By Shelby Spears
Last week when Caroline of Yacolt Mountain Farm handed me THREE bags of beautiful greens, I got super excited. Yes I am a nerd for vegetables, especially leafy greens.
Greens are in full force right now at the Camas Farmers Market and Yacolt Mountain Farm in particular. Caroline said she's eating about two salads a day thanks to bountiful supply at the farm. I am a huge fan of salads and love to experiment with dressings and different kinds of salads.
But if you are not a salad fan, or maybe you get tired of salads, don't fret. There are many ways to get in your greens.
"I think sometimes people believe that salad is the only thing you need to eat to get your vegetables. Most often a salad is equated with "Vegetarians." Being creative with the vegetables will bring more interest to eating them more often, and in larger quantity," Bamini Pathmanathan,
MS, RDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, says.
If you find yourself in possession of some extra leafy greens or want to get them in but are unsure how, try this challenge form our Spears Strong Online Accountability program. For one day, try adding greens to each meal. Add some chard too your egg scramble, try a kale pesto for your pizza or throw some lettuce on top of your tacos. Or, sneak your greens into this delicious garbanzo bean recipe.
Need more motivation to eat your greens? They are crazy good for you and your body needs them.
"Greens are quite important and necessary for our body. They are packed with nutrients, excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and not to mention fiber. Greens have antioxidant properties. The darker the leaf the more nutrient dense it is. They are basically are fat free, until you add something to them," Bamini says.
"Greens can be eaten in large quantities without the "large" calories," she adds. "It's important to have variety in the vegetables because they have unique properties. One could be a high in Vitamin A where another vegetable could be higher in Vitamin C. Some have more B vitamins than the others. You do not have to memorize which vegetable has what but you should aim for a mix, a variety of colors and different types of vegetable. Greens are good for our body and it's overall function."
Want more healthy recipes, fitness motivation and expert nutrition tips? Join our online accountability community, The OA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.