Go Green in 2017
by Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Most people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their day, which is bad because vitamins and minerals (provided in fruits and vegetables) run metabolism and help your body fight illness and recover. Many people tend to think of juicing or cleanses when someone mentions eating more “green” foods. However, it’s important to consider “going green” as including more produce in general. By increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed in your daily diet, energy levels and recovery levels improve too! Each color of fruit or vegetable provides different combinations of vitamins and/or minerals so it’s important to include all colors.
Hydration levels also increase! Fruit and vegetables are made up of water along with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants helping you to recover from exercise, clear up skin and stay focused.
So how can you start including more “green” foods in your daily routine? Start here!
1. Hide veggies in other foods that you already like
a. Try spinach or kale in smoothies – it’s tasteless!
b. Chop up veggies to add to an omelet
c. Try making fries or spiralizing with zucchini, sweet potato or carrots
d. Fold spinach or arugula into casseroles
e. Put diced bell pepper, onion, and mushroom in your ground meat mix for burgers
2. Prepare them in creative ways
a. Roasted veggies: Cut them up, drizzle/toss them toss in olive oil, sprinkle on salt and pepper, and put them on a foil lined pan in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.
b. Stir Fry or Sautee: Throw slices of your favorite green in a pan with some oil on medium high heat for ~5 minutes until they become soft and lighter in color.
c. Grill: Place asparagus, carrots, etc. into a foil pouch with olive oil & seasonings. Toss onto the grill while your meat or other food is cooking.
3. Increase the fun factor
a. Corn on the cob
b. Veggie kabobs
c. Celery sticks with PB or cream cheese
d. Stuffed bell peppers
e. Stuff Portobello mushrooms
f. Dip them – hummus, guacamole, bean dip
4. Jump on the cauliflower craze train
a. Mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes
b. Cauliflower pizza crust instead of flour crust
5. Try easy & new recipes
a. Make “Chips” with kale or chard: Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake @ 400 F for 10 minutes.
b. Chop up strawberries and walnuts and sprinkle them over a bed of fresh spinach for a delicious salad.
c. Find lots of ideas on Pinterest by searching the name of your favorite green!