Want a healthy body? Load up on your dark, leafy greens. In the world of nutrition, there are very few topics that most experts will agree on but this is one of them. There are many ways to get more greens into your diet and no matter where you’re starting from, adding more greens is a good thing.
It’s Not Easy Being Green – Kermit the Frog
Green veggies are more often than not either lacking or completely missing in our standard diets. When you are addicted to sugar, salt or unhealthy fats you don’t crave healthy green foods. Your taste buds send pleasure signals to your brain when the right combination of sugar, salt and fat are present. The food industry spends millions on getting the perfect combination of toxic, carcinogenic substances so we not only want to eat more, to the point of overeating, but we crave it later. These negative, false cravings are when unhealthy ‘food’ creates chemical reaction in your body so that your body needs it to feel ‘better’. Your brain, the pleasure points and toxic physical reactions cause these cravings. Your organs, blood, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments & systems do not NEED added sugar, added salt or unhealthy fats…ever! The only way to be at optimal health is to get to a point where your body naturally CRAVES healthy food, mostly plants.
How do you get from junk-food-addicted to optimal health? One leafy green at a time.
The more you add, the more you crave. Every few days add ½ cup more until you are consuming 4-6 cups. This amount may seem daunting at first but see “It’s SO Hard. Wah!!!” below and you’ll be surprised how easy it is and more importantly, how fantastic you feel. You may also be surprised to feel your negative cravings dissipate. It’s win, win all round. Yay green!!!
By adding dark, leafy greens into your diet you are accomplishing a lot.
Eating more greens:
· will naturally cleanse your blood and respiratory system.
· help alkalize your system which will neutralize acidity and create superior health.
· filters out toxins, creating a healthier system.
· helps with elimination because they are high in fiber and chlorophyll.
· improves circulation.
· improves your immune system.
· keeps your bones healthy.
· can prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
· will provide your body with vitamins, minerals (iron, calcium) and antioxidants.
· assists in weight loss.
· lowers cholesterol.
· combats inflammation.
· helps improve eye health.
· will give you more physical energy!
Choose from the following list for the ultimate nutrient blast.
Kale, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard (in moderation), spinach, micro greens, sprouts, mustard greens, beet greens (in moderation), broccoli, rapini (broccoli rabe), arugula, romaine (red and green), parsley, cabbage, Bok choy, watercress, mint.
It’s also best to switch it up regularly and ALWAYS choose 100% ORGANIC.
“…people tend to pass you over ‘cause you’re not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water or stars in the sky” Kermit the Frog.
In all honesty, I get it. It can be challenging if you have a busy life, travelling or eat out a lot. Try some of the following ways to slide more greens into your life:
Smoothies & shakes are a great way to hide a LOT of powerful greens. Try spinach, micro greens, arugula, kale, mint, sprouts or a combination.
Or try my go-to favourite that has withheld the test of picky children and teenagers.
· 1 packed cup of spinach (I will often add more than one cup)
· 1 Cup frozen blueberries (or strawberries, raspberries or a combination of all)
· ½ banana
· ¾ cup almond or cashew milk (add more or less to appeal to your ideal consistency)
· 1 Medjool date
· 1 TBS each ground flax seeds, chia seeds & hemp hearts.
· If you want to add, try a tablespoon of almond butter or your favourite protein powder.
Blend and enjoy!
Salads & Salad Wraps
Salads, of course are a great way to get raw greens. The most delicious salads include fresh, green herbs for extra flavour. Try adding fresh mint, basil, cilantro, dill &/or parsley to your spinach, arugula, romaine, micro greens and/or sprout salad. With a variety of flavourful herbs, you won’t need a thick, unhealthy, toxic dressing. Try a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan Sea Salt for a delicious, nutritious salad. Also, try using your greens (romaine, lettuce, cabbage) instead of a pita or tortilla shell wrap. Load it with your favourite fillings and enjoy.
Cooking a chilli, stir-fry, stew or jambalaya? Try cutting up some leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugula, micro greens, sprouts, collards, turnip greens etc. and load your stew on top. The heat from your creation will wilt your greens perfectly and add to the nutritional quality of your meal.
Remember greens aren’t just for lunch and supper. Add greens to your breakfast omelet or wrap or, live on the edge, and try a salad for your morning meal. Start your day fully fueled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for ultimate energy.
Pesto, Hummus, Sauces & Spreads
Throw in an handful of spinach the next time you make hummus, pesto or guacamole. The taste won’t change but the colour will and so will the nutritional load. High nutrition, little effort!
Juicing leafy greens is an extremely efficient way to bombard your cells with nutrition. The most nutritious way to drink juice is Cold Pressed. If you don’t have access to a cold pressed juicer or a cold pressed juice bar in your area, then a home juicer is a close second. Try juicing spinach and kale with vegetables with a higher water content like cucumber or celery. Add some green herbs like mint or basil, lemon, ginger and a piece of apple for a little sweetness. Try your own concoctions to suit your palate but remember to drink your greens! ONLY juice 100% organic produce. Juicing produce that is not organic is like drinking concentrated chemicals. Yuck!
“I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” Kermit the Frog.
Take the two-week Green Challenge. Eat a minimum of 4 servings of leafy greens a day for two weeks and notice what happens to your energy, your mental clarity and your overall vitality. I dare you! Please let me know how you feel.
Greens are like fresh air… you will live longer if you consume them (daily).
Leafy greens are simply the BEST food you can eat to improve your health. Boom!
Questions, comments, concerns, queries, conundrums? Please don’t hesitate to ask.
Kathi Ells – Holistic Nutritionist
Inspiring health, energizing lives!