Thank you Adrienne Bursey for sharing your lovely Power Plate baby with us!
Anyone who is a Power Plate Formula™ graduate of any of my programs knows the powerful role that greens play in our daily diet.
Since we are exploring new foods this month, I think it’s important to explore and expand our concept of greens.
If you are like most Americans, the word “greens” typically signifies salad greens, like iceberg and romaine lettuce, and maybe spinach or a raw kale salad here and there.
However, I’d like you to expand upon your typical greens today, so I have a few new, easy greens to add into your meals this week.
Green leafy vegetables are a fixture in my Power Plate Formula™, which is the foundation of all of my programs.
Everyone from gold medalists to corporate executives learns the Power Plate Formula™ before anything else, and they are always amazed at the difference that adding greens to their daily routine can make to their energy, mood, and general well-being.
Green Power, as I call it, includes bok choy, kale, collard greens, cabbage, Swiss chard, and much more. These are important for many reasons:
- Greens contain an absorbable form of calcium that helps build strong bones.
- Greens contain magnesium, a powerful macromineral needed by the body in large amounts to perform a myriad of functions, like the production of cellular energy, balance minerals in the body, and muscle relaxation (just to name a few). Note: Magnesium is one of the leading mineral deficiencies in America right now.
- Greens help the body to detoxify from your daily toxic load.
- Greens help maintain glucose (sugar) levels.
- Greens are alkaline and help reduce the acidic nature of many foods. (Yes! Even “health foods” like grains are acidic.)
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many benefits of greens, so I’d like to make sure you get some new action steps for greens today (since most of us probably didn’t grow up with a mom who frequently made, or taught US HOW TO MAKE, bok choy or swiss chard).
I’m strongly encouraging you to get out of the “salad only” habit when it comes to greens. Yes, salads are easy and you can make them taste great; however, the real goods are in the deeper, greener veggies.
A note on cooked vs. raw greens: With the current kale salad craze, you might be tempted to eat all your greens raw; however, I don’t suggest it. You are what you absorb, and cooking these types of dark green leafy vegetables avails their nutrients for you more readily than raw greens… ESPECIALLY if you are digestively challenged!
Bok choy is a common green used in Asian cooking. It’s light-tasting with slight peppery tones, and it cooks up quickly. You can, and should, use the entire leaf and stalk. Wash and sauté lightly, and it’s ready to go. My favorite way to use it is in stir fry AND in soups.
Swiss chard is another light-tasting green, as opposed to the stronger taste of kale or collards. I highly suggest stripping and not eating the bitter center vein of this green. The center vein is what makes people say, “Ewww, this is so bitter.” So, especially if you are transitioning to eating more greens, strip the center vein and only eat the leaves.
Swiss chard goes with everything. I recommend boiling it slightly and chopping it up to put in rice or quinoa with some spices or a vinaigrette dressing for an awesome, nutrient-dense side dish to your protein.
Kale is considered a superfood; however, like Swiss chard, I find most of my clients are turned off by the center vein. Taking out the center vein of dark leafy greens is how you will get to enjoying greens, especially if you didn’t grow up eating them.
The key to getting your crew to like kale is stripping it, boiling it for about 12 minutes in water with a little agave syrup (like 1 tsp. only), then chopping it up and adding spices. Chopped up like this, it can be thrown into almost anything, with minimal aversion from even the pickiest of eaters.
Trust me, stripping the leaves from the vein and only cooking the leaves will make the difference for your family (except with bok choy, which you can eat in its entirety).
If you’ve tried greens before and haven’t liked them, try again!
This time, use some of my tactics and see if you have a new experience with them. Give greens a chance, and you will experience a new level of health and wellbeing. I even have Power Plate Formula™ babies in my program who like their greens, like in the picture above!