Forget Boring Salads! 3 Ways To Eat More Greens Painlessly

This is a guest post by Heather Rampolla.

Eat More Greens PainlesslyDo you ever feel like it’s a struggle to eat more greens? Perhaps you know you should be eating more leafy greens, but chewing on another (boring) salad… seems so blah!

There are many magical benefits from consuming leafy green vegetables:

  • Full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals;
  • Rich in fiber, an important nutrient for optimal digestion, weight loss, and controlling hunger;
  • Helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and temper blood-sugar swings;
  • Contains a lot of water to help keep you hydrated;
  • Contributes to beautiful skin and hair;
  • May help ward off depression and improve mood

You likely already know all this but struggle with how to make greens fit in without any drastic change to your current lifestyle.

Regardless of what Kermit the Frog has told you, eating more greens can be easy without sacrificing taste.

 

Here Are 3 Simple Magic Tricks To Eat More Greens Painlessly:

#1 – “Chop The Crop”

Sometimes I just want to eat a “normal” meal– not a salad– and sometimes I feel too lazy to chop my veggies by hand. On days like these I gently pulsate my greens in my blender or food processor and throw them into whatever hearty dish I happen to be cooking.

This “chop the crop” technique greatly reduces the volume of my greens. With this method, I can easily get in lots of leafy greens without feeling like I’m eating lots of greens. Plus, it only takes a matter of seconds to chop and toss into any meal.

Here are two of my favorite meals that use the “Chop the Crop” method:
Kale Pesto Pasta
Super Fast Kale Salad

If you’re not a fan of kale by all means switch it out with spinach or another leafy green you love.

#2 – “Green Drink Packs”

If you’ve never tried green smoothies and juices before, they can sound like drinking lawnmower pulp or swamp water. I assure you they’re not. In fact they can be a super way of adding in your greens without tasting them.

But even if you know that you like green smoothies or juices – when you’re busy, sometimes the idea of pulling out multiple ingredients to make a green smoothie or juice can feel overwhelming.

“Green Drink Packs” are so simple to make. One day a week I create 5-7 “packs”. Here’s how you make them:

For smoothies, I use a large plastic baggie that includes all my ingredients to make one green smoothie recipe. I make these packs in bulk and stack them neatly in the freezer. That way when I need a super fast meal or snack, all I have to do is pop a Green Drink Pack out, maybe add some water to the blender, and voila! Literally 2 minutes to make a meal.

For juices, I use an 8-10 cup container, and place all my ingredients to make one green juice recipe. I usually lay the greens first, and use the weight of the cucumber, celery or apples to compact the greens. I also make these in bulk for the week and stack them in my fridge. It takes about 15 minutes max in prep time, but saves me about 15 minutes each day.

Drink Packs are perfect for when you’re busy or on-the-go. You’re getting handfuls of fresh fruits and veggies that without blending or juicing would be time consuming to eat.

Here a few Green Drink Pack ideas to get you started.

#3 – “Roll With It”

Have you discovered that even with the best of intentions that salad that you brought to work gets ditched as you head for the deli? Especially at lunch time we tend to crave foods that we can eat with our hands…pizza, sandwiches, wraps, etc.

Why not change it up a bit and use your leafy greens as the base of your wraps and sandwiches. Fill them as you would any other store bought wrap. Or toss in some of your leftovers for a quick meal.

Collard greens, and Swiss chard are two of my favorites to make wraps with because they are large and can easily fit lots of fun fillings inside. You can also use tender butter leaf lettuce and make smaller wraps.

Sure, it’s not quite the same as eating with bread, but you’re also eliminating the wheat and gluten, which converts to sugar and adds on weight.

Try my Sesame Ginger Wraps recipe that your whole family will love.

Now that you have 3 Magic Methods to painlessly add in more greens, which one are you most excited to try?

NEWCLEARfbprofileHeather Rampolla shows you how to add in more fresh foods into your busy lifestyle without sacrificing taste. Want more help? Click here to discover the 3 Steps To Get Out Of Your FUNK & Stop Eating JUNK!

New to Raw Food? Top Five Blog Posts to Get You Started

If you’re new to raw food and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are my top 5 blog posts to get you started.

Is It Necessary To Go 100% Raw?
In this post I go through the different options for incorporating a raw diet. Explore the best way to bring more a more vibrant raw diet into your life.

13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies Help You Feel Great All In Less Than 13 Minutes
Green Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to incorporate more raw into your world. Find out how and why green smoothies are raw magic!

Go Raw or Die Trying?
Often we feel we need to go all or nothing when trying new things. Find out how to make lasting healthy changes that will keep you going on your raw food journey.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet
Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life
More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

As you step into your raw food journey you might find yourself drawn back to the dark side with those pesky cravings. Check out my online course I’ve put together to help Cure Cravings Forever! And for that love of sweets replace those unhealthy desserts with delicious 30 Healthy Desserts You Can Eat Every Day and rediscover the magic of eating healthy!

5 Easy Raw Food Meals to Save Time in the Kitchen

This is a guest post by Laura-Jane the Rawtarian.

In North American culture, we are accustomed to eating because it tastes great, rather than eating for nourishment. When the average person hears the words “raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds” they cringe and picture dry carrots sticks and tasteless iceberg lettuce salads. In fact, to most people, the idea that healthy food can actually taste great and satiate sounds like a myth.

But if you’ve tasted any of the raw food recipes here at the this web site, you’ll know that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive!

Here are 5 easy raw food meals that save you time and taste great, too.

1. Raw pate

All raw fooders should have a standyby raw pate recipe in their raw recipe arsenal. And Nathalie’s Indian-inspired pate is one of the greats!

Raw pates are versatile, quick to make and, best of all, they keep well in the refrigerator. I make a batch of raw nut pate on the weekend so that I can easily pull together a raw meal quickly later in the week.

Raw nut pate can be served in collard wraps, in nori rolls, on raw crackers, on cucumber rounds, or, my personal favorite, eaten out of a small bowl with a crisp gala apple on the side.

2. Raw veggie burgers

If you have a dehydrator, raw veggie burgers are a great meal option. Make large batches of veggie burgers and be sure to dehydrate them thoroughly so that they can be kept in your pantry or refrigerator.

Raw veggie burgers are simply made by processing nuts, veggies and a binding agent (such as flax seeds), forming them into patties, and dehydrating them in a dehydrator.

I like to serve raw veggie burgers in romaine lettuce wraps. Serve with raw ketchup or raw mayonnaise for extra zip!

3. Your favorite raw salad

Every raw fooder should have a favorite raw salad that tastes great and is easy to prepare. My favorite salad recipe involves mesclun (wild greens) and tomatoes with a basic avocado and nutritional yeast dressing.

The trick to a good salad is to keep it simple. Don’t try to add every vegetable on earth into one salad. Keep it simple and enjoy just two or three flavors per salad.

Watch Nathalie make her Simple Raw Salad Recipe on video here.

4. Raw pasta and sauce

I love creamy tastes, and I absolutely love raw alfredo sauce served with zuchinni or kelp noodles.

Here’s my favorite alfredo sauce recipe:

  • 2 cups unsoaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon thyme spice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth! This recipe keeps in the refrigerator very well.

5. Green smoothies

I drink green smoothies for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and dessert! They are one of the quickest and easiest meals to prepare, and they can be altered easily to fit your mood or what you have in your refrigerator.

I usually start my green smoothies with one banana, a heaping cup or two of baby spinach, and then I get creative from there. Lately, I’ve been loving making raspberry lemon green smoothies. They are so tangy! If you’re looking for tips on green smoothie making, check out 13 witchy ways green smoothies make you feel great.

And, of course, any proper raw meal should be followed by a raw vegan dessert! Try pumpkin pie, raw ice cream or a plate of divine, crisp, fresh fruit. Want more raw dessert ideas? Grab Nathalie’s free e-book 28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day.

Laura-Jane the Rawtarian is a raw fooder who loves eating simple, satisfying raw food recipes and inspiring others to change their lives with the raw food lifestyle. Looking for ways to help friends and family go raw, she recently launched a comprehensive raw food diet plan to make going raw easier than ever. Laura-Jane loves eating raw chia pudding, and she always keeps a wide variety of nuts and fruit stashed in her purse!

Why It’s Important to Rotate Your Greens

Why Rotate Your Greens?
Photo by Rachel

I write a lot about green smoothies and the benefits of drinking green smoothies. I’m also a huge advocate of juicing your greens. But one of the important aspects of drinking your greens is the rotation of plants.

Let me explain.

When you consume the exact same variety of green leafy vegetables, your body is always getting the same nutrients. Each variety of plant will give you different nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

But it goes even further than that. You see, each plant has a self-defense mechanism to keep animals from completely devastating their favorite plant. For example, if monkeys loved spinach and decided to eat all the spinach around then the plant could not procreate and it would die out.

Nature’s system is so smart because it knows that it’s important to keep greens around (hello! most nutritious food pound for pound!). So green leafy plants actually have a minute amount of alkaloids, which act like a poison if ingested regularly.

That’s where rotating your greens comes in! If you switch between different types of green plans, your body’s immune system is actually getting a boost because it is working on different alkaloids all the time.

So my recommendation, backed up by Victoria Boutenko is to switch between at least 10-12 types of greens. You can have say two or three days on one green like spinach, and then two or three days on kale, then two or three days on gai lan, you get the picture.

This actually ties in well with the Traditional Chinese Medicine system of hot and cold foods. Some people do well on certain types of greens, while others are better off with different types.

I think it’s super important to swap greens regularly! Oh, and the reason we don’t need to focus on swapping fruit as much as greens is that fruit were designed to be eaten and spread by animals. Greens would rather grow, and have their seeds blow in the wind or be pollinated by insects.

Greens are the most powerful healing foods out there, so it’s great to make them a staple part of your diet!

List of Greens to Get You Started

Your best bet is to go to a farmer’s market and look a the vast array of colorful greens. Pick some up, smell it, ask the farmer what it tastes like, and give it a try! If you’ve got the space and inclination, I’d highly recommend you start a garden. Plant a few of these vegetables and see which ones you like!

  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Gai Lan
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Carrot Tops
  • Yu Choy
  • Sunflower sprouts (sprouts in general)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Boston lettuce
  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Collard greens
  • Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Purslane
  • Sorrel
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnip Greens
  • Radish Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Basil leaves
  • Coriander / Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint leaves

What other greens do you enjoy?

There are literally hundreds of different green edible plants out there. Which ones are your favorites and what have you tried that you didn’t quite like?

Love, Nathalie

International Green Smoothie Day

Alright, so you’ve read my 13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies will rock your socks post. You’ve learned about the difference between smoothies and juicing. You’ve probably heard me talk about green smoothies on Twitter (follow me, I’m @hyperlinked) and Facebook.

But are you ready for International Green Smoothie Day – August 15th?

Green Smoothie Day

It’s time for the second annual green smoothie celebration. I’m one of the sponsors of International Green Smoothie day, so if you’ve been itching to work with me one on one, you could win a session as part of the celebration! Sign up and you’ll also get a chance to win a brand new blender. To make more delicious green magickal “goop” of course. :)

Enjoy it!
Love, Nathalie