Day 1: Go Green!

greens

This is part of a series of posts called “14 Days to a Healthier You”

Okay, we all know that vegetables are good for you. In fact, they’re GREAT for you and the foundation of a healthy diet.

The cornerstone of healthy vegetables are dark leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, chard, mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, arugula, meslcun… I could go on.

So why are these vegetables so good for you? Some of their health benefits:

  • They have a TON of nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, D, E and calcium.
  • They promote healthy blood circulation and help your body detoxify.
  • They have lots of fiber, which helps keep things moving.
  • They provide light, flexible energy (and lots of it!).

Studies have also shown that eating lots of dark leafy greens can help elevate your mood and lessen depression.

In short — these are miracle workers and should play an important role in everyone’s diet. Aim for at LEAST 1/2 c per day, every day. Some easy ways to “sneak” greens into your diet include pureeing cooked greens (such a kale) and adding that to homemade soup, adding a few handfuls of spinach to your smoothie, or throwing some greens in with a stir fry. Experiment with them all and find your favorite — if you aren’t a fan of some greens, that’s okay! Just find the ones you love and eat lots of them.

RECOMMENDATION: Add more greens to your diet, starting with incorporating them into one meal per day. As you learn to love them, aim for eating them with at least 2 meals per day.

RECIPE:
Spicy Mustard Greens with Cumin
Bon Appetit, November 2005
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
2 large bunches mustard greens, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper; saute 3 minutes. Add mustard greens to put in batches (about 1/3 at a time) and stir until each batch begins to wilt before adding next, about 3 mins per batch. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until greens are very tender, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in vinegar. Transfer to bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 8

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2 thoughts on “Day 1: Go Green!

  1. Benjy says:

    I sauté* some kale for the first time yesterday. Just olive oil, salt, and pepper and I thought it was delicious. Is there a nutritional advantage to eating the veins/stems/whateverthey’recalled? Most recipes I found instructed me to remove them.

    Benjy

    *By the way, a French grammar question: isn’t sauté in the past tense, making this the correct usage?

    • hadleyholistics says:

      You can eat the stems if you’d like — most recipes tell you to de-stem them only because the stems take a bit longer to cook than the rest of the leaf, so you either have to throw them in a few minutes before or have them a bit less cooked then everything else.

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