Think back to the days of your childhood. You sat at the kitchen table, glaring at your plate. Maybe you had a traditional, American dinner: something like chicken, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. But your eyes and mind wandered to the cookie jar sitting on the counter.
Your mom promised you could have one…ONLY if you ate all your food.
So, what was the problem? Well, the tree-like stalks leered straight into your soul. You kicked and pleaded, maybe even ducked them under the potatoes, but to no avail — you had to choke them down eventually.
As kids, we are somehow conditioned into thinking vegetables are bad. That leads to issues down the road. Actually, some kids were so averse to eating veggies that as grown adults, they still don’t get their servings.
If that’s you, don’t worry. Let’s work together to get your daily green on! Here are some tips on how to do that.
Don’t fight it — embrace the salad.
Salads get a bad rap. Often seen as just a dieters nightmarish and mundane go-to lunch, there’s actually a lot going on in these dishes.
You see, they don’t have to look sad, like a random leaf fell into your lap. Instead, color it up. In fact, Diabetes Forecast (a magazine counterpart of the American Diabetes Foundation) suggests to add some fruits to help supply more nutrients that the body needs.
But you don’t have to add just those. Mix it up. Don’t like lettuce? Try kale and bok choy. Don’t be afraid to add some protein, too: chicken, turkey or vegan options like tofu or Beyond Meat. (The latter is lathered in spices that really complement veggies).
Pro Tip: Add some quinoa for some extra crunch and to help fill you up.
For some people, learning about specific benefits can help ignite a burning, healthy fire.
- Veggies can help supply natural sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Tired of having to take so many pills for separate vitamins, like A, C and K? These leafy goods can help. You’d be surprised how much more energy you might have and other benefits from simply adding some to your diet.
- Dark varieties are low in calorie and carbs, but high in satiating quality. If you ever felt like you need to eat too much to actually feel full, these will help fill you up, without adding on excess calories and weight. That brings us to the next and (one of the best) benefits.
- They can also help support weight loss. Well, duh! They can help support healthy digestion and metabolism, which can help drop those lbs.
- Veggies can help support the immune system. We tend to think that only fruits can help give us an immunity boost, but nope. In fact, cruciferous vegetables, like kale, broocoli and cabbage, can help regulated intraepithelial luymphocytes (IELS), which can protect the body from bacteria that live in the skin and intestine lining.
Pretty cool, right?
Craving more interesting and specific info? Give this a read!
Look for daily green-products that you love, not ones you’ll hate.
Part of the problem is that we go into eating greens as if it’s a chore, when it’s not. So, go on a food excursion. Find out your favorite tastes.
So, if you don’t like kale, then you should probably skip over it. You could also force yourself to eat it, but just saying, you’re going to hate your life.
Keep the green train going by finding something more up your alley. Need a suggestion? Swap out some of your favorite snacks with veggie-packed equivalents. This could be one way to help break out of a negative thinking cycle (and help you feel less guilty when snacking). Instead of “cutting something out,” you’re merely swapping or trying new things.
Here’s what we mean. Like to snack on chips during lunch? Try veggie chips or veggie-sprinkled, “power popcorn” (recipe here). Like to sip on shakes? Try green drinks, like our Best of Greens. Containing organic cereal grasses (like barley) and sea vegetables (like spirulina), this synergistic blend packs a delicious taste with some healthy perks too. Plus, we have a Lemon flavored version available for those of you who really hate the tastes of vegetables.
As you can see, you have a lot of options. Find your favorites and keep looking.
Start small and sprinkle up your meal.
You don’t have to go full force, replacing every meal with these healthy colors. In fact, you shouldn’t. Going cold turkey might make you hate the whole process.
Instead, sprinkle up your meal. No, we don’t mean adding that sugary cake topping to your dinner. We mean sprinkling in greens where you can.
The United States Department of Agriculture gives great recommendations for how to do this. Add one serving to each meal that you can. Don’t force yourself to go overboard (it’s not necessary). You can eventually work your way up to the recommended two and half cups.
Here’s a really easy way to start tonight. Having protein and rice for dinner? Add some spinach or bok choy. Eating a soup for lunch? Add collard greens. Eating eggs for breakfast? Add some steamed broccoli for some iron.
Pure Planet Best of Greens