Change It Up Challenge: Going More Vegetarian, But Not

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I don’t know what started it, really–maybe it was the fact that we were eating greasy pizza a lot more often, or the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had more than about 2 vegetables in a day. But whatever the cause was, the result was clear: I realized I needed to eat a lot more vegetables. Correction: WE needed to eat a lot more vegetables (this became painfully clear when Matt started keeping a food journal for one of his classes).

So last week, I set out with a goal: I was going to eat 35 servings of fruits and vegetables within the week. I know that’s not that much–in fact, it’s barely what’s recommended. But that just goes to show you how bad we’ve been at this.

After setting out on this adventure, I realized a couple things: first, I need more ways [read: recipes] that use vegetables as one of the main ingredients. I never realized how many of our meals are based around straight protein and carbs until trying to do this challenge. Second, if beans counted as a vegetable (they don’t, right?), we would be doing just fine. Third, I’m pretty sure we didn’t *quite* meet the goal last week. I stopped counting after about Day 4, but the failure wasn’t for lack of trying or motivation: it was because we kept running out of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I got sick of running to the store.

So, here are my queries that I hope you can help me answer:

-What is a good recipe that is mostly vegetable-based that works as a main meal besides salad?
-How can I incorporate more fresh produce into our diet without having to run to the store every few days? Or going vegetarian?
-Have you ever tried to increase the fresh produce into your diet? How did you do it?
-Once and for all: in what food category do beans fall? Can they please just count as a vegetable?

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