Incorporating Leafy Greens Routinely (plus 6 recipes)

Leafy-Green-fat-burner

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Written by: Doris Dahdouh

When you think of eating healthy, “leafy greens” probably come to mind… and for good reason!

Leafy greens are an absolute staple in healthy eating. They have countless benefits and adding them to your nutritional regimen can and will expand your palate. To name a few, some of the popular leafy greens are kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens and green leaf lettuce.

Leafy greens are a great source of nutrients and other benefits…

  • high in Vitamins A, C, E and K  
  • low in calories
  • contain minerals and phytochemicals, which are related to the antioxidants found in plants
  • help with your immune system and blood circulation
  • lower cholesterol
  • promote a healthy “gut”
  • detoxify your body
  • help your kidney, gallbladder and liver functions

Always wash all produce thoroughly. Use organic ingredients for the best quality (bonus if buying seasonal, as those provide the finest taste) and minimize chances of being exposed to harmful and unnecessary added chemicals/pesticides/etc.

Use leafy greens in fresh juices and/or smoothies!

You can rotate leafy greens when you make juices/smoothies.

Note: There are a number of recipes on Fitlife.tv for juices and smoothies. To get you started, here is one of my favorite green juice recipes with only 6 simple ingredients.

Green Juice
 
Author:
Recipe type: Juice
Ingredients
  • 3 large leaves of kale
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small pear
  • 1 thumb sized ginger
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a juicer and drink within 15-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Eat leafy greens in raw form and in salads!

Sometimes going “raw” is the easiest and simplest way to go when it comes to greens. Some have a bitter or spicy taste, so chopping and adding them to any kind of lettuce can help you enjoy them in salads. It is important to experiment with greens so you become more familiar with the flavors.

No matter which green you decide to use, make sure you wash it thoroughly and discard the stems. Also, massage leafy greens that tend to be bitter and spicy to help make them smoother and less bitter, such as kale.

Collard Green Rainbow Taco
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • 5-6 large collard green leaves (do not massage)
  • ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small cucumber, shredded
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1-2 handfuls of alfalfa sprouts
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup hummus (see one of my previous articles here for recipe)
Instructions
  1. Directions: Assemble collard greens rainbow tacos in the following order: slather 1-2 tbsp hummus on one collard green leaf, then add a little of each ingredient. Squeeze a little juice from a fresh lemon. Fold and eat like a taco.
Notes
This will be messy, but oh, so good!

Swiss Chard Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Ingredients
  • 4 large Swiss chard leaves, sliced
  • 4 large green leaf lettuce leaves, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, cubed
  • 2 carrots, shaved
  • 1 medium sized gala apple, cubed
  • 1 handful of walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add all the ingredients, salad dressing (recipe below) and mix.

Salad Dressing Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Ingredients
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ medium lime juice
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small mason jar, add all the ingredients and mix well. Save leftovers for later use.

Cook leafy greens alone or with other vegetables to use as a side dish. You will love leafy greens as a side dish to compliment any of your meals. The recipe below is very simple and can be alternated with any other leafy green.
Garlicky Spinach
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb spinach
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tbsp of coconut oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, warm up the coconut oil under medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute or less. Add spinach and stir until it shrinks and the color of the spinach is dark green. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. It should be ready to eat alone or serve next to your favorite food.

Add leafy greens to soups, rice, quinoa, or pasta (preferably gluten-free). Leafy greens can be chopped and added to most soup recipes, giving it great taste and nutritional value. They can add color to rice, quinoa and pasta dishes.
Basmati Kale Rice
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of organic basmati rice
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 kale leaves, thinly chopped
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, warm up extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, add onions and stir till translucent. Add kale and stir till it shrinks. Add rice and stir for another minute. Add the vegetable broth, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Turn up the heat till it boils. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes or until cooked. Mixed and serve.

I hope that the above suggestions encourage you to use your imagination and incorporate leafy greens into your everyday diet. There really are a variety of ways to use leafy greens on a daily basis and the more you practice, the more it will become like second nature to you.

You can always have a fresh and clean experience. The choice is yours. Your body needs you to nurture and maintain it with the finest and most delicious kind of foods. Remember to listen to what your body is telling you.


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Doris Dahdouh
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Doris Dahdouh

Doris Dahdouh has a Master’s Degree in social work and has helped counsel children and help families since 2001. In 2012, she became very ill due to a hormonal imbalance and autoimmune disorder. Doris was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) many years ago and was treated with mainstream medicine which did not help her. She hit rock bottom before finding refuge in holistic living, by juicing, going gluten free and eating clean, organic, whole foods. Over the past couple of years, Doris has educated herself on a healthy lifestyle by reading information by Dr. Joel Furhman, Drew Canole, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe, Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe) and more.

Doris is enrolled to become a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is very excited to help others achieve their best by combining her psychoanalytic skills and what she hopes to learn in the health coaching certification program. With a heart for others, she is eager to continue assisting as many people as possible towards optimal health.
Doris Dahdouh
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