I talk about getting your greens… All. The. Time. You might be a little tired of it. I wouldn’t be stressing it if it weren’t so critically important to your health and well-being. You need the phytochemicals, micronutrients, fiber, alkaline impact and energy you get in abundance when you eat greens. Here are six great ways to get greens in your diet.
Salads – Why yes, that is simple. Ok, you likely already eat salads. Great! Eat them more often. Shake up the greens you use. Use mixed greens, spinach or romaine as the base green instead of ice berg lettuce. Then add in other greens. Chop up some kale, chard, parsley or other fresh herbs (those are greens too you know) to add to the nutritional value. Try to get at least one salad in a day. If you can’t do that, shoot for three times a week.
Green Smoothies – Green smoothies are probably the fastest way to get your greens. Simple and tasty, I make them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They are as simple as fruit + greens + water + ice (no ice if using frozen fruit). Mix and match your fave fruits and greens. Add in hemp, chia or flax seeds, or a protein powder for a healthy boost. You just need a blender. Kids love green smoothies too. I have great recipes in my book, Wellness on a Shoestring.
Juicing – Juicing is the most direct way to get green nutrients into your cells. When the body doesn’t have to breakdown the roughage it can simply absorb the nutrition immediately. I like to juice for 24 to 36 hours each week just to give my body a break and maximize the nutritional absorption. I start the evening before and continue on through the next day and until the following morning consuming nothing but green juice. You do need a juicer for this, but if you are consistently juicing it is worth the investment. Like smoothies, you’ll get to play with combinations of greens and fruits, but you’ll also want to add in all sorts of other veggies. Check out my friend, Karen Kipp’s website, Power Your Journey, for juice cleanse retreats. She leads a regular 3-day juice fast with our friend, Tess Masters of Healthy Blender Recipes. Click here for a great morning juice to get you going.
Veg Shred – I love veg shred! It is such a great way to consistently get a wide variety of greens and other veggies into your diet throughout the week. This is the perfect thing to prepare on a Saturday and have available for the week. To make veg shred you select three or four different greens and as many other veggies as you want. You don’t want to use wet veggies, i.e. cucumbers, tomatoes, as they won’t keep fresh. Click here to get the recipe. You can also find the recipe in both of my books and at the Your Wellness Connection blog by clicking here. Once you have your veg shred prepared you can enjoy it so many different ways: on its own as a salad, as a salad topper, in omelets, in soups, in green smoothies, in a wrap with some turkey, with quinoa, etc. Experiment!
Sea Veggies – I haven’t talked much about sea vegetables, but they are a great source of micro-nutrients. Consider adding just a teaspoon of Spirulina to your green smoothies. You can also add dried seaweed, like Kombu, to any liquid you’re cooking, such as soups or broths. You’ll likely want to remove the rehydrated leaves before eating, although they are consumable. Be aware that they will add salt to your dish. There are also seaweed shakers you can add to salads and soups. You can find them in a health food store.
Sauté – Just sauté up some greens. A little olive oil, garlic, a touch of salt and pepper, and just about any green – spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, etc. Experiment with making greens a tasty side dish for dinner. Sometimes a little squeeze of lemon juice will brighten them up too.
Go for the Greens!