Eating Greens Daily is Key to a Healthy Life.
Eating Greens are a key ingredient to our health and well-being providing essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that are naturally low in calories and fat. They can help our skin glow, provide oxygen, give us more energy, and aid in cleaning our systems.
Although there are countless benefits, focusing on eating greens as a large portion of the meal can be challenging for some. Thankfully there are an abundance of ways to incorporate more greens into your every-day meals, experimenting with different methods so you can find what works for you.
Here are a few of our tips for Eating Greens:
1. Buy Organic Greens that are Already Pre-Washed
This is important because the less you have to do to prepare them – the more likely you are to eat them. Once your spinach, salad mix, arugula (or whatever green of choice) is washed and ready to go, all you have to do is toss it into whatever you’re eating! Make it the bed of your meals by placing it at the bottom and then add the rest of the food as toppings. The greens will absorb the flavor of whatever else you’re eating.
Please note: there are several fruits and vegetables that can be purchased conventionally, but greens are one of the most important to consume organic. This way you are reducing your exposure to pesticides and harmful chemicals.
2. Mix it in a Smoothie
This tip has the most options available and can be the most enjoyable! Mixing greens into your smoothie helps to mask the taste of actually eating greens. Don’t believe it? Try it! Even a simple green smoothie in the morning of 3/4 spinach with a few pieces of frozen mango will set you off to a great start for the day and make eating greens at breakfast that much easier. There are no limits to the amounts of mixtures that can be created! Spinach and banana, spinach and pineapple, etc.
You want a majority of the base to be greens while 1/4 fruit. You’ll be amazed by the fact that a little bit of fruit goes a long way.
What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe?
3. Create a Salad with Your Own Dressing
One of the main reasons people avoid eating greens and other vegetables is because of the taste. For some, it’s “bland” and here’s why.
Our taste buds have become accustomed (and in some cases even addicted) to three dominant flavors – sugar, salt, and oil. Most greens won’t provide that taste individually, BUT combine some of right ingredients and you’ll be in luck for a healthier version than the typical dining alternative.
Imagine this – a homemade avocado dressing with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Four simple ingredients that you are likely to have in your home and can easily blend to make a delicious and more importantly, nutritious dressing to help you enjoy a nutrient rich salad! This mixture will satisfy 2 of the 3 main flavor cravings (salt, healthy fat, through avocado replacing the oil) and then you can top off your salad with strawberries, blueberries, or dried cranberries if you’re really craving something sweet. Add pine nuts, basil, and some garlic to your avocado blend and you’ve got yourself a super satisfying, and healthy homemade pesto sauce that can be devoured on a bed of zoodles aka Zucchini Noodles!
PS: There’s another tip right there! Substitute your regular pasta for Zucchini Noodles and you’ll also help yourself avoid that after-eating food coma from an overload of carbs.
4. Use Green Super food Powders
Moringa, Spirulina, Matcha, Chorella, and more have become widely available options in powder form to help supplement your every day beverages. There are also options available that incorporate a cocktail of greens together so you can receive the optimal nutrition all in one.
They each have their own unique benefits but all relate in terms of ease for use. Next time you’re at the store or online shopping, invest in one of these super food powders to add to your day! They’ll help provide essential vitamins and minerals to your diet without even having to chew.
5. Find the Greens that You Enjoy Most and Keep Them Stocked
As with anything in life, the success of a habit will come with trial and error. In terms of committing to eating greens daily, this involves experimenting with the different options to find what you enjoy best.
Everyone’s flavor pallet differs but spinach is a great place to start, and then there’s also arugula, and kale. From there, the world of greens continues to evolve – as we mentioned with the Green Super foods.
As you begin to eat these types of foods more often, your taste buds will change and if you can believe it, you will begin to crave them.
To keep your health in optimal shape – it’s important to make sure that you always have some form of greens on hand. Whether it’s raw dark leafy greens or powders. Once you’ve run out, make it a priority to restock.
6. Include Greens with Every Meal
This is one of the harder practices for many people so if you’re not at this point, don’t be discouraged. It’s all about being creative and forming the habit.
We already discussed how you can enjoy a green smoothie for breakfast which brings us to lunch and dinner. Nearly ANY meal can be served atop a handful of spinach or other greens. Whatever flavors you have on top will seep to the bottom and your greens will absorb it. So for example, rice and beans – the liquid from the beans will easily fall to the greens making them easier to enjoy. Even with a bowl of pasta – whatever sauce you’re using will mask the taste of the greens at the bottom and viola! You have yourself delicious meals with greens included!
There’s also the option of side salads which ideally should take up 1/2 of your plate. Yes you read that right, half.
When creating your salad, think of options that will add texture and flavor for you to enjoy. For example, sliced tomatoes often leave behind a nice amount of juice which you can pour onto the salad along with your cut pieces. Add some lime and pepper and you’d be surprised just how good something so simple can taste.
7. A side of Veggies, Please
When you’re out eating it’s easy to lose track of calories as restaurants use hefty amounts of unnecessary oil, MSG, and sodium so when given the option – opt in for a healthy side of vegetables to help balance your meal. Perhaps it’s broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts or other, all of which will help provide you more nutrients and less calories.
We know it can be hard to resist the temptation of fried food, so if that moments comes, stay rooted in your intentions to eat healthy. Ask yourself, have I eaten enough greens today?
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