10 Ways to Get Yourself to Eat More Vegetables


Do you need to get more vegetables into your diet? If you do, you’re not alone. Most people don’t eat all the servings of vegetables that they should. Even some vegetarians and vegans, people who eat plant-based diets, admit they just don’t like vegetables. Yes, it is entirely possible to eat a plant-based diet without eating a lot of…well, plants. Of course we all know we are supposed to eat our vegetables because they are healthy for us, even perhaps, the most health-promoting food group that exists. Yet, some people still can’t bring themselves to eat them. Perhaps it is genetic. Researchers have discovered that 25 percent of the population has a genetic trait that makes them more sensitive to bitter tastes. These “super-tasters,” as they are called, tend to not like cruciferous vegetables, dark greens or other bitter veggies such as eggplant. Or maybe you have bad memories of being forced to sit at the table until you ate all your peas or spinach and now you can’t stand the sight of them.

The good news is that people can learn to like veggies. No one is saying you have to learn to love all veggies but there are ways to make many of them more appealing to you. There are ways to cook veggies that will remove the bitter taste and ways to make eating veggies fun and exciting. Check out my tips on how to get yourself or some veggie-hater you know to eat more vegetables and like it … maybe even love it.

1. Expose Yourself to More Veggies

In order to eat more veggies, you need to get yourself in the same room with them. Read cookbooks and online recipes (like ours here at One Green Planet) and get inspiration for new dishes. Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and have a box of vegetables delivered to your door every week. You will probably get veggies you never would have chosen yourself. Visit your local farmers’ market and the produce department of your favorite supermarket and take your time looking at the variety of vegetables available to you. Check out all the shapes and colors and don’t be afraid to ask questions from the people who know produce best. They will be happy to offer advice and cooking suggestions for each veggie. Make it a goal to buy one or two new vegetables each week, read up on the best ways to cook them and try them in a recipe that sounds delicious.

2. Make Veggies Easy and Available

Out of sight, out of mind. If you buy veggies and then stick them in the back of the fridge, you might next see them when they look like a science experiment a month later. Keep your veggies where you can see them. Put them in a pretty bowl on the counter or on top of the fridge. If they must be refrigerated, put the veggies on the top shelf in the front so you see them as soon as you open the door. Keep organic frozen veggies in the freezer so you will always have some on hand. Check out 6 Tips to Keep Your Veggies Fresh Longer for storage advice.

Prep veggies in advance to make them more accessible. Cut up carrots, celery, bell peppers and zucchini and put them in storage bags or containers with other easy-to-eat veggies like cherry tomatoes and snap peas. Alternatively, you can buy pre-cut vegetables at the store. When we look for a snack, we will be more likely to grab the cut-up veggies since all the work has already been done. Grab a bag of raw veggies to take with you to work or when you go shopping. When hunger pangs strike, reach for that bag of veggies rather than buying chips or donuts.

3. Drink Your Veggies

There is a reason those veggie juices on the market do so well. For some people, it’s easier to get a day’s worth of vegetable servings if they can fit several of them into one drink than having to cook and eat them in their whole forms. Get out your blender and make your own veggie juices and smoothies with beets, kale, cucumbers, and carrots. Try adding some fruit like coconut, watermelon and apples for sweetness and flavor. Here are 7 Delicious Juice Recipes and the Ultimate Green Juice Cheat Sheet to help get you started.

4. Put Veggies Into Your Favorite Foods

Maybe you think of vegetables as a side dish all on their own, but you can increase the chances of your liking a vegetable if you put it into a dish you already like. If you love mac and cheese, add broccoli or spinach to it or make the sauce with squash. Lasagna and all its cheesy layers is a great place to put some greens or zucchini slices like in this Creamy Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna. If burgers are your idea of comfort food, try making them out of something different like roasted beets or eggplant . Check out 10 Vegetables You Can Make Burgers With for lots of ideas. Use vegetables such as eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower and beets in place of meat in your favorite dishes likePhilly Cheesesteaks, Sloppy Joes, tacos or spaghetti and meatballs. See this article 10 Vegetables that Can Substitute for Meat, for inspiration and recipe ideas.

5. Use Veggies in Every Dish You Make

Make it a habit to add at least one vegetable into every single dish you make. If you make pasta, add spinach, broccoli or cherry tomatoes to the dish. Try this Vegetable Rigatoni with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce or my Creamy Rotini Alfredo with Asparagus and Peas. Chili is the perfect food to bulk up with veggies such as carrots, parsnips, beans, tomatoes, zucchini and more. This Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili is hearty and delicious. Soups usually start with veggies; add more such as beans, corn, squash or cauliflower. If you don’t want chunks of vegetables, blend them into the soup for smooth, creamy flavor. Try this Spring Kale and Dill Soup with Rice and this Mango Butternut Squash Soup. Salads can be so much more than just lettuce and tomatoes. Use cabbage, carrots, radishes, jicama, broccoli, spinach, kale and pretty much any vegetable that exists. Take a look at this Superfood Salad with Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Chickpeas, Kale, Sprouts and Seeds.

Make new, amazing salad dressings to make your salads even more appealing. Having pizza for dinner? Try new veggie toppings – my favorites are mushrooms, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions and olives but I would love a slice of this Fresh Summer Vegan Pesto Pizza. You can even make the pizza crust out of vegetables like this Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Black Mung Bean Curry.

Replace the carbs and starches in your meals with veggies. Instead of pasta, make noodles out of zucchini, eggplant, spaghetti squash and carrots like this Roasted Pepper Zucchini Pasta. Use slices of eggplant to layer a gluten-free lasagna. Lettuce and other green leaves make great wraps for your favorite fillings. Try these Raw Zucchini Wraps and these Veggie-Filled Collard Green Wraps.

6. Start Your Day With Veggies

I eat vegetables for breakfast every single day. My favorite breakfast is hummus on brown rice toast topped with marinated cucumbers, raw spinach and raw tomatoes. Mix vegetables such as onions, zucchini, mushrooms and greens into your tofu scrambles. Fill a tofu or chickpea omelet with sauteed tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms or spinach. Put veggies in your muffins like these Butternut Squash Muffins and in your pancakes as in these Mushroom Rosemary Pancakes. Have a Spinach and Almond Feta Breakfast Wrap or a Vegan Breakfast Pizza. Before you know it, breakfast will be your favorite meal of the day.

7. Seasoning, Dip and Sauces

Even if you like the taste of vegetables, seasoning them always makes them taste better. Marinate veggies in a mix of tamari, lemon, balsamic or apple cider vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices. This article on 10 Ways to Make Awesome BBQ Sauces, Rubs and Marinades lists ideas for getting the most flavor out of your food. Or toss them in a spice blend with an Italian or Asian twist.Saute them in olive oil or coconut oil. Glaze them with maple syrup.

Vegetables like to get dressed up so try some dips and sauces to dress them in, especially in the beginning when you are learning to like them. Whip up a salsa verde or Tzatziki dressing to dip raw veggies in. Make Asian stir-fry sauces or a vegan cheese sauce to drizzle over your broccoli. Check out 15 Double-Dip Worthy Vegan Dips for incredible recipes.

Think of veggies when you need a spread for your next sandwich. Use hummus or pesto instead of mayo or mustard. Add minced veggies to the cream cheese you’re about to spread on your bagel. Enjoy the savory flavor of this Char-Roasted Eggplant Spread or this lovely Muhammara Spread.

8. Party Food

Have fun with veggies and invite them to your parties, cookouts and picnics. You can have your bowls of chips and pretzels but be sure to put out a crudité platter and bowls of kale chips and roasted chickpeas as well. Serve veggie versions of fun foods like Butternut Squash Tacos with Tempeh Chorizo, Spicy Nachos, Mini-Calzones, Onion Rings and vegan Mozzarella Sticks. Food on a stick is always a hit so make skewered food like these Spicy Balsamic Veggie Kebabs at your next barbecue. Have a veggie-themed potluck where everyone has to bring a vegetable dish. Make it a contest and give the best dish a blue ribbon and a prize – maybe a bouquet of greens.

9. Challenge Yourself

Set fun and attainable goals for yourself and keep track on a list where you can check off your accomplishments. Possible weekly goals can include buying one or two new vegetables each shopping trip, cooking a new vegetable, trying a familiar vegetable in a new way or practicing Meatless Monday and having one “vegetables only” day. Daily goals might be incorporating one vegetable into each meal of the day or eating one veggie-focused snack. Maybe this is the week to give Brussels sprouts or artichokes a try?

10. Don’t Make a Big Deal about It

Adding more veggies to your meals might be a very big deal to you but it’s better if you act like eating veggies is the most natural thing in the world. Sometimes when we make a big deal out of something, it’s even harder to do. Serve vegetables to your family without bringing it to their attention. Vegetables should just be a regular part of eating, not something you have to bribe or reward people into doing. When we do that, we are saying that vegetables are not enjoyable but something they need to get through in order to get the reward. Be enthusiastic about everything you set on the table because it’s all delicious, even the vegetables.

The truth is I didn’t always like vegetables but the more I ate them, the more I loved them. It may not happen overnight but I promise you, if you give veggies a chance and try them in lots of different ways, you will find ones you like and even love.

By: Rhea Parsons
Source: www.onegreenplanet.org


Related Questions

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    Q: Can you combine Vegetables (green leafy) with Vegetables (fruit-vegetables)? Are fruit-veggies considered fruit or veggie?


    Green leafy veggies may be combined with fruit-veggies (cucumbers and tomotoes). Fruit-veggies are really fruit. You can always tell because of the seeds. Technically, anything that contains seeds is a fruit!

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    Q: I eat a lot of fruits and, veggies, I don't consume a lot of meat but I'm concern about the raw veggies and fruit lately because I read and article how washing your fruit and veggies isn't helping to clean fecee and other environmental mishaps that plaque out food so what do you recommend is there a organic wash or what?


    YES! VEGETABLE & FRUIT WASHES are sold at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market.

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    A: Yes, you can consume the foods within the diet however you like just as long as it's raw.

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    Q: How often should one eat cook food? I'm a vegan, I do not consume any meat, seafood, milk what so ever. I eat water cresses like everyday so as cook food. Like white rice with black bean sauce, spinach, and pasta at time's I'll eat some Chinese fried rice, veggie roll, steamed vegetables, any advice?


    You can eat cooked food as much as you like. However, try to incorporate as many nutrient-dense raw foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, into your diet to make sure you are receiving an adequate amount of nutrients.

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    Q: I have the alternative diet and lifestyle manual and want to make sure that this applies to the respiratory condition as well. Can I have the rice bread with no gluten or wheat? or rice pasta being that I have sarcoid? Can I eat cold water fish or venison in small portions along with veggies? What about rice or soy milk or protein whey shake for breakfast once or twice a week? Thank you once again my breathing has improved greatly and I have ordered many more supplies to maintain what I have accomplished thus far due to your regimen. I am not a vegetarian so I want to make sure it is okay to have white meats. I will do whatever I have to do to live. I love and appreciate everything you have done to change and help me to heal myself.


    The manual applies when you are FINISHED with a cleanse or kit. Follow the regimen's diet. It clearly states NO COOKED FOOD. You are asking us about cooked food here. Stick to the diet plan and you will be alright! You are asking about foods no good for your condition. Whey is crap. Meat is no good. Grains are no good for you as well. They all produce too much mucus!

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    Q: Is it alright to drink part of your fruits and veggies? I have a fruit smoothie for breakfast, and veggie drink in between lunch and dinner, nuts and a piece of fruit in between and a salad and a piece of fruit for dinner.


    Yes, you may drink part of your fruits and vegetables. As long as they are FRESHLY SQUEEZED

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    Q: I have ordered the detox cleanse, and the weight cleanse. Both state to eat a raw diet of veggies and fruit, nuts, nut pastes??, legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea veggies??,and fresh juices. It mentions Vegan Diet. What are my options when it comes to these choices? What do I eat and how often to keep my sugar from dropping, and feeling sick? Usually mid am, and mid afternoon?


    The best way to balance blood sugar and keep your body in a fat burning zone is to eat low fat and every 3-4 hours. Also high raw and high carb. Here are some options. Just a general outline.



    Muesli - fruit smoothie-green smoothie


    2-3 pieces of fruit


    Raw wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes


    2-3 peices of fruit


    wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes




    I suggest reading "Beauty detox solution" by Snyder, "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Karr, or 80-10-10 by Graham.


    I also recommend to check out my health coaching program www.theveganefect.com for more info.


    I hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I am on day 4 of the FULL BODY DETOX and was wondering what else can or should I eat besides toss salad and fruits and veggies. I know I can do organic non-salt nuts, steamed veggies, fruits smoothies and wild rice but is they’re anything I am not suppose to eat besides meat and sweets (sodas)? I have eaten toss salad was it ok that I put cheese on it? I am struggling to find other food options. Please help!!



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    Q: On WebMD there is information stating that high fiber foods such as raw fruits, and vegetables can irritate or flare up Crohn's disease. But, your article on Chron's disease says to switch to a vegan diet after detoxing. Why would raw fruits and vegetables flare up Chron's disease? Why do your articles suggest to eat raw fruits and veggies when people say it can irritate the disease?


    We don't subscribe to that. We do our own homework at Dherbs.com. There is no confusion at Dherbs because we use logic, reason, common sense, intuition, wisdom, etc. So we are not confused in regards to food and health.

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    Q: I’m wondering about your 20 day raw food diet, are you saying no cooked veggies at all. (I have a form of PARKINSON; I'm interested in trying your recommended raw food diet for 20 days) Please answer this question as soon as possible, thanks.


    No cooked veggies at all!

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!


    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Healing Crisis

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.


    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.


    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 


    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 


    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.


    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.


    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 


    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet


    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Thank you for always answering my questions. I have about two more. Okay, I'm currently living overseas where I'm limited on raw fresh foods (vegetables and fruits). I want to do the detox but I'm concerned that I won't have everything as far as raw food to be successful. I have access to basics (apples, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, melons, lettuce, cabbage, bean spouts, carrots, celery, peppers, green beans, peas, bagged nuts,) but nothing exotic by any means. Then I was told to safely eat some of the food in the local economy that we should wash it with a 5% bleach solution (is that safe...and if on the detox I'm thinking that would be a no go). Two questions?Given the mentioned availability of raw foods could I be able to successfully complete the detox (I don't have an issue with eating the same things over and over again) and two what can I do to clean local produce so that its safe for consumption? Apparently part of the issue is that they use human feces to fertilize. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response


    Yes, it seems you have enough raw food available to you to complete the cleanse.

    In order to clean local produce, rinse thoroughly with apple cider vinegar to "disinfect" it. If apple cider vinegar is unavailable, just use water.

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    Q: I have incorporated fish into my diet because I have been craving. Is moderation okay.... meaning my fruits for breakfast a regular lunch with salad and a salad for dinner okay to pretty much moderate other foods? It is challenging for me to become a vegan. Do you have any suggestions on how to still eat healthy to maintain an alkalized body with certain foods with moderation that are not raw? I still drink my green veggies at least twice a day. I am praying that my results will be negative.



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    Q: Can you give me more examples of a raw diet ? I am starting the Full Body Cleanse and right now I'm thinking only of salads fruits and veggies. But I don't know if these above examples will keep me full and satisfied for three weeks. I just invested in a juicer and a new blender.


    A typical detox raw food program looks like this


    Green smoothie: 1 1/2- 2 cups water / 1 cup greens / 3-5 medium pieces of fruit blended.

    (see "Green Smoothie Revolution" Boutenko for more info)

    Bridge: 2-3 medium sized fruits


    Raw Wraps: collard greens as wraps/ tomato, cucumber, bell pepper / fresh herbs / Sauce (salsa/tahini/guacamole/ etc))

    Bridge:2-3 medium pieces of fruit


    Raw pasta: Zuchini sliced with a potato peeler / veggies / Homemade pasta sauce made in blender 

    Snack: Sorbet: Blended frozen fruit in a blender


    Hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I have read about your detox system on your site and others. Here is the product that I am thinking about purchasing: Full Body Detox I have some questions... 1) Is there a diet plan or eating plan that comes with this order? and 2) I have 100 pounds to lose and am thinking about going on the Medifast plan. That is a high (vegetable) protein diet with no fruit and not a lot of vegetables allowed. Would these supplements in the detox plan help my organs that might be taxed a bit on this diet with very little vegetables and no fruit? I am skeptical about #2...I think raw fruits and vegetables are so important inour diets, yet, I do need to drop weight fast. I look forward to any thoughts that you might have.


    Yes, the Full Body Cleanse comes with a dietary regimen prescribing an all-raw foods diet (fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds). This means no meat, dairy, grains, or processed foods.

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    Q: I wrote to you a couple weeks ago asking if it was normal for me to have an outbreak only a day or two into the full body cleanse kit. You wrote back and told me that an outbreak is the body healing. It is two weeks later and I am still having an outbreak! Is this a good sign? Do you think this outbreak may continue on through my anti viral kit? I have been eating mostly fruits and vegetables, however I felt like I needed more substance and I was not enjoying my food at all... so I bought organic noodles and organic tomato sauce (sea salt only, tomatoes, no sugar, you get the point). Is adding some of this into my diet going to make the kits less effective or possibly not work?


    The outbreak is a result of your body trying to eliminate the toxicity and impurities from your body. Continue to follow the guidelines of the Cleanse.

    In regards to what you ate, YES, they make the cleanse less effective, so you may not want to eat much of cooked foods. Raw foods will optimize the cleanse. If you are having trouble staying full, try more healthy fats, like avocado, coconut cream, or raw nuts and seeds.

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.


    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I am interested in purchasing the 20 day cleanse. However I just read the diet while taking it. My only concern is that I do not eat salad or raw vegetables now. I do not like the taste and they do not agree with my stomach I eat almost every vegetable steamed. Is there any way to get around this. I can do fruit smoothies but for 20 days? Do you have any suggestions? thank you

    A: Cooking foods takes out the nutrients and enzymes that are beneficial to our bodies, so eating food in it’s most natural state is best. Unfortunately there's no alternative diet to the regimen. The herbs work in conjunction with the raw food diet. You would need to consume some vegetables while on the cleanse. You can incorporate raw vegetables into smoothies, but it would be best to also consume whole foods.

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    A: No, you cannot consume the almond milk or traditional hummus on the cleanse. You want to avoid store brought beverages, as they contain preservatives and additives that help sustain its shelf life. Hummus is a processed food, but you can consume it if it's prepared raw. Below is a raw food hummus recipe. You can create another type of dip for the vegetables as well such as tomato herb dressing. This dip/salad dressing consists of blending together tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and any herbs/spices of your choice that does not contain salt. http://dherbs.com/recipes/72/84/Raw-Hummus.html