Monday, November 29, 2010

Greens, Glorious Greens!

I received some health counseling last summer from a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Eve. She was the one who inspired me to pursue the program once I was well. She mailed me several books throughout the course of our 6 month counseling program. One of them was "Greens, Glorious Greens!" by Johnna Albi & Catherin Walthers. I have to admit I haven't used the recipes in the book as much as I'd like, but it has some great ideas on how to cook a variety of greens. Eve's first suggestion for us was to get to know greens and eat them! She gave us a variety of ideas on how to prepare them so they would be tasty. After all, greens are amongst the most healing foods that you can put into your body.

As we all know, greens are not that enticing when plain. We have to do something to them to make them taste good. A homemade dressing or even a bit of organic butter and sea salt really help make greens palatable. Another way to prepare greens is to mix them into a green smoothie. I don't do well with much fruit, so I put a little bit of lemon with the peel and a natural sweetener derived from an herb called stevia along with my greens and other veggies. Stevia helps to take the edge off of collard greens and kale, especially. But most of you could mix your greens with some fruit and you won't even notice the "green" taste!

I was listening to a lecture a couple of weeks ago on "Food Energetics". The premise of food energetics is that, literally, "you are what you eat". For example, walnuts have long been considered a brain food. Today we know that walnuts are the only nut that contains omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for brain and nervous system development.

In relation to greens, the lecturer, Steve Gagne, talked about all of the fabulous properties of greens and the wonderful things that they do for our bodies. Leafy green plants are supportive to the respiratory and circulatory system. If you look at the network of veins and arteries in a leafy green plant, flowing through these veins are small molecules of chlorophyll and vitamin C. This makes leafy greens highly supportive of oxygenating the blood. Leafy greens also contain calcium and magnesium, which make them the most powerful food to use for improved respiration. They are high in fiber, iron and antioxidants. In general, more leafy green consumption means better breathing, more oxygenated blood, better glow to our skin, and more life and vitality!

I will give you some recipes in another post!

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