Learn to Love Greens

Learn to Love Greens

green leafy veg

If optimal health or weight management is your goal, you really need to love green leaves because they are so very good for you.

Kale, collard greens, turnip greens, carrot tops, swiss chard, spinach, baby spinach & beet leaves, mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, watercress & lettuces are” some of the most inexpensive sources of so many important nutrients. Dandelion, red clover, plantain, watercress and chickweed are edible green leaves which you may find growing in your backyard as weeds!

Green, leafy vegetables provide a great variety of colours from the bluish-green of kale to the bright green of spinach. Leafy greens have all types of flavours from sweet to bitter, from peppery to earthy (think nasturtium leaves).

There are so many good, healthy and worthwhile things to mention about leafy greens that I could write a whole chapter on them but for now I’ll just list a few.

Greens are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.

Adding greens to your meal or making a meal around leafy greens is quick, easy and affordable. A large bowl filled with leafy greens gently tossed with healthy oils like MCT or olive oil, topped with boiled eggs, a fillet of salmon or pieces of steak are hearty and yummo! In fact, did you realise that meat has all of the essential amino acids , essential fats and 12 vitamins needed for health? One vitamin is missing – Vit C. Which is why adding leafy greens to your meat meals is so important. Remember…

“Add some greens when you eat meat, They will make your meal complete!”
~Trim Healthy Mama

Folate: The word folate describing the B vitamin originates from the Latin root word folium, which means leaf. Did you know that our body must get folate from food – dark green leafy veggies! Folate deficiency can be quite common and lead to a host of health problems such as digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease birth defects. Folate does other valuable things as well but in a nutshell – you really, really need it.

Beneficial for weight loss: Greens contain nitrites, which have been associated in browning fat cells, meaning converting fat-storing white cells into fat-burning brown cells. This creates extra fat burning and ultimately, weight loss.

Greens are also helpful for anti-aging, cardiovascular health, as well as helpig to fight against both types of diabetes.

Green veggies contain a variety of carotenoids, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants that have cancer-protective properties. Green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which can also be converted into vitamin A, and also improve immune function.

The antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are contained in leafy greens may help reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen too!

Note 1: Rotate your greens! Don’t eat watercress 7 days a week or baby spinach 6 days a week every week. Change it up! To over consume any one type of green can cause unwanted side effects. For instance, some greens bind calcium so that your body cannot absorb it so variety truly is the spice of life!

Note 2: While leafy greens offer many health benefits, they can sometimes trigger IBS in individuals who are sensitive. If you  take a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin), be sure to have your INR levels checked regularly as you increase your intake of dark leafy greens.

Note 3: Spinach and some other greens have a high oxalic content so if you are following a low oxalate diet then you need to limit your amount. Be led by our own body’s need and do what is right for you, if you have a medical condition. And if in doubt, always check with your GP or health professional.

You don’t need a recipe. Just buy a bag of mixed green leaves or a single type. Add a handful to every meal. Simple!

15+ Foods That I Always Have On Hand

15+ Foods That I Always Have On Hand

These are 15+ foods I make sure I never run out of – these are my staples that allow me to eat healthy food even when I don’t have a lot of food prepped or made in advance. I don’t always bake or have meals cooked but I can always eat well as there is always something easy to eat. If I have it in the house, I will eat it – this goes both ways, for healthy, nutrient dense food or food that isn’t so healthy.

My Top 15

In no particular order.

  1. Dark chocolate
  2. Eggs
  3. Chobani 0.5% Greek yoghurt
  4. Salmon fillets (frozen)
  5. Ground turkey, beef mince & chicken fillets
  6. Deli Meats/Cold cuts
  7. Bone broth (both homemade or store bought)
  8. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, especially strawberries and sugar snap peas, zucchini, broccoli & mushroom, rocket and baby spinach, capsicum, cos lettuce and avocado. Frozen fruit and veggies – berries, cherries & lemon wedges.
  9. Chana dahl (dried) chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans and lentils (canned)
  10. Oats
  11. Brown rice [precooked] sachets
  12. Passatta and Peeled & Diced Tomatoes
  13. Butter
  14. Olive oil, Coconut oil & MCT oil
  15. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Five Extra Foods (because to be honest I always have these as well)

  1. Mixed nuts and seeds
  2. Chamomile tea and White tea, Coffee beans
  3. Hydrolysed Collagen
  4. Laughing Cow Light Cheese wedges
  5. Natvia sweetener or Monkfruit sweetener

What foods are staple items in your house? Let me know!

15 foods I have on hand
Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous veggies are a diverse group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes.

When cabbage is chopped, chewed or digested, gluosinolates break down into substances called isothiocyanate. Now these are extremely toxic to insects but they have an incredibly protective effect to humans. The finer you chop cruciferous veg, the more nutritious it is due to this process. So chop it finely then leave it for an hour or two before eating or cooking and you are getting much more bang for your buck! But even better, you don’t have to feel guilty about preparing the veggies beforehand and worry about losing nutrients because the opposite is true – you get more! So go ahead, prep those veggies early and put them in the fridge for tea later on tonight!

When buying broccoli, try and buy and eat as soon as possible. If you can’t buy and eat fresh then store in continuously in the fridge in a sealed bag. In fact, if you can purchase the broccoli in sealed bags, even better. Have you seen the coloured cauliflower? Go for the brightly coloured ones first – purple, orange or green as they have more phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Cooking Cruciferous Veggies

Steam, sauté or microwave with a minimum amount of water to increase the levels of Vit A and antioxidant carotenes up to 5 times. Don’t forget to add a dash of olive or coconut oil.
Even more bang for your buck? Add mustard powder to your cruciferous veggies. Not only does it taste good but the mustard allows the cruciferous veggie to restore their ability to generate isothiocyanate. Simply add ½ tsp to each 200gram of cooked cruciferous veg! Or if you hate mustard, try horseradish, wasabi or radish, rocket, watercress, raw sprouts for similar effect.

How do you like to eat your cruciferous veggies? Got a favourite recipe to share? Rueben in a Bowl or Kai Sing Me or something else?

Cruciferous veggies

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