As a follow on from my epiphany as to what health really means (which can be found here) and the transition we made to an organic diet (you can read more about that here), one of the piecey-est pieces of the health puzzle is eating more plants. So lets dive in and find out more...
A plant based diet is a term that can mean many different things to many different people; some people are strictly vegan and others are vegetarian, some people eat salad with every meal, yet all would say they eat a plant based diet, and they are all correct. I'm not into strict rules or fuss about who is right, I just dig plants!
Its quite a simple concept - eating more plants. Yet its one that i'll never grow tired of or stray from because eating more plants absolutely, irrevocably, UNDENIABLY will increase your health. Its probably the only guarantee there is in the health industry, honestly. Some things work for some people, not often can it be said that one thing will always work for all people, as we can never be sure of individual results, but in the case of plants, its a no brainer. It works.
This is because plants and eating a wide variety of them, will yield a huge nutritional profile, from the macronutrients to the micronutrients; antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, each different plant is crammed with its own array of goodness, packaged in a perfect way for your body to access it all with ease. When we ingest plants, our system is not required to break down heavy carbs or long chains of protein or steer around fake chemicals to get to the good stuff, its only good stuff.
For me personally, eating more plants has changed my skin, muscle tone and body shape. Eating more plants has given me more energy, hydrated me in ways I didn't know existed, cleared my mind, enabled me to concentrate and retain information. I feel different on the days I eat more plants, its so simple, easy, cheap and accessible to everyone that its madness we don't all jump on board. I have tracked my nutritional intake with an App called 'cronometer' so I could be sure of what was going in, its been near impossible to not hit my daily doses of *all vitamins and minerals since scoffing all this goodness, in fact on most accounts I double or triple my RDI's. (*with the exception of B12)
So I am hoping that you want in, that you are ready to be an explorer and try this for yourself. I have put together a health strategy for you to super boost your plant intake...
The goal here is to work on changing the morning and lunch time habits, we'll leave dinner alone at this point, dinner is more complex, people are attached to their evening rituals, however if you dare shake up your day then follow this, play around and find what feels good and then do more of that!!
Wake up -- and drink a cup of water.
Take 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses and follow with 1 litre of lemon water - the lemon helps the absorption of the iron from the molasses. Blackstrap molasses also is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper! So without any effort you have already have all this pumped into your system! Woah!
Next make a smoothie here are a few of my favourite blends (makes 1 litre approx.):
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas, 1 cucumber, 1 mango, 5 leaves kale
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas, 1 cucumber, 1 kiwi, 5 leaves of kale
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas, 1 cucumber, 1 pear, 5 leaves of kale
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas, 1 acai packet, 2 handfuls frozen berries, 1 tbl chia seeds
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas, 1 cucumber, juice 1 lemon, 1 inch ginger, 5 leaves kale
500ml coconut water, 2 bananas , 1 cucumber, 1/2 pineapple, 1 inch ginger, 5 kale leaves
So as you can see I'm pretty routine with my combinations, I know what I like, my husband is a little more wild and adds red cabbage, zucchini, turmeric, lettuce, pretty much anything he can get his hands on and you too can go nuts!!!
No rocket science required - Blend the ingredients on high until smooth and drink. A good quality blender is useful. So just by adding this step alone to your day, you have met many of your daily recommended intake levels of vitamins and minerals, isn't that insane!
Next get on with your day, do what you need to do with a spring in your step and a smile on your dial. Breath deep. Be present. Find joy.
Morning Tea -- watermelon. I have started a serious addiction to watermelon, every day we chow down on a big bowl for morning tea, at first it felt strange eating that much watermelon in one hit, I felt full and ready to pop, but that feeling didn't last long, watermelon is the fastest digesting fruit, within 20 minutes its moving on through! Eating watermelon has been amazing for hydration and is very detoxifying, and I am now thoroughly loving my monomeal of goodness on a daily basis!
Lunch -- Thai salad. Shred up some red cabbage, lettuce and beetroot, chop some carrot, cucumber and capsicum, top with avocado and my all time favourite satay sauce (recipe below).
RECIPE>>> 1 tin coconut milk, 1/2 jar peanut butter, 1 tbl thai curry paste (red, green or yellow), 1 tbl coconut sugar, 1 tbl apple cider vinegar, bring to a light boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes, add water to achieve desired consistency. Cool and place in a jar, this will keep in the fridge for a week, if it lasts this long!
Or you can wrap the salad items in rice paper rolls and dip into the satay sauce.
Or you can boil up some rice and make sushi.
Or you can use the satay sauce as a base on a pita bread and grate some veg on for a delicious pizza (I find it best to place the sauce on the bread, top with carrot, cabbage and avocado, bake for 5-6 minutes at 180 degrees, just enough to crisp the base and warm the topping).
For dinner follow what you would normally have, add in a salad if you wish. Remember to drink water throughout the day, you wont have the usual triggers telling you to drink as the food above is all very hydrating, but nothing can replace pure water so carry that water bottle around with you still!
Try committing to this for a week and see for yourself how you feel. You may find on the first few days your body is craving for your usual breakfast or lunch meal, stick out the new program to give it its best shot at working for you. There will be a moment that the old habits, that may not serve you any longer drop away and you don't look to them anymore. Or you may want to go back to your usual breakky and lunch, and take a few new ideas from here with you, either way why not just give it a go!
Love, J x