Tuesday, May 13, 2014

All About The Greens

I want to focus on green veggies today. As a child I wouldn't even take look at a green veggie but my mom always had a rule that we had to take three bites of everything. This is when my brothers, sister and I learned to be very good at hiding food. We were so sneaky or at least we thought we were. But now that I am an adult and my taste buds have changed I can't seem to get enough of them. I actually crave some of them. For example, yesterday I was craving roasted brussels sprouts. I am still thinking what in the world? I used to HATE brussel sprouts. I already had my dinner planed out for yesterday so I defiantly will be roasting them tonight.
I wanted to share some of the benefits of  eating tons of greens.
Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.
Vitamin K:
  • Regulates blood clotting
  • Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
  • May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques
  • May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
  • May help prevent diabetes
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to put dressing on your salad, or cook your greens with oil.

Almost Carb-Free

Greens have very little carbohydrate in them, and the carbs that are there are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest. That is why, in general, greens have very little impact on blood glucose. In some systems greens are even treated as a "freebie" carb-wise (meaning the carbohydrate doesn't have to be counted at all).

I also wanted to share some of my meals. I made it a point to have some sort of green veggie for every meal.
Siracha Shrimp and Red Pepper Lettuce Wraps
For dinner last night I grilled chicken with all natural seasoning and then had a side of asparagus. I cooked the asparagus in fat free balsamic vinaigrette. So good!

Now to my meals for today.
Day 2
Morning smoothie: Blueberries, strawberries, spinach, unsweetened almond mild, flax seed and organic protein powder.
M2: Granny Smith apple and almonds
M3: Shrimp and zucchini with all natural seasoning and a side salad with romaine lettuce and kale with balsamic vinaigrette with 6 turkey bites
M4: Afternoon smoothie: kale, spinach, banana and a green apple.

M5: smoked trout and side salad


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