How to do P90x when you hate vegetables!
P90xer KC asked me a great question recently, which I thought was worth addressing in a full-on post.
I am getting ready to begin P90x next week, but am not particularly fond of vegetables. Do you have any recommendations for substitutions??? Love your website! Thanks, KC
This is a topic that is close to my heart because, as you’ve probably seen in several of my posts, both my hubby and I are vegi-haters! My hubby will basically never eat a vegetable by choice, and I will choke them down out of a desire to be healthy. However when he committed to P90x, he also committed to the P90x nutrition plan, which started him out at 4 servings per day. He promised to eat whatever I put in front of him, and given how picky he is, that was a big sacrifice! So I did my best to minimize the pain of it for him.
Here are a few P90x suggestions for vegetable haters like us:
- First, accept that you will have to eat vegetables to do P90x right. I know that it sucks, and no one is asking you to like it. But remind yourself that you can do anything for 90 days. You are a grown up. You have the ability to open your mouth and chew. You have to do it, it is part of the commitment you are making, so reconcile yourself to it.
- Drink low-sodium V-8 for ONE of your vegetable servings per day. If you are like my hubby, you won’t like the taste of it, but the little cans are so small that you can just plug your nose and pound it. My husband had it down to 3 gulps. lol. A warning here is that once you get used to this, you’ll be tempted to substitute V-8 for all of your vegi servings. Don’t do it! A big part of vegis is their fiber, the fact that they fill you up, and the tons of other nutrients and interactions that we just can’t get by drinking the isolated juice of vegis. Limit it to one serving replaced in this manner.
- Do salads for the bulk of your vegi servings. You can mix lettuce with other green leafy vegis like spinach or bok choy (which won’t change the flavor or texture if added in small amounts), and add other vegis that you don’t mind too much, then douse them in 2 Tablespoons of a dressing that you like. Olive Salad
- Use other stuff you like to make the vegis go down easier. Cover cooked broccoli with melted cheddar cheese. Add cheese, olives, ham, crumbled turkey bacon, etc. to salads to give your tastebuds something to look forward to. Cover them in BBQ sauce or dressings that you like. BBQ Peas
- Use vegis as a carrier for other good flavors. Stuffed Peppers, Portabella Tasties, Baja Zucchini Boats
- Cook the vegis in a skillet with olive oil until they are super browned and crispy. This totally changes the taste and gives them that crispy burned flavor that can be very yummy. This works great with Lima beans too. As a kid my mom would do this with lima beans and then let us eat them with toothpicks. Burnt Green Beans
- Throw sprouts on your sandwich.
- Don’t forget that tomato sauce and marinara sauce COUNT AS A VEGI SERVING. This opens up pasta with marinara, pizza, spaghetti etc. as a painless source of vegis. Three Cheese Marinara Muffin Melt, Mini Pizzas with Xed Pizza Sauce, P90x Spaghetti
- Use your vegis as sticks to dip in hummus. Homemade Olive Hummus
- Hide vegis inside of burritos or wraps. I’ve found that if I can’t see them, sometimes it’s easier to eat them. Especially if they are cut up small enough to not overwhelm each bite. Chicken Ceasar Wrap
- If you enjoy eating foods that have a process to them, try vegis with dips, buy frozen edamame in the pod and just boil them for 5 minutes (my kids call these “pop-up-peas” because they can shoot the pea out of the pod into their mouth), or do my burnt lima beans idea and eat them with a toothpicks.
- Make good use of your blender, and add pureed vegis to anything you can. A general rule of thumb is that you can saute whatever vegi it is with nonstick cooking spray until tender, then throw it in the blender and puree it, adding low-sodium or chicken broth as necessary to help it get smooth. Then hide that in anything you can. This works great with marinara sauces – try sauteeing and pureeing a red bell pepper to throw in there to get an extra vegi serving out of your sauce. Spinach Pesto
- Drink your vegetables! Try going with vegetable soup. This is along the same lines as the V-8 idea. (1 cup of vegi soup is 1 vegetable serving.) I have found that I will often eat vegis as part of a soup that I would never consider plain. Barley Vegetable Soup
- Chop vegis very super small and then add them to protein-oriented dishes. This works especially well with spinach, because it’s often easier to ignore tiny bits of green in your food, rather than having to eat vegis in big chunks. Crustless Ham and Spinach Quiche, Muffin Cup Frittatas, Chicken Salad Two Ways
- Drown them in a marinade! Bacon Wrapped Chicken Shish Kabobs
One more point: Consider that your dislike of vegetables may be a holdover from childhood. Maybe your mom was a crappy cook and couldn’t cook vegetables to save her life (bless ‘er heart). Everything is worth trying again as an adult with adult taste-buds, and make sure that it is cooked up in a yummy fashion. Worst case scenario: you’ll be diligent for 90 days and then go back to your previous eating habits. Best case scenario: you’ll discover new things that you like and can continue to eat forever. You’ll have to do the work of opening your mouth and chewing. But just maybe you’ll end up liking a few of the vegis you put in there!
I hope this helps.
- CJ =)
P.S. Oh, and add (turkey) bacon. Everything is better with bacon!