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10 Clever Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet

10 Clever Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet

Lettuce Sandwich

    Have you ever been told to eat fewer vegetables? Probably not. They are a necessary component of any healthy diet.

    There are easy ways to eat vegetables more often than you ever have before–all you need to do is replace grain-based foods with veggies! Soon you’ll be over your reliance on pasta, rice and bread.

    Here are 10 creative ways to think outside the box when it comes to vegetables. The more you begin thinking like this, the more fun veggies will suddenly become. Many of these ideas are great gluten-free and paleo options as well.

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    Zucchini noodles

      1. Zucchini Noodles

      Use a vegetable peeler to shave zucchini into ribbons. Layer on a baking tray with some oil and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve this anywhere you’d regularly serve pasta or buttery noodles.

      cauliflower rice

        2. Cauliflower Rice

        You’ll be amazed at how well grated cauliflower works in place of steamed rice. This is much quicker than boiling rice and good for soaking up curry sauces. Like its cousin broccoli, it’s chock full of nutrients.

        Carrot spaghetti

          3. Carrot Spaghetti

          Shave thin carrot ribbons with your vegetable peeler. Simmer these in boiling water, like pasta, until just tender. Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

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          Cauliflower

            4. Cauliflower Couscous

            Cauliflower is one of the most underrated vegetables. The lack of green color means it doesn’t at first appear as “healthy” as other greens. However, this can be a benefit if you’re looking for a “stealth” veggie to serve those who might shy away from the goodness of vegetables. Just grate or chop raw cauliflower in a food processor and sauté it in a little oil until soft. You can use this anywhere you’d usually serve cooked couscous. 

            Spinach

              5. Baby Spinach Pasta

              If you’ve got a ragu or hearty pasta sauce, just substitute pasta for a bed of baby spinach leaves. It’s a light dish and quicker too, since there’s no need to boil any water for the pasta. It’s also great with tofu instead of rice.

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              Cabbage

                6. Shaved Cabbage Vermicelli

                Shave white or savoy cabbage with a mandoline until you have what resembles vermicelli. Serve with a stew or a pasta sauce. You can also toss the shaved cabbage in lemon juice and olive oil with parmesan cheese for a lovely main course salad.

                Cauliflower rice krispies

                  7. Cauliflower Rice Krispies

                  Try finely chopping cauliflower and serving with your favorite Greek yogurt and granola. This is great for breakfast and will add a bit of snap, crackle, pop to a normal granola bowl.

                  Lettuce Wraps

                    8. Lettuce Wraps/Sandwiches

                    Your favorite sandwich filling is delicious, right? So why not just wrap it in crisp iceberg or cos lettuce leaves?

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                    Kale Chips

                      9. Kale Chips

                      If you’re craving potato chips but would really like a healthy salty snack replacement, try kale chips. Just toss dry kale leaves in a little oil and bake on a tray for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Salt them after you take them from the oven. These are also wonderful with grated parmesan cheese.

                      Eggplant lasagna

                        10. Eggplant Lasagna

                        Similar to the Greek moussaka, replace the pasta sheets in lasagna with grilled or pan-fried eggplant slices. Your eggplant lasagna doesn’t have to be vegetarian, so feel free to add protein like Italian sausage.

                        Featured photo credit: cauliflower ‘couscous’-3/Jules Clancy via flic.kr

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                        Last Updated on January 11, 2021

                        11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                        11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

                        Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

                        Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

                        1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

                        Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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                        2. Stress Relief

                        Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

                        3. Improved Sleep

                        Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

                        4. Appetite Control

                        Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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                        5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

                        When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

                        6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

                        Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

                        7. Mosquito Repellant

                        Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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                        8. Pain Relief

                        While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

                        9. The New Anti-Viral

                        Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

                        10. Improved Cognitive Function

                        Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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                        11. Money Saving

                        With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

                        Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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