Get Your Garden Growing!  10 Ways to Grow Greens in Small Spaces.


by Christine Hunt

 

Vertical garden

 

Spring is here!

 

Are you already salivating at the thought of how delicious the fresh vegetables will be that you will buy at the local farmer’s market and roadside stands during the summer?  Have you considered growing your own?  It is easier than you might think and now is the time to get started.

 

This month’s blog postings have been about including more green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss Chard into your diet to help you lose weight, boost your nutritional intake and lower levels of inflammation that contribute to chronic disease.  Leafy greens are some of the easiest vegetables to grow as they can tolerate more shade than those that bear “fruit” like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers which require over 6 hours of full sun.

 

And don’t forget the herbs like parsley, cilantro, thyme and others that grow beautifully in containers of all kinds.  Some are more sun or shade tolerant than others, so be sure to check their growing needs when deciding where you want to have your garden.

 

Here are 10 container ideas for growing veggies in small spaces.

 

Preparing a large garden with straight rows or raised beds isn’t the only way to grow vegetables.   Vertical gardens are popular places to grow greens when you have confined spaces such as the balcony of an apartment/condo or townhouse yard.

 

Greens in gutters1.  Attaching drain gutters to the wall of a house or garage provides plenty of space to grow lettuces, spinach and other small veggies and herbs. Install on a slight angle so that water from the top rows can drain to the lower ones.

 

 

 

Pallet gardening2.  Close off the back of a wooden pallet, fill it with soil and plant in the open spaces for an inexpensive garden area.  Be sure to leave the pallet with the natural finish.  you don’t want to stain it and potentially have the plants that you will be eating  absorb the chemicals.

 

 

 

 

 

Pipe garden3.  And don’t forget the versatility of PVC pipe. Either hang them from above or secure to a wall, drill holes in a row along the top and plant seeds or seedlings.  Sections can be connected together  to allow water to drain through to lower levels and keep everything moist.

 

 

 

Soda bottle gardening.4.  Soda bottles have been creatively used to grow everything from houseplants to vegetables by stringing together sideways or stacking them vertically on top of each other.

 

 

 

Garden in wire rack.5.  Household organizers are great containers. Wire shelving that hooks onto doors can be lined with coconut fiber pot liners, filled with potting soil and plants installed.  The same goes for hanging shoe organizers.  Fill each pocket with soil, plant and water.  You may need to poke some drainage holes in the pockets and line the bottoms with some screening to keep the soil in and let the water out but it is a inexpensive and creative way to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Stack able pots6.  Use stack-able pots to create a tower replete with dozens of planting areas.  There are many different types of pots that can be stacked and you can find pots specially made to create these vertical towers.  Add as many as you want to make it as tall as you can reach to grow a plethora of plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanging pots7.  String pots together to add a decorative touch to your garden, provide some shade from the hot sun and have easy access to your veggies and herbs at cooking time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patio container gardening

8.  If you have a little yard space, you can grow a bit more by clustering window boxes or containers of any size on your deck or patio.  Mix up vegetables and herbs with flowering plants, especially marigolds and nasturtiums to help keep pesky bugs at bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step planter boxes.9.  Creating more planting area with a larger , pyramid or step style raised garden. It can be as simple as using wooden step stringers to support plastic planters to more elaborate do-it-yourself or pyramid kit gardens.

 

 

 

Veggie and flower beds.10.  If you have a yard with an existing garden, vegetables and herbs can be tucked in among existing plants and flowers. Here is Swiss Chard growing along side Black Eyed Susans and Margiolds.

 

 

 

Important things to consider when growing anything outdoors are:

 

  1. The amount of sun they will be getting. Very little grows in deep shade, so having sun part of the day is best even if you are growing greens.

 

  1. Always make sure they are well watered there is good drainage in whatever container you use.

 

  1. Just like us human, plants cannot grow without the proper food. When you are growing plants to eat, it is best to use organic fertilizers that release the nutrients slowly.

 

  1. The roots of plants like light, fluffy, soil , so be sure to use potting soil, not soil from your yard. It can be combined with compost to provide additional, slow release nutrients and your plants will love you for it.

 

Growing your own food is a sure way to know “where it came from” and to give you control over the addition or absence of toxic chemicals used by commercial growers.  It is also an excuse to get outside, breathe the fresh air, get some easy exercise into your day and perhaps even make it a family project.  Kids will love eating what they’ve grown with their own knowledge and hands.

 

 

To your health!

 

Here are links to other articles that you may find helpful in including more greens into your daily diet.

The Color Green:  What It Means To Your Health

Avocados – The Good, Green Fat

Easy Recipes and Ways to Include Greens in Your Diet.

 


 

Have you grown vegetables and herbs in containers before?

If not, what has kept you from giving it a try?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  

 Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

 Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 


 

Spring Clean From the Inside Out

Spring clean mind body spirit


Detox Your Mind, Body & Spirit with Chris & Titi  

______________________________________________________

Join CHRISTINE HUNT and TITI SIBAJENE

 

Friday, April 22nd at 6:30 p.m.

 

for a fun, FREE, evening of networking and learning tips on how to:
lower stress levels,   boost energy,   curb cravings,   lose weight,   lift your spirits and allow your body to heal itself.

______________________________________________________

 

Their talks will be:

Tossing Toxic Thoughts: Your Ticket to Sustainable Stress Reduction, Weight Loss, Increased Energy and a Happier, Healthier You

by Christine Hunt, Wellness Coach

Are you in pain/have headaches?  Are you so stressed that you are forgetting things, have sleepless nights and spend your days feeling worn out and exhausted?  Have your attempts to lose weight failed?  Christine will explain, in a simple to understand way,  how science is supporting the mind/body connection and how your life and health can benefit through the release of toxic thoughts and emotions.

How Come I Can’t Lose Weight? Cleanse & detoxify 5-20 pounds of stored waste matter to release excess weight.

by Titi Sibajene, Nutritional Consultant

Are you gassy? Bloated? Not pooping right? Want more energy? Tried everything but just can’t lose weight and keep it off? Want to lose weight while still enjoying your favorite foods?  Come learn how to remove that pesky 5-20 pounds of waste that’s holding YOU back!”

 

______________________________________________________

 

Where: Crownsville, MD

(The address will be emailed to you upon receiving your registration.)

 

Please R.S.V.P. here to Detox Your Mind, Body & Spirit!

 


Easy Recipes and Ways to Include Greens in Your Diet.


by Christine Hunt

 

Types of Greens

 

Leafy greens are powerhouses of nutritional value.    As one of the best low calorie foods you can buy, they fill you up, are a great source of fiber and contain high levels of anti-oxidants to help reduce inflammation.

 

At the top of the list of nutrients are vitamins A, C and K followed by folic acid, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium.   If you want to lose weight, stave off chronic disease or help your body heal, make greens a regular part of your diet since they contain a host of phytochemicals such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.  Studies have shown these phytochemicals help protect against cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, heart disease, stroke and reduce the risk of various cancers.

 

Colors of GreensGreen, leafy vegetables provide a great variety of colors from the bluish-green of kale to the bright kelly green of spinach. Leafy greens run the whole gamut of flavors, from sweet to bitter, from peppery to earthy. Young plants generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavor. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavors. Collards, Swiss chard, Bok Choy, and spinach provide a mild flavor while arugula, mizuna and mustard greens provide a peppery flavor. Bok Choy is best known for use in stir-fries, since it remains crisp, even when cooked to a tender stage. One should always choose crisp leaves with a fresh vibrant green color and the darker the leaf, the more nutritional value it contains.

 

Here is a list of greens you can include in your diet and some recipes to give you some ideas.

Kale

Collards

Turnip and Beet Greens

Swiss Chard

Spinach

Mustard Greens

Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce

Cabbage/Chinese Cabbage

Bok Choy

Dandelion greens

Endive

Watercress

Arugula

 

 

The simplest way to increase your intake of greens is with large salads.  Make them more filling by adding lots of root and other raw vegetables such as radishes, jicama, beets, carrots, squash, celery peppers, mushrooms, olives, artichokes, avocados and others.

 

Use dressings with olive, avocado, grapeseed, walnut, sesame and other oils for added flavor and the right balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.  Add more flavor variety by using balsamic, red wine, white wine, or herbed vinegars.  My favorite salad dressings are from Good Seasons.  They provide the seasonings in a handy packet and you add the oil, vinegar and water.  It’s fast and you can make any combination of flavors with oils and vinegars to suit your palette and your salad.

 

Another easy way is to make green smoothies and juices.  Just take any recipe and add some Swiss chard to it for an extra boost of energy during the day.

 

Enjoy the added vitality, sharper mental acuity and healthier looking skin that greens provide.

 


 

Side Dishes:

 

Think about adding greens to mashed or roasted potatoes.  Combine them with corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash or any other vegetable.  If using fresh or frozen greens, just add them toward the end of the boiling or steaming cycle so that they wilt just slightly, then season as you would the other vegetables. Using frozen greens speeds up prep time and are just as nutritious as fresh.

 

 Swiss Chard with Shiitake Butter Recipe

 

Swiss Chard with Shiitake Butter Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Serving Size: 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

9 ounces Swiss chard, very thinly sliced crosswise (about 8 cups)

4 tablespoons (½ stick)unsalted butter*

4 fresh shiitake mushrooms caps, sliced; ¼ inch thick

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cover the chard with cold water. Swish it around to remove all of the grit, then lift it out into a colander. Repeat if the chard is very dirty. (Don’t spin it dry—you want the water clinging to the leaves.)
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Before the butter completely melts, add the shiitakes and thyme. Season with a little salt and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the chard. Cook, gently stirring occasionally, until just tender and wilted, about 4 minutes.
  4. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are very tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the greens are glazed, about 3 minutes longer.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

*Use real butter not substitutes or margarine.  It tastes better, is less process and has better nutritional and good fat (if using organic or pasture raised butter) than substitutes.  Also, vitamins A and K are fat soluble meaning that they need fat to be utilized by the body.  So enjoy the real taste of butter.

 

Source:  Food Republic

 

 


 

 

 

Stir-Fried Greens with Black Beans

 

Stir-Fried Greens With Fermented Black Beans Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Serving Size: 4 as a side dish

 

Ingredients:

9 ounces bok choy, spring greens or purple sprouting broccoli

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced finely, seeds in or out

1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and drained

1-2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Quarter the bok choy, slice the spring greens or trim and divide the purple sprouting broccoli. Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes, until just tender. Refresh in cold water and then drain.

 

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Stir-fry the garlic, ginger and chili until you’re enveloped in wonderful smells – a matter of seconds, as you must not burn the garlic.

 

  1. Throw in the black beans and greens and stir-fry over a high heat for a couple of minutes, adding a tablespoon of water if the pan gets dry. Taste and season with soy sauce and sugar if needed. Serve at once.

 

Source:  Food Republic

 

NOTE:  Turn this into a filling main meal by adding brown rice, risotto, and/or your choice of meats or seafood.  But make the greens the main part of the dish to boost your vitamin and anti-oxidant intake.

 

 


 

 

Main Meals:

 

If you are tired of traditional tomato style sauces over pasta, try this healthy alternative.

 

 Greens, Mushroom, White Bean Ragout

 

Greens, Mushroom and White Bean Ragout

Serves 6

 

Ingredients: 

2 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

1 large white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup Marsala or red wine

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

12 ounces fresh mushrooms, button or wild or a mixture of both, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari

2 tablespoons whole spelt or whole wheat flour

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added Great Northern or other white beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained

1 pound (1 to 2 bunches) dark leafy greens, such as collards, kale or mustard greens, tough stems removed and leaves thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions:

Bring 3/4 cup broth to a simmer in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine, rosemary and thyme and cook about 2 minutes or until wine evaporates. Add mushrooms and reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid and begin to become tender, stirring once. Stir in remaining 1 3/4 cups broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together tamari, flour, nutritional yeast and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the hot broth to make a thick paste. Whisk paste into the simmering broth mixture, stirring constantly. Bring back to a simmer and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Stir in beans and greens, in batches if needed, cover and cook 5 minutes or until greens are wilted and heated through, stirring once. Stir in black pepper and serve.

 

Nutritional Info: 

Per Serving: 310 calories (10 from fat), 1.5g total fat, 170mg sodium, 54g carbohydrates, (17 gdietary fiber, 6g sugar), 17g protein.

 

NOTE:  Serve this hearty and saucy combination of leafy greens, mushrooms and beans over whole grain brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Use 1 (16-ounce) package of frozen dark leafy greens instead of fresh greens for a quick shortcut.  Also, for added nutrition, keep the pasta or rice to a minimum, no more than 1/2 a cup for rice and 3/4 cup for pasta.  The idea is to get more greens into your diet, so make them the biggest portion of the meal.

 

Source:  Whole Foods Market

 

 


 

 

 

Creamy Risotto-Style Brown Rice wit Spring Greens

Photo: Quentin Bacon

 


Creamy Risotto-Style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Serving Size: 4 -6

 

Ingredients:

sea salt or kosher salt

12 ounces (about 12 cups)mixed spring greens, such as tatsoi, baby mustard greens, lamb’s quarters and arugula

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large bunch scallions or ramps (wild leeks), trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, preferably basmati (from 1 1/2 cups raw rice)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 ounces Asiago cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving

freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the greens and cook until they are just wilted, about 1 minute. Use a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer the greens to a colander and let cool slightly; reserve the cooking water.

 

  1. Press the greens to remove excess water, then transfer them to a board and coarsely chop.

 

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions or ramps with the ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes.

 

  1. Stir in the rice, chopped greens, butter and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved cooking water and cook, stirring, until the water is almost absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional grated cheese at the table.

 

TIP: Cook the brown rice following the directions for your rice cooker, or cook it on the stovetop: First soak 1 1/2 cups rice in 2 1/4 cups water with a pinch of salt for 4 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Then bring the whole thing to a boil, add another 1/2 teaspoon salt, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes.

 

Source:  Food Republic


 

Article Source:  WebMD, Vegetarian Nutrition

 

To your health!

 

Here are links to other articles that you may find helpful in including more greens into your daily diet.

The Color Green:  What It Means To Your Health

Avocados – The Good, Green Fat

Get Your Garden Growing:  10 Ways to Grow Greens In Small Spaces  

 

 


 

 

Please share the problems you are having adding greens to your diet.

 Let me know how I can help you with ideas.

 Please share your questions and comments below.

 

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  

 

Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

 

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 

All About Food And Your Health


by Christine Hunt

 

Apple: Health

 

We are on information overload.  There is so much information circulating on the best way to lose weight or the best foods to eat to reduce inflammation or what to do for ______________!

 

I am developing an online course that will help you to understand the ins and outs of how food is used in the body and how it affects your health in both good and bad ways.

 

I have my own ideas as to what to include in the course but I’d love to have your input to understand what it is you want to know so that I can include it in the course.

 

I’ve created a brief survey and would appreciate it if you would take just a few moments to fill it out and submit the information.

 

Please click here to go to the survey.

 

Online learning

 

To your health!

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  

Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 

Avocados – The Good, Green Fat


by Christine Hunt

 

Avocado

 

What research is now finding is that low fat is actually contributing to our growing waistlines and larger numbers on the scales.  The low fat craze of the last few decades has practically removed it from our diets entirely and replaced it with sugar and carbohydrates that add fat to our bodies.  As a result our bodies have lost their ability to burn fat.

 

To reverse this trend eating more foods that contain good fats is now on the menu and avocados should be high on the list because they are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and contain 20 different vitamins and minerals.

 

Here are five of the many benefits of Avocados.

 

One:

You're the good fat.Seventy seven percent of the calories in this green wonder food are from fat. Not just any fat but oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil.  Oleic acid has been linked to reducing inflammation  and avocado oil can tolerate heat which makes it a healthy and safe choice for cooking.

 

Two:

They are nutrient dense which means that avocados provide vitamins, minerals and other substances that may have positive health effects with relatively few calories, among other benefits. Per 3.5 ounce serving they provide 7 grams of fiber, 75% of which is soluble which helps to keep the intestines clean.

 

Vitamins and minerals they contain per 3.5 oz. serving are:

  • Vitamin K:26% of the RDA.
  • Folate:20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C:17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium:14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5:14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6:13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E:10% of the RDA.

 

Then they contain small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

 

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.  Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat.

 

Fat soluble vitamins.

 

Three:

Vitamins A,D,E, and K, along with antioxidants like carotenoids are fat soluble meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized by the body. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15 times.  This goes a long way toward reducing inflammation found in people with cancer and autoimmune diseases, like arthritis and diabetes.

 

So, not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you eat; an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies.  Without it a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.

 

Four:

Including fat in your diet may help you lose weight. It increases satiety because fats remain in the stomach longer than other foods making you less prone to hunger pangs soon after meals.

In a study where one group of people ate a meal containing avocado and the other a similar meal without it, those eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next five hours.

If this holds true, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and enable you to stick to a healthy diet longer term.

 

Get healthier skin with avocados.Five:

Avocados can help improve your skin tone and appearance because they aid moisture level retention to make your skin look and feel soft and healthy. Other benefits include protecting skin from wrinkles and other visible signs of aging with their antioxidant carotenoids.  Vitamin E helps guard against aging from sun exposure and vitamin C is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.

 

Start including avocado in your salads, and use avocado oil in cooking and in salad dressings.  Add slices of them as a side dish or decorative condiment to breakfasts, lunches and dinner.  Spread guacamole on sandwiches.  Avocados go with everything so, think of ways you can incorporate them to your meals throughout the week.

 

Include avocado in your meals.

 

Source: Authority Nutrition, Healthiest Foods , Avocado Central  

 

To your health!

 

Here are links to other articles that you may find helpful in including more greens into your daily diet.

The Color Green:  What It Means To Your Health

Easy Recipes and Ways to Include Greens in Your Diet.

Get Your Garden Growing:  10 Ways to Grow Greens In Small Spaces  

 

 


 

Did you know that you need fat in your diet?

How do you plan to add avocados to your meals?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  

Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 


 

 

The Color Green: What It Means To Your Health


by Christine Hunt

 

Green clover

 

March is the month of green.  On St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate by wearing green clothes, beads, hats and four leaf clovers long coveted as the symbol of the Luck o’ the Irish.  Some drinking establishments even offer green beer.

 

Green is a great color.  When I think of green I think of life.  In spring our surroundings turn green with the leaves of trees, shrubs, flowers and grass.  And going green is touted as a good thing as we recycle our waste and use sources of energy that are easier on our beloved mother earth.

 

Brown foods common in the American diet.But the sadly the green movement has not been incorporated into our diets.  Americans diets have shifted to browns as we consume cereals and bagels for breakfast, pizzas and burgers for lunch,  pasta and meats for dinner and beverages like sodas and coffee.   These dietary habits are a contributing factor to our nation’s declining health because brown foods don’t provide the valuable nutrients, antioxidants and fiber that our bodies need to be at the top of our game.  Adding more greens to our diets can help boost energy levels, reduce inflammation and provide nutrients to our bodies that brown foods just do not contain.

 

Currently, less than 5% of the average American’s diet is composed of leafy, green vegetables.  Studies have shown that one daily serving of green, leafy vegetables can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent and is associated with a 9 percent lower risk of diabetes.

 

Greens are easy on the pocketbook since they are one of the least expensive sources of nutrients like folic acid, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium.  They are packed with antioxidants and help to alkalize the body’s pH which in turn reduces inflammation, a condition found in almost all autoimmune diseases including diabetes and cancer.

 

Leafy greens to eat

 

These are some leafy greens that you can add to your diet:  Lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard, turnip, beet or mustard greens, cabbage, parsley, arugula, watercress and sprouts.

 

The easiest way to incorporate them into your lifestyle is to make large salads a regular part of your meal plans.  Make salads a hearty main meal by adding stir fried vegetables, rice, pasta, nuts or egg.

 

For breakfast try adding spinach, kale or Swiss chard to your scrambled eggs in the morning or sauté some greens and layer them between your toast and a fried egg for a breakfast sandwich.  Blending greens into your morning smoothie, shake or juice will help to supercharge your day.

 

Greens can be added to most any meal.  Replace tortilla wraps with large, blanched collard green leaves.  If you like one-pot meals like stews, chilies and soups, add your choice of chopped greens.  Do you make your own burgers?  Add any leafy green to the mixture and pile on the lettuce or sprouts before eating.  Partial to pasta?  Combine greens with your sauces and add to pesto.  You can even substitute potato and corn chips with kale chips.

 

Eating healthy at work.

 

Grabbing a quick lunch at work or on the road usually consists of visits to a fast food restaurant or convenience store – establishments not known for offering fresh, healthy foods.   But with the hand held phone and tablet technologies available to us a quick search can yield a list of restaurants that offer more nutritious fare a short distance off our beaten paths.   Include search terms like vegetarian, organic, health food and gluten free which will yield a variety of places from which to choose.  Many restaurants that offer vegetarian meals also carry healthy fare with meats or seafood.  Grocery stores also offer delicious salads in their deli sections and huge salad/ soup bars and sit down dining areas are commonly found in large stores .

 

If you are an employee or business owner that would like to provide healthy eating incentives to the staff, you could initiate a weekly green day where healthy lunches are provided at a reasonable cost.  Look into installing vending machines that offer healthy meals and snacks.  Provide educational workshops with a Wellness Coach or Personal Chef where the employees can learn about nutrition and preparing healthier meals.  Form a team of volunteers that can promote awareness of diet’s relationship to better health and spearhead the needed changes.

 

Increasing greens into your lifestyle is easier than you might think and it primarily begins with thinking differently about the food choices you make.  You always have a choice.  So, when considering what you’ll have for your next meal think green and make sure you incorporate a healthy portion on your plate.

 

Greens_plate

 

To your health!

 

Here are links to other articles that you may find helpful in including more greens into your daily diet.

Avocados – The Good, Green Fat

Easy Recipes and Ways to Include Greens in Your Diet.

Get Your Garden Growing:  10 Ways to Grow Greens In Small Spaces  

 


 

What percentage of your plate is green or brown? 

Do you want to eat more greens but don’t know where to begin?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  

Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 


 

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