3 Easy Ways to Eat More Greens
“Eat less meat. Eat more meat. Eat low-carb. Eat enough carbs. Eat nuts! Nuts aren’t healthy. Make sure you eat whole grains! Wait, don’t eat any grains.” Dietary recommendations get confusing, and we still have a lot to learn about how different foods affect the human body, but one nutritional prescription that I am sure every single nutritionist, doctor, and health expert would agree with is that we all need to eat more vegetables. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 27% of American adults eat at least 3 servings of vegetables, the minimum recommendation, per day.
Dr. Terry Wahls, an integrative physician who stopped the progression of and began healing her multiple sclerosis through dietary changes, recommends eating 6-9 cups of fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on the veggies, every single day for optimal health. These 9 cups of fresh produce will give you the edge for optimal mental and physical performance at work, at home, and at MOVE. By consuming more vegetables and staying consistent with your MOVE workouts, you will be unstoppable!
No matter what anyone tells you, no supplement will ever be able to replace the amazing nutrients provided to us by fresh vegetables. Greens are a lot more than just vitamins and fiber; they contain so many micronutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds, many we still know little about, which fight disease and assist our bodies to recover and thrive. Here I offer 3 tips to include more veggies into every single day!
1. Cut and prepare grab-and-go veggies ahead of time.I like to wash and prepare bell peppers (use all colors for more variety!), cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms and put them in little Tupperware containers or Ziploc baggies so they’re ready to grab! I can throw them in my purse on the way to work, or if I come home at night starving and hangry, I can reach for a healthy snack instead of a piece of chocolate. Sometimes the chocolate wins, of course, but having prepared snacks on hand in moments of weakness can make all the difference!
2. Cook your veggies in fat!Grass-fed butter, high quality ghee, and organic coconut oil are my favorite fats to cook with. Grass-fed butter is great a source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is basically butter without any lactose and milk proteins, so people with dairy sensitivities usually find they can digest ghee! It has an interesting nutty, buttery taste. Coconut oil is a third great option. Try cooking kale or broccoli with one of these fats in a pan. Add sea salt. Enjoy. It’s such a simple combination, but many people need reminding that eating high quality fats with your veggies gives you a whole lot of flavor and nutrition!
3.Drink green smoothies. I stopped drinking my beloved green smoothies over the cold winter months, but now that it’s been warming up here in Austin, I’ve been craving these cooling, nutrient-dense drinks once again! Austin’s juice shops have nothing on you if you’re equipped with a blender, frozen fruit, fresh kale or spinach, and some fun additions.
Here is my go-to recipe. Simply blend all of the following until nice and smooth!
- 1 cup of fresh spinach or kale (add your leafy greens first so your blender can cut them up completely)
- 1 frozen banana (always peel and freeze your brown bananas instead of throwing them out!)
- ½-1 cup frozen blueberries (raspberries or blackberries taste great too!)
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- Enough coconut or almond milk to get your preferred consistency… experiment!
How many servings of vegetables are you shooting for today? Let us know how you like eating your greens!