How to Make Vegetables the Star of the Meal

It can be hard adjusting to diabetes when you have to measure your carbohydrate portions. Once you are paying attention to how many carbs you put on a plate, that plate could start looking a little empty. This may leave you feeling hungry or deprived after a meal. So how do you feel full without overdoing carbs? Make the veggies the center of the meal.

Choose Veggies First

Build the entire meal around the vegetables. You might opt to make a vegetable stew, a large salad or stir-fry medley. Once you pick your vegetable and decide how you feel like eating it (raw, steamed, sautéed, etc.), then choose a reasonable amount of proteins and carbohydrates to add to it.

Make The Veggies a Vehicle

Instead of putting things in bread products, try putting them in veggies. Ditch the sandwich and make lettuce wraps out of your lunch meat. Instead of stuffing your burrito mix into a couple of tortillas, stuff them into a roasted pepper. Cut a cucumber length-wise and scoop out the seeds, then fill it with your chicken or shrimp salad. Don't put your 'pigs' in a 'blanket,' put them in a 'pail' instead-- stuff them in a mushroom cap.

Get Creative

There are a lot of unusual ways to fit veggies in your diet and replace those carbs. For example, instead of making a flour-based sauce for your meat, what about making a veggie-based sauce? Thicken the sauce by pureeing the softened vegetables.

You could get started with your veggies first thing in the morning by slipping them into your omelet, or by drinking a green smoothie. Replace sugar in baking recipes, such as pancakes or muffins, with leftover mashed vegetables. They'll sweeten it up and add plenty of fiber.

Vegetables are not only healthier for you, but they can be very filling and bring a variety of exciting flavors to your meals.

Photo: Food To Live