Spice it up! make healthy food more enjoyable.

One of my favorite things in the world to make is stir fry vegetables. This is actually a new love of mine as I have been adventuring more in the world of Whole30 lately.

In my household, whatever I make is what the family eats, so that means if mama is exploring whole30 then everyone else is too! Most of the time it works out alright, but I was having the hardest time figuring out how I could get my daily vegetable intake without just eating so many salads! You think this would be way easier than I am making it out to be, but I have a husband that just isn’t the biggest fan of having his plate look “green”.

Lets reminisce on our first year of marriage for a minute.
Before I was married, I was an avid CrossFitter and actually coached CrossFit for a season of my life (fun fact alert!), so obviously I ate really clean. Vegetables were of the daily for me as this came with the territory of coaching and I had learned to love healthy eating/habits during college. During our first year of marriage I found that Sean really just liked green beans and an occasional carrot here and there, he just was not a fan.

About 6 months into our marriage, we both were having pretty bad stomach issues and soon both had to give in and go to the doctor. We found out that I had one nasty parasite from not so good water I had been drinking and Sean had some serious internal infections. We were both on strict diets, but my poor husband had it the worst being restricted to full Candida Diet for a month in order to kill his infection. He basically could only eat grass. Still to this day, that was the hardest month of our marriage. My husband was food deprived and I was having one heck of a time figuring out how to make his food “yummy” and him happy. I remember making asparagus for him one night (which is one of my favorite vegetables!) and as soon as I handed him the plate, he looked disgusted and said,

“No. I am not eating this.”

We could continue the story, but we all know how that night went.

Moral of the story, I slowly found out ways to make vegetables and healthy eating yummy especially for my husband. I could practically eat every vegetable raw, so I had to learn how to make my family and house guests enjoy the side of “green” on their plate.

Solution: Spice it up!

I quickly learned that a dash of salt, pinch of pepper and a few of my favorite spices made all the difference! Some of these spices include: chile, cumin, red pepper flakes, curry powder, paprika, garlic powder, ginger, and turmeric.

Of course every dish does not include ALL of these, but a combination depending on how spicy, oriental or the overall flavor I am going for.

I also love fresh cilantro, parsley, olive oil, sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce every now and then to add to the mix.

AND you can never go wrong with mincing up some garlic cloves and squeezing lemon on top. Oh, how I love my lemons!

Here is a quick example of the vegetable stir fry I made this week for some friends:

Vegetables included: carrots, broccoli, red peppers, yellow peppers, and green beans.
I threw it in a deep skillet pan and added an onion and minced garlic. Then I mixed in some sesame oil, soy sauce and added some of my favorite spices, which this time included; salt, pepper, and curry powder. Mixed it together and covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before I served, I squeezed a fresh lemon on top and it was delicious!

If my husband will eat my vegetables with a smile then I know that I am doing something right with the flavors!

My biggest advice when trying to implement new healthy habits is to learn to explore and go beyond a recipe. Have fun with the spices that are accessible in your area of the world and allow your taste buds to go on an adventure!

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