DAY # 19
Today I will add plants (fruits or veggies) into as many meals and snacks. Okay, I neglected to give ya’ll a heads up earlier this week so do the best you can OR loop back around to this challenge this weekend or next week… my bad.
Remember there IS no 1st place in this challenge. Your goal is to walk away after 30 days with 2-3 personal MEGs (Mindful Eating Guidelines) that will help you move the needle on the dial of your relationship with food + your body.
Plants heal your body on a cellular level like nothing else on this planet. My life changed radically when I committed to eating them daily. What I started to notice is that the green leafy ones felt really good. Okay, in full disclosure when I was hungover these made me feel better compared to eating greasy, heavy foods. Then I put 2+2 together and realized that if they made me feel better when I felt crappy, what about eating them when I didn’t feel crappy.
And that is something that stuck with me for a long time and why I drink my green juice (almost) daily.
If I skip a day, I can feel it (in a bad way) and then the next morning I’m almost desperate to drink it. My Get Up and GO! juice nourishes me like nothing else does. All the cells in my body are rejoicing when I drink it. That’s why you will see me in the office and on Insta with it. All. The. Time.
I wish for you to find that food, or combination of foods, that make you feel amazing too!
Make sure to focus on color and variety!
You can add fruit to breakfast— think cutie clementine, banana, pear, apple, berries, or 1-2 Tablespoons of dried fruit. Because dried fruit can be a concentrated source of sugar its recommended to be mindful of portion sizes since it’s easy to overeat. It’s not that you can’t have dried fruit, it’s just that a little goes a long way.
**Healthy consideration: Did you know that cranberries are pressed for juice then plumped up with oil and sugar since they are pretty tart naturally! On average, dried cranberries generally contains 26 grams of added sugar per 1/3 cup. This is not to cause fear of dried cranberries. But once I started to be mindful of how sugar made my belly feel, I transitioned to something that felt a bit more natural, apple juice-sweetened cranberries. My sensitive belly does not react the same with the more natural cranberries but that’s just me. Pay attention to how all food feels (even the healthy stuff) because if it doesn’t FEEL good, then don’t eat it!
BTW the American Heart Association recommends limiting your added sugar content to no more than 24 grams of added sugar (equals 6 teaspoons or 100 calories) for women; 36 grams of added sugar (equals 9 teaspoons or 150 calories) for men. Remember, sugar isn’t a daily requirement to live. It’s a good idea to see how it makes you FEEL, how it impacts your energy and hunger levels. If you are diabetic it’s always a good idea to pay attention to how certain food impacts your blood sugar, energy, and gut. There is a lot of noise about sugar but there is a way to find balance with it. Sometimes ya gotta experience UN-balance before you can find your version of balance.
Lunch can be a chopped salad or vegetable side: this is where leftovers can be super helpful! I’m a big fan of making ample grilled, steamed, broiled veggies for a meal and then using leftovers to pack up as a side dish or main for lunch.
Snacks are easy – fruit of your choice or carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, cherry tomato, cauliflower, broccoli or sugar snap peas with hummus or plain Greek yogurt + Mrs. Dash ranch packet or other flavor to make a healthy high-protein dip. Vegans can replace the dairy yogurt with tofu or non-dairy yogurts (Lavva plant-based yogurt (my personal fave), Forager cashew yogurt and Soy Delicious unsweetened coconut yogurt are dairy-free varieties that you can find at Whole Foods, perhaps some Kroger or Publix stores).
Dinner is a no-brainer by adding in veggies of your choice. If you always default to steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus, perhaps try something new like other roasted or grilled veggies. Chop up all your veggies, place on a baking pan or dish and drizzle with avocado or extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (my favorite is pink Himalayan sea salt – in a small salt grinder at Trader Joe’s) then roast for about 20-45 minutes depending on what veggies you cook). I like to roast sweet potatoes on one pan and asparagus and other similar sized veggies on another since the asparagus is smaller and cooks faster. But there is nothing like grilled asparagus with a drizzle of avocado oil & pink sea salt (!!!). Sweet potatoes, beets and other thick, hearty root veggies take longer to roast.
Feed your body with healthy veggies and fruits and remember to chew chew chew until the consistency of applesauce to help with digestion. Not only will you absorb more nutrition but also reduce gas and bloating as well as slow down at meals, chew your food, and stop when you feel content.
**If you have IBS or IBD, please don’t go overboard on veggies! Raw ones take a lot of digestive strength to break down so it’s suggested to stick to cooked ones, especially during the colder months. Keep portion sizes on the smaller side (no more than 1/2 cup if that’s what you tolerate) to prevent overloading your system. Everyone learn to listen to your body and trust your innate belly wisdom that we are tapping into!
Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to who you want to be tomorrow…