Wee should be green
When I developed intractable nausea & vomiting & over the course of a few months lost 12% of my already thin frame, it took me awhile to figure out what my body needed.
If you ask me: “What do you believe is the way for optimal health?”
One word: vegetables.
But even though I’m a big cheerleader for veggies, this doesn’t mean I suggest everyone start eating 12 servings daily ASAP!
Your body has to learn to digest them, and /or give it the support it needs to do so.
If you’re currently not eating many vegetables your microbiome will not contain the gut buggies that produce the enzymes that break down the vegetable fibers, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, phytase, and xylanase.
So I have few tips which I use with my clients and they find it so incredible easy to introduce veggies in their diet:
1- Start adding up
If you don’t have vegetables regularly, I suggest you to start with adding just 1 additional serving a day. The average american consumes 1.7 servings a day, so this will bring you to approximately 3 servings. Your final goal is to eat minimum 6 servings of vegetables every day, upwards of 12 servings depending on your underlying conditions.
2- Eat your vegetables cooked, fork tender if need be.
You will lose some nutrients by over cooking them, but you will also break down more of the fiber and decrease the work of the digestive system to extract their nutrients.
3- Add a cup of vegetable juice daily
Preferably without fruit, but if you need a small amount initially to transition your taste-buds, then go for it. These are available at stores like Wholefoods and juice shops. The majority of the fiber is removed from the juice which means it is less difficult on digestion but you will still receive all the nutrients from the juice.
If you want to make your own you do not need a juicer. Just use your blender and nut milk bag to strain the juice. Obviously you may not be able to do beets or other hard root veggies with a blender, but you can easily make green juice this way. As your digestion gets stronger you’ll be able to drink your greens without removing all of the fiber extracted from the juice and this will help clean your intestines and keep your digestive tract moving regularly.
4- Look for opportunities to add vegetables to anything you are already eating.
Having an afternoon snack of dates and almond butter? Wrap your date and nut butter in a kale leaf.
Eating stew? Add a handful of peas to the finished dish, and serve on a bed of spinach.
Making spaghetti? Instead of spaghetti noodles, use spiralized zucchini, sweet potato, yam, or spaghetti squash.
Have a habit of snacking on prepackaged foods while working on the computer, (just like I am now) have lots of portable no effort veggies in the fridge (sugar snap peas, carrots, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, jicama, celery, etc) and a dip you enjoy (store bought or homemade), but have it on hand to make the veggies feel more fun and satisfying.
How to check your vegetable meter
An important part of any habit creation process is tracking your progress, but it can be really tricky to know if you are eating enough veggies for your individual body’s needs if you go by servings sizes alone, because:
Serving sizes differ when they are cooked or raw. When raw, 1 cup of veggies equals a serving. When the vegetables are cooked ½ cup is a serving.
Most people won’t take the time to measure out their veggies and if they do, they often “eyeball it” which isn’t super accurate 😉
It’s hard to remember if potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, eggplant, count as vegetables or not. (Technically potatoes are a veggie, but severely lacking as a dense source of phytonutrients compared to other vegetables. The remaining three are all fruits.)
So here goes a quick/simple/cheap hack to know if you’re eating enough vegetables or not:
If the strip indicate a shade of green… you are eating enough! If your a bit under, and are experiencing chronic systemic inflammatory symptoms, follow the tips above to incorporate more veggies to your diet!
If the strips indicate that you’re “basic” you’re in the green literally ✅🥦 (the number will be 6.5-7.5)
If you are below 6.5 ph the color of the strip after 15 seconds will be in the range of orange to yellow.
After my clients reach the right amount of veggies, they always come running to tell me:
Their digestion is finally flowing;
Their energy is finally back;
Their mind is finally fog free;
Their body is finally not as achy
They are finally losing weight when they had previously been unable to
They feel cleaner on the inside and outside!