It’s that time of year….you know, when you start judging yourself…the inner critic is loud and you rationalize the nasty comments by saying it’s an attempt to learn and grow and improve. How has that worked for you in the past? Yeah, I thought so. I’ve been there. Done that. Wash, rinse, repeat…..year after year. But, not anymore. I’ve moved on to asking myself, “What went well?” and then trying to figure out how to do more of it. This concept works especially well in the food department.
What foods make me feel my best, most vibrant and energetic self? Probably the same as you….an abundance of greens. That’s where the highest form of energy comes from. Leafy greens (like kale and collards, lettuce and parsley, spinach and arugula, swiss chard and bok choy, dandelion greens and mizuna, escarole and….the list goes on and on) provide an inexpensive and low calorie source of so many important nutrients.
Leafy Greens Are Nutritious. They contain:
- Fiber: optimum gut health, help you feel full
- B-vitamins: help convert the carbs into energy
- Folic Acid: prevents anemia, produces and maintains new cells
- Vitamin C: healthy immune system
- Potassium: supports blood pressure, bone and muscle strength, cardiovascular health
- Magnesium: decreased risk of diabetes
- Vitamin K: blood clotting, bone health
- Iron: oxygen rich red blood cells
- Calcium: Bone health
- Carotenoids: preserve vision health
Some of the benefits to eating leafy greens:
- More energy
- Lower cholesterol
- Helps prevent colon cancer
- Fights breast cancer
- Lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease
- Helps burn fat during exercise
- Reduces blood clots
- Helps regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Protects against toxins and aging
One easy way to increase the amount and variety of greens you eat is to make more salads. I love this green goddess dressing so much, it makes any salad taste better. I feel the same way about this creamy garlic dressing. You don’t have to follow a particular recipe for the veggies, use what you have on hand and the dressing will assure you a yummy result. My “go to” salad dressing when I’m in a hurry, or not feeling creative is this one from the kale salad—-it works well on any greens or veggies.
Some of my other favorite salads include:
I know that many parts of the country are currently experiencing below normal temps and a cold salad may be the last thing you want to eat. Soups are a great way to add greens to your diet. Any soup can handle the addition of some chopped kale, spinach, swiss chard or arugula. Simply stir in some greens when the soup is finished and allow them to wilt before serving.
Here are a few soups that work well with added leafy greens:
When the inner critic starts speaking loudly, ask yourself if you would say those things, or speak that way to a friend? I didn’t think so….if it’s an unacceptable way to speak to someone else, then it’s not a nice way to speak to yourself either. Change the subject. Remember the 3 W’s….and ask yourself, “What Went Well today?”
Wishing you and your loved ones a Healthy and Happy New Year. May it be a year filled with revealed goodness.
Yours in abundance,
More posts with tips to ring in a healthy new year: