Make salads and greens part of your routine. Vary the greens to get maximum nutrition. Try romaine, green/red leaf, spinach, spring mix, sprouts, etc. For extra flavour add tomato, cucumber, shredded carrot, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, avocado, raisins, etc.
Drink a daily green smoothie if you are not into salads and greens – I start my day with a litre of green smoothie to get my fruits and greens first thing in the morning. I highly recommend you give it a try. Anytime during the day will do. The important thing is to get the greens into your body.
Invest in a powerful blender – such as a VitaMix or Blendtec if you are serious about smoothies – no need to chop or grate anything, they are super easy to clean, and last a long time.
Use organic ingredients whenever possible for their added flavour and nutrition, and to reduce your exposure to pesticides. Farmers’ markets have the best selection and prices.
Minimize your use of oils and fats, especially processed fats like margarine. Buying a good quality no-stick frying pan is a good way to make stir-fries, crepes and pancakes with less oil.
Out of sight, out of mind – Don’t buy anything that will be a temptation for you. Give away any tempting items that you currently have.
Desserts: if you truly want to be healthy, you have to get out of the “entitlement to dessert” mentality. Even vegan desserts contain too much sugar, fat and empty calories. Desserts should be for special occasions. Feel free to enjoy the odd piece of dark (dairy-free) chocolate – it‘s full of anti-oxidants. But be careful not to overdo it – it’s still very high in fat.
– Nimisha Raja, Veggie Challenge recipe author and healthy lifestyle consultant