Countdown to the New Year: Day 4 of 6

Good morning!

Hopefully you got some fruit yesterday.  So far we have the possibility of creating 3 new healthy habits for the new year:  Food journaling, switching to whole grains and enjoying fresh fruit.  If you’re feeling motivated, continue with all three or as many as you feel you want to do at this point.  Ready for today’s challenge?

Day 4:  Eat a large serving of greens with lunch or dinner.

This is a brilliant habit to get into your life.  Dark leafy greens are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  This means you get a massive amount of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber for very few calories. The sad fact about greens (as well as most other vegetables) is that they are usually only a very small part of meals when they actually should play a much larger role.  It’s great when you order onions and peppers on your pizza but seriously, that hardly counts as enough vegetables.  Neither does that lettuce and tomato on your sandwich.  What if you switched around the proportions of your dinner?  Eat smaller servings of animal protein and starches while greatly increasing the amounts of vegetables.  Automatically you cut calories and raise the level of nutrition.

You can make a spinach salad, steam up some kale, sauté swiss chard with onions and garlic, make collard wraps or blend whatever type of leafy green you have in a smoothie.  Buy bagged frozen spinach that you can heat up in the microwave or in a steamer.  It doesn’t matter how you eat them, the point is to consume a large serving of greens today (go for at least several cups for a raw salad and 1-2 cups cooked).

If you are not in the habit of eating greens and are afraid that you won’t enjoy them (give it time and I bet you will!), try starting with a smaller portion.  Flavor them up with a little tamari, hot sauce, spice blend, salsa or whatever your favorite dressing/sauce may be.

Check out these ideas for ways to make your green tastier:

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Make a meal out of a large salad-  You just need to make sure it’s balanced and filling:

How to Build Your Own Salad

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Really aren’t ready to do leafy greens right now?  There are so many more other vegetables out there– check out this link for ideas on ways to increase your intake:

10 Ways To Eat More Veggies

Start to think about your standard lunch, dinner and snack habits.  Are there ways you can boost your leafy greens and other vegetables?  Is it a matter of having them in your fridge and freezer?  Prepping them ahead of time?  It may take some getting used to viewing vegetables as more than a minor accompaniment to your meal, but with a little practice you can soon think of them as the superstars they are.

If you’re still looking for more motivation, check out the health facts:

Why is it Important to Eat Vegetables?

 

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