Fitness Challenge Week 2: Going Green

by Anna D

For our second week of the fitness challenge, we are still taking small steps and simply replacing half of the starchy carbohydrates we eat with green vegetables. Starchy carbohydrates would be things like bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. If you love these, you don’t have to completely give them up. All you need to do is reduce them in half and replace them with a new green leafy vegetable you haven’t tried before. If that is too much for you and you want to stay in your comfort zone, stick with green leafy vegetables you already like or are familiar with.

Watch the video for more tips on this challenge:

Some Benefits of Eating More Greens:

  • They are high in fiber and nutrients which will help you feel fuller longer and curve your cravings for processed foods.
  • The fiber in them will help you get rid of unwanted toxins which mostly reside in your stored fat. Once you get rid of toxins, you will experience less water retention and more fat loss.
  • Green leafy vegetables have been found to lower bad cholesterol and decrease your risk for heart disease.

These are just some of the benefits I can think of at the moment. There is no doubt that making this change and doing it consistently will help you get closer towards your weight loss goals. To help you with this process, I’ve listed some of my favorite green leafy vegetables that are just so irresistible:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • Chinese Broccoli

I like to saute my greens in a little bit of olive oil with some chopped garlic or chopped shallot. Sometimes I add Bragg’s Liquid Amino which is a soy sauce alternative for those who are allergic to gluten. You can find Bragg’s at any health food store. This is very delicious and a must try!

For the supplement I discussed on the video, Juice Plus, you can order it online by going to JuicePlus.com. As I mentioned, Juice Plus is made up of 17 raw fruits and vegetables which is essentially whole food nutrition in a capsule. It has been scientifically proven to be absorbed by our body just like how we absorb fruits and vegetables. I just can’t say enough great things about it but if you want to see for yourself, watch this video:

Some people might think that Juice Plus is the “cop out” way to eat more fruits and veggies. In reality, scientific research has found that people who have been taking Juice Plus tend to eat more fruits and veggies the longer they take them.

I want all of us to give this challenge our best because I really feel that this is one habit that has helped me reach my weight loss goals and maintain them for the long run.

So, I will leave you with this question: What’s the one green leafy vegetable you’ve been thinking of trying? Leave your comment below and tell us how you’re going to incorporate it into your daily meals.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Brandy Mychals March 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I love veggies…but when someone else cooks them! I will often eat raw veggies with hummus – does that count? I’m going to have to continue my challenge from week one also…thank you for running this and keeping health, fitness and nutrition “top of mind” !!!
Brandy Mychals
Speaker, Author, Communications Coach
Creator of Split Second Perceptions

Gurpreet March 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I will strive to incorporate ‘spinach’ in my daily diet.

Amanda March 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I’m horrible about eating my veggies. I’m lucky if I get 1 or 2 in a day. One of my goals is to incorporate more fruits/veggies in my diet… starting tomorrow!!!

Anna D March 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

@Brandy that definitely counts. Yes, continuing the challenge from next week is something I strongly encourage.

@Gurpreet think Popeye πŸ™‚

@Amanda, that’s the spirit! I find that if I cut up my veggies as soon as I get home from the grocery store and either cook them or put them in a container, I am more likely to eat them. Maybe it will work for you too.

Anna

Judy Stone-Goldman March 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

I may be the only person who worries about eating too many vegetables! I adore green vegetables–bok choy, yu choy, gaillon, kale, green beans, cabbage, celery. If I don’t have green on my plate, I’m not happy with my meal! I typically steam them. I don’t use sauces, but I do sometimes drizzle flax oil or fish oil on them (great fish oil comes with lemon flavoring so you don’t taste any fishy quality).

Farmers markets are great places to find new vegetables to try for people who are unfamiliar with Asian greens.

I didn’t see this challenge the first week, but I’m excited to follow along and see what else you are encouraging.

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
http://www.thereflectivewriter.com/blog/
Balance, Boundaries, and New Life Directions Through Writing

Alara Castell March 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

Hi Anna,
Great tips on going green! So important! I remember when I first started changing my lifestyle all I did was eat greens and my life transformed. I started to lose weight naturally, skin issues I had started to heal. Amazing what greens do for you! I’m actually doing a day of green juices today that I made myself so I feel awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Alara K. Castell
Your Sassy Spiritual Guide

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored March 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I am Such a vegetable freak (especially greens) and I love that you are encouraging others to see the beauty of green! I make what I call a “cream of green” soup (http://www.atticusuncensored.com/2010/11/fuss-free-foodie-friday-cream-of-green-soup/)
which can be made in many variations. There is no dairy — the creaminess comes from the avocado (good fat). I had variations of this soup for nearly every meal for 2 weeks. Not a weight loss thing, I was just craving it! I lost 4 pounds (not intentional) and many people commented on my “glowing skin”.
Go green people! (and pups)
Heidi & Atticus
http://www.atticusuncensored.com
“commentary to give you paws…”

Franziska San Pedro March 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Very inspiring post! I used to teach my clients (when I was a chef&nutritionist, now an artist) to eat as many different vegetables as possible. When shopping, go by color and make sure you got all colors in your basket. That is the simplest rule. I have hypo-thyroidism and too many vegetables from the cabbage family shouldn’t be consumed (brussel sprouts, any color cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, etc..), but I still get a good variety and love veggies!!

Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress

Amanda March 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Good idea! I will try that. That would be good for me because I am gone from my home 10 hours a day due to work so I could just cut some up and put it in tupperwares.

Anna D March 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

@Judy drizzling with fish oil is a great idea. I will try that too!

@Alara it really is amazing. Can’t wait for everyone’s results at the end of the challenge once it all comes together.

@Heidi that soup sounds delicious. I will have to put that on my menu next week πŸ™‚

@Franziska those considerations definitely need to be made for people with Thyroid issues. Different colored vegetables are great too but we like to keep the challenges simple by focusing on one thing at a time.

@Amanda that’s the best way I’ve found to do it and the vegetables don’t go to waste.

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