Go green for lunch + FREE BOOK
Sigh, another salad…
That’s all that came to mind about two days into trying to “eat healthy.” I mean, how many ways can you assemble lettuce and other vegetables before it all just tastes like crispy grass?!! (No wonder I’d drown everything in dressing).
Despite my best effort to prepare healthier meals, I often ended up in the parking lot of Burger King, because I had run out of creative ways to cook broccoli for the umpteenth time in a row..
That’s why I asked good friend of Temple Fit, My Life Healthy’s Coach Denise Simpson, to join us this month for the “Growing Green” series.( If you missed any part of the series, just head here). She is helping us grow green by going green at every meal. She also has great tips and recipes!
You can even win a FREE SIGNED COPY of one of Coach Denise’s books:
Rejuvenate Your Health in 8 Simple Steps -or- My Life Healthy Journal!
Just leave a comment on this post.
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Going Green. It’s not hard to see that everything seems to be going green these days; from green jobs to green energy, green buildings, green cars, you name it. Perhaps you may have heard the buzz words in some facet since there are many derivatives bringing awareness to being environmentally conscious as well as health conscious. To me, all of it is important and works in harmony together when it comes to sustainability, vitality, and wellbeing. People are especially jumping on the bandwagon of paying more attention to the food they consume on a daily bases and are making great strides to changing their eating habits all for the sake of improving their overall health and wellbeing. After all, let’s face it. Who doesn’t want to live in a clean environment and have the energy and movement of a 30 year old when they are well into their 70’s or 80’s?? At the onset this might seem farfetched especially if you’re in your mid to late 20’s now. Thinking about old age is probably farthest from your mind. But let me tell you, regardless of age it’s important to shift your focus now and “Go Green” to cultivate a life of good health, wellbeing, and friendly environment.
Adapting to Greener Plant-Based Foods
When it comes to “going green” with your eating, it’s simple! It means shifting your focus to incorporating more plant-based whole foods in your diet. A whole-food, plant-based diet does not mean becoming a vegetarian or vegan even. It just simply means having a greater ratio of vegetables and whole-foods on your plate compared to the portion of protein and starches on your plate. It also means limiting your consumption of highly-processed foods which are mostly contained in the typical American diet and gravitating more towards home cooked meals to gain greater control over what’s in your food and how your food is prepared. You do not have to do this all at one time. Gradually incorporating more vegetables and other whole foods with each meal is key.
Plant-Based Whole Foods
The best plant-based foods to add to your diet are those that are fresh and are either organic or bought locally from a farmers market. These food sources are less likely to have unwanted chemicals and pesticides. Fresh and organic plant-based whole foods also mean a wider variety of vitamins and nutrients.
Whole foods are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances. So when you think of plant based whole foods it typically means your leafy greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, collards, cabbage) along with other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, squash, zucchini, and onions to name a few. It also includes fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and the like since berries are low in sugar and are known for their high antioxidant levels. Then there are whole grains such as quinoa, millet, barley, brown rice, whole wheat, oats, and last, legumes, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, and black beans. Of course there are tons more to choose from, but this list is enough to get you started.
Imagine creating delicious smoothies, your own black bean and toasted corn tacos, hearty soups, or stir fry. Here are a few recipes:
Black Bean and Toasted Corn Tacos
3 corn tortillas
1 can of black beans
1/2 c diced vegetables (onions, red & green bell peppers)
1 tsp. of cumin
1 c shredded iceberg lettuce
1 tomatoes (diced)
1 stalk of green onions (chopped)
3 tbsp chipotle garlic salsa
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Place corn tortillas in a baking loaf. I have a four loaf baking dish that I use to make small loaves of banana bread. Bake tortillas for about 10-15 minutes until formed. They should resemble a hard shell taco.
In a saucepan, add the black beans, diced vegetables and cumin and heat until warm.
Place the corn tortillas in a plate, spoon in the black beans and top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, and a tablespoon of salsa
Vegetable Stir-fry and Roasted Turkey
2 cups of Grilled Turkey Breast (cut in strips)
1 each Red, Green & Yellow Bell Pepper, (sliced)
1 c broccoli
1 Red onion, (sliced)
1 Zucchini, and 1 Squash, (sliced into thin medallions)
2 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
½ c Tamari Soy Sauce
½ c Apple Cider Vinegar
1 c chicken or vegetable broth
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 minced garlic
In a saucepan add the olive oil. Heat until warm. Add vegetables, cover and allow vegetables to lightly wilt. Add sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Pour over stir fry and add meat. Simmer for about 10 minutes on low to allow the juices to marinade. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
Four Tips to Incorporating More Plant-Based Whole Foods
- Shop Locally – Shop where the plant-based whole foods hang out. In your grocery store this is usually in the front of the store or along the sides of the store. Or go to your favorite farmer’s market. You’ll get to meet local growers and build community with the grower of your foods. When shopping, pay attention to the color, smell, and texture of your food and read the label sources of your foods. Buying foods locally or organic is less likely to be genetically modified (GMO) or loaded down with pesticides.
- Experiment with New Recipes & Foods – There is nothing more boring than eating the same foods all the time. Experiment with different vegetables and the combination thereof. Try different herbs and seasonings when cooking to make your food more flavorful without needing to add salt. Look for new recipes to try. You’ll find that the more you experiment with new recipes, different foods and combination of foods the more exciting you will become with making the transition towards a healthier plant-based diet. The nutrient rich foods will give the body what it needs and your taste buds will be happy too.
- Plan Your Meals – Meal planning will save you time and money and will put you in the driver’s seat to controlling what you eat and how your food is prepared. Meal planning is also a great way to control your calories and your salt and sugar intake. Use the “cook-once-eat-twice” approach to preparing your meals and give yourself a day off from cooking. Simply choose a few recipes for the week and plan your meal to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. You can either plan your meals for the whole week or plan for 2 or 3 days at a time. Either way, you will reap the benefits of preparing delicious meals yourself as opposed to taking a chance with fast foods.
- Plant a Garden – What better way to incorporate more plant-based foods than to plant a garden? The dirt to table experience is very rewarding. Something magical happens when you go to your garden to pluck a few ripe tomatoes, clippings of rosemary, green onions, and bell peppers to make your own tomato sauce. You don’t need a lot of land and you don’t have to be concerned with any back-breaking work. Simply start gardening in a flower pot on your porch or in your yard. I grow tomatoes, bell peppers, kale, green onions, and more right on my front porch. All you need is a flower pot, composted soil, seeds or seedlings, a water container and a sunny spot. This is gardening with ease and yet so beneficial.
Thanks for the tips, Coach!
Book Giveaway from the Coach & Temple Fit
Don’t forget to complete your entry for a FREE SIGNED COPY of one of Coach Denise’s books: Rejuvenate Your Health in 8 Simple Steps -or- My Life Healthy Journal
Just make sure to leave us a comment on the bottom of this post. 🙂
The giveaway ends on May 15, 2016. Winners will be announced to subscribers of the Temple Fit w/ Dr. Asha newsletter.
Coach Denise Simpson is a Certified Life and Wellness Coach, Radio Host, Speaker, Best-Selling Author, and Trainer. You can connect with her at www.mylifehealthy.com.