable forward pasta challenge

Contrary to the “carbs are bad” mantra, you don’t have to ditch pasta or rice or bread to be healthy. However, you may need to give your carb heavy meals a makeover.  This is about proportion, filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods and going light on the calorie dense foods. And just like with last week’s challenges, the focus is all about bringing a flavor of enjoyment to your healthier lifestyle choices- in this case with the sauce.

How to make a healthy pasta meal:

  1. Let sauce be the star- it’s where all the flavor is. Don’t skimp on the big, bold tastes of tomato, lemon, garlic, herbs, or heat. Pick your pleasure and amp it up! Keep in mind you still want to be moderate with the creamy, fat-based sauces.
  2. Flip the script: typically recipes call for at least two parts pasta to one part veg.  Your challenge this week is to invert that, double the veg and half the pasta. This shift moves the dish from high in refined grains to high in fiber (aka good carbs); which may even boost metabolism, but only if you make this a permanent part of your diet. While one meal is a good start, it takes a long term change to remodel the inner workings of your body.

If you are following the NY Times Wellness Challenge you will find a recipe featuring boosted flavor from roasted vegetables and lots of lemon.

Happy eating!

Jason

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