Know thy vegetables…and greens
The other day I was at the grocery store getting my food to prep for the week. The cashier was a young man in, I would guess, his early twenties. He picked up the purple cabbage (A.K.A. red cabbage) I had laying on the counter and asked if it was lettuce. I figured he was just trying to figure out which code in their system would be cabbage when the assisting grocery bagger told him that it was cabbage. Then he got to the radishes and asked me if they were beets. I thought he was joking with me then I saw the confusion on his face. I explained what they were and he told me, “yeah, my mom says I need to eat more vegetables.”
It doesn’t end there. I was talking to some other adults, in their thirties, and asked them what kinds of vegetables they like. The response was less than encouraging. It went something like this. “Vegetables…? I tried part of an asparagus last week. It wasn’t that great.”
And thus the inspiration for writing this newsletter…
Importance of vegetables and greens
We all know that eating vegetables is good for us and that we would look and feel better when we eat them. Part of the human condition (what I define as not being perfect but purposefully striving each day to be better than the day before) is needing reminders so here goes.
People who eat fruit and vegetables as part of their daily diet have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases
Vegetables are important part of healthy eating and provide a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C
Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease
The Linus Pauling Institute adds:
Vegetables are rich in a particular group of nutrients called antioxidants, which fight cellular damage and help prevent heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack and Alzheimer's disease
How I get my veggies and greens
Mornings (yes, in the morning)- typically I will consume my very nutrient-dense green smoothie. It includes spinach, kale, cilantro, and often times purple cabbage, celery, and carrots. Depends what I have on hand. I blend the greens and vegetables in a food-processor and will add an avocado, banana, coconut milk (unsweetened), chia seeds, high-quality protein powder, cacao powder and fold in cacao nibs and coconut flakes (unsweetened) for texture. I eat it with a spoon.
Lunch - big salad with lots of goodness which may include carrots, purple cabbage, boiled egg, an avocado, and raw almonds. Depending on what we had for dinner the night before, I may include leftovers such as grilled salmon, chicken, pork, or steak.
Dinner - this varies more than my breakfasts and lunches. It could be asparagus, broccoli, or Brussel sprouts. It may include a big spinach salad with freshly grilled fish or meat with a tomato or pineapple or mango.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I eat my vegetables and greens. If I don’t have my green smoothie in the morning, I know it. I feel it. It’s a great way to start the day which means not only setting intentions, going for a walk, or meditating, but nourishing your body with healthy foods. This truly will change your life.
Light at the end of the tunnel
I have been encouraged by hearing some of you share your plans for a garden or planters that will include greens, vegetables, and herbs. Some of you have also mentioned gearing up to go to your local farmer's market. Right on, go fresh. This will rock your world! And your health!!
This weekend I will be hitting the pavement for my 12K run. Stay tuned as I will be sharing how I prepared, what I ate, and……how it turned out. More to come!
In the mean time, please pass the vegetables!
To your journey,
P.S. Checkout my Facebook page and see my salad and green smoothies!