How did Popeye do it?
Ok, full disclosure, I'm not a fan of dark green vegetables. Yes, I know, they are fantastic for your health, they are part of a balanced diet, and great for digestion...but I am NOT a fan of consuming it raw!
I always think back to my childhood cartoon days of watching Popeye and seeing him grow big and strong after eating canned spinach. Every time it hit my plate as a kid, I had to think of Popeye and channel my inner sailor to eat that stuff! How did he do it?
As an adult, I'm finding that rather than forcing myself to eat greens, I needed to get creative. Skipping them altogether, which many people do, can be detrimental to your health. Greens provide essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for various systems. Being at optimal health includes exercise and consuming vegetables.
Here are some ways you can get in those greens without any drama!
1. Protein shakes are not only great as snacks or a meal replacement, they are FANTASTIC ways to sneak in a serving or two of greens like kale, arugala, or spinach. You can start from scratch and make your own shake from the ground up, or you can jazz up a pre-made one. Simply grab your magic bullet or other blender, and start blending! The addition of greens may even extend digestion and help you feel fuller longer!
2. Add them to a dish you bake. I find that adding spinach to a dish I bake or cook takes away the bitter taste and adds a nice flavor to the dish. Throwing in a few handfuls of greens to a casserole or stuffed pepper dish, for example, adds the necessary greens while not overpowering the main flavor. If you are using a sauce in a dish, blend the spinach with it before coating your dish. Boom!
3. Snack power! Kale chips are actually fun to eat! Nowadays, many grocery chains carry various flavors of kale chips, and they make an EXCELLENT alternative to unhealthy snacks! They are crunchy, bursting with flavor, and leave me satisfied instead of feeling guilty!
4. Say it with me, Bok Choy. It is green, leafy, and practically TASTELESS! Finding this green was a game changer for me. This vegetable is AWESOME in a healthy stir fry chicken recipes! It will absorb the flavors it is cooked in, so I throw in a green onion and simmer away!!
5. When cooking on the stove, pair your greens with a healthy, flavored, olive oil. Indulgences like a high quality, flavored olive oil brings a BURST of flavor to ANY dish! This flavor can also tame the harshness of a green, leafy addition to your meal while providing a healthy alternative to butter or fake oil alternatives. I love going monthly to our local olive oil specialty store and picking out a different flavor to try! Even something as simple as scrambled eggs come out with a deep flavor and taste indulgent!
I hope that this gets your mind thinking of other ways I didn't mention on how to sneak in a few more servings a week to your diet! As always, if you have any questions or want to goal set with our coaches after your workout, give us a call or email to set that up!