Healthy & Lean Tip #1: Eat More Green Vegetables

September 8, 2010

I know what you’re saying – enough already with the vegetables!  I know, I know, yet here I am saying it again – why is that? Well, it’s truly that important! And it’s often difficult to do but I’m about to give you some great tips to get more of the green stuff.

Green vegetables provide that belly filling fiber you’re after as well as being chock full of nutrients. Not to mention it alkalinizes a higher protein diet. Mineral and antioxidant rich green stuff should be part of every meal.

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Have Arounds

  • Clamshell of spinach or arugula or mixed greens – have on hand AT ALL TIMES.
  • 1 heartier green veggie that you can get to in a couple of days such as: broccoli, cucumber, green beans, kale, Brussel sprouts.
  • Raw munchies such as celery, green pepper or snap peas.
  • Pre steamed asparagus makes a great veggie snack with a few slices of turkey or hard boiled eggs.

Make Ahead of Time:

The Big Bowl Of Greens:

This is a staple at our house because it keeps for days (in fact it’s better after sitting for a bit) and it is a great departure from mixed greens.

  • Wash and chop 1 bunch of Red Swiss Chard and 1 bunch Dinosaur Kale (optional: 1 bunch sliced scallions including some green stems and 1 chopped red bell pepper).
  • Dress these luscious  leaves with olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice (the lemon juice helps “digest” hearty greens as they sit in your fridge, softening them a bit).
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

This will keep for several days and it’s a quick veggie serving for lunch or dinner or scramble in with your eggs in the morning.

A sliced cucumber drizzled in vinegar makes another quick green veggie that’s also even better after sitting in the fridge for a day.  Try a nice rich balsamic and a little cracked black pepper over 2-3 sliced cucumbers – and let them marinate! Great with grass fed or buffalo burgers.

Mediterranean Salad:

  • 2-3 cubed or sliced cucumbers,
  • 1 red bell pepper or 1 medium tomato, chopped;
  • ¼ cup chopped purple onion,
  • drizzle of olive oil and generous dressing of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.
  • This also keeps at least 2 days.

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Avoid the Same Old Salad Routine

Can’t stomach another mixed green salad? Try watercress, arugula or endive to avoid same old, same old. All of these greens are simple to wash, toss and eat!

It doesn’t need to be a salad – use Romaine lettuce leaves as a “wrap” around smoked salmon, sliced turkey, tuna salad, egg salad or even turkey bacon and tomato slices.

Old Stand Bys:

  • Scramble in spinach with eggs for the quickest protein/veggie breakfast around.
  • Cook up a couple of eggs or other protein and serve with a super quick arugula salad for a fresh breakfast. (Arugula salad: 2-3 handfuls of arugula tossed with olive or walnut oil, lemon juice, dash sea salt and black pepper and voila!).
  • Use prewashed greens to make super quick salads for lunch (pair with precooked chicken breast or fish for example and you’ve got salad in about 2 minutes).
  • A good greens drink can help bolster your green veggie intake but avoid ones that use whole grasses or list alfalfa as a main ingredient.
  • Enjoy mixed in water or boost your protein shake with a shot of greens.

Ordering Out

ALWAYS order a small green or garden salad as an appetizer – this will give you a nice Fiber Fill before your entrée and you’ll be busy munching away and less apt to wind up in the bread basket. If your entrée doesn’t come with veggies, see if there’s a nice green side you can order as well. One great fat busting rule to follow is simply: Salads for lunch.

If you make this choice while eating out, you’ve at least had 2 servings of veggies, you’ve stuck to plan and your afternoon will go much better!

Can’t eat an entrée size salad for lunch? Save 1/3 of it and have as your afternoon snack .

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