14 Day Challenge
Dictionary.com defines challenge in this way: “difficulty in an undertaking that is stimulating to the one engaged in it”
How will you challenge yourself today? Tomorrow? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Picture yourself succeeding in your own personal challenge. How will you feel after completing it? How would you feel if you gave up on it? Remember, nothing good comes without effort. In the next 14 days, I challenge you all to eat something green with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here is why:
For very few calories, greens pack a serious nutritional punch. What better way to shed the baby weight than with a low calorie, high fiber, protein-rich, vitamin dense food? Did you know that calorie for calorie, broccoli contains as much protein as steak? Greens contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a powerful detoxifier for your body. Our modern diet is full of acid-forming foods like meat, fish, fried foods, processed carbohydrates and dairy. Cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. In order to keep your PH at a safe level, and prevent free radicals from running amok and causing all sorts of health issues, we need to neutralize acids with alkaline foods like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, rocket, and broccoli. An alkaline body supports a healthy immune system (think: disease prevention, weight loss, glowing skin, hair, and nails, high energy levels, and increased milk flow for those of us breast feeding).
Greens are loaded with potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamins C, K, E, and B.
Greens contain omega 3 fatty acids, important for baby’s brain development if you are pregnant or nursing, protect against heart disease and lower LDL (the bad cholesterol).
Greens make you look gorgeous! Studies from the University of Nottingham show that people who eat their greens (all veggies for that matter) appear more attractive than those who do not eat the minimum recommended servings per day. I don’t know about you but I don’t need a study to convince me of that.
Here are some delicious ways to get your greens in at every meal:
Drink them in the morning:
In a blender, combine the following:
1/2 cup OJ
1/2 cup aloe Vera juice or water
Handful of kale
1/4 cup frozen spinach (or regular spinach wi a couple ice cubes)
1 frozen kiwi or 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup coconut milk
Handful of kale or spinach
1/4 cup frozen broccoli
1 tsp spirulina
1 frozen banana (make sure you peel your banana before freezing it!)
1 cup chopped spinach
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup mashed avocado
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp aloe Vera juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
A dash or two of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup ice cubes
Lettuce wraps (choose large leaf, rich green lettuce, pick your protein, add hummus or all natural sesame seed dressing, smear avocado, shredded carrot, dash of sea salt and pepper)
Have you tried a mason jar salad? If you are a girl on the go, they make too much sense. You can prepare it hours before you eat it. The key is to start by pouring a dash of your favorite dressing followed by layers of your favorite veggies, protein, and my favorites: chickpeas and pine nuts. Top your mason jar with a hearty green like kale, and it won’t spoil quickly. When you’re ready to eat, just shake and serve.
1/2 an avocado with squeezed lemon and pepper
Green peppers with hummus or bean dip
1/2 cup coconut milk mixed with scoop of all natural chocolate or goji/acai berry Amazing Greens powder (sold at Whole Foods)
Loaded superfood salad. Try spinach, romaine, arugula, add quinoa, sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, shredded carrot, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, edamame, topped with fresh lemon juice and olive oil
Spinach burgers: http://thevillagecook.com/spinach-burgers/
How will you creatively add greens to your meals for 14 days? I can’t wait to hear your ideas and steal your recipes!