Michael Pollan, author of a great motivational book, “Food Rules, An Eaters Manual” states the challenge of eating well comes down to two choices: real food or highly processed food. It’s that simple, well kind of. Staying away from food and ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce is a good start. And by the way, is one of my favorite food rules. There is a reason why greens are called superfoods and the power of green is all about real food that offers you incredible health benefits.
I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease. Sarcoidosis is a poorly understood disease in which inflammatory cells build up in certain tissues, particularly the lungs, to form granulomas. The granulomas most commonly cause respiratory problems and chest pain, although they can also occur in other body tissue. Sarcoidosis refers to problems with the immune system, which usually fights off viruses, bacteria, and infections. The disease causes your immune cells to attack your body by mistake.
The disease can affect almost any organ of the body:
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of sarcoidosis. What really sucks is, currently there is no cure for the disease. Some people appear to have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease, which may be triggered by bacteria, viruses, dust, or chemicals. Sarcoidosis is not contagious. In my case, it’s safe to say that it’s genetic since my twin brother has the same disease.
Mindful eating and making positive lifestyle changes:
I think it’s time to kick it up a notch and look at food differently. Focus on the power of food and explore new and better ways to nurture our body and mind. I have always eaten pretty consciously and the Mediterranean diet is a perfect fit for me. The Mediterranean diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, lean proteins, and healthy fats is linked to good heart health. A diet that can help protect against diseases such as stroke and prevention of diabetes. The bottom line, you can make several lifestyle and dietary changes today to strengthen your immune system.
So here’s the plan:
I changed my lifestyle with a larger focus on mindful eating while improving my well-being, physical and
mental health. Changes that may help prevent my sarcoidosis from flaring up. I admit replacing a few unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones can be a challenge. It takes practice and commitment. There are times when I have to start all over again, however, going back to the basics is always a good start (or re-start).
Leafy greens including kale, spinach, arugula, and chard are the undeniable superstars of the food world. Leafy greens are packed with important and powerful nutrients that are critical for our health. There are many benefits of consuming leafy greens and there is a reason why they are called a superfood. I could go into more detail about the benefits of leafy greens, vitamins, etc. However, let’s agree, that a “power of green” smoothie drink incorporates a little wellness into your day.
Facts about Kale and Spinach:
We all know that spinach and kale are good for you, however, here’s the dirty little secret:
According to the EWG, the Environmental Working Group, spinach, and kale are on the list of the dirty dozen foods, with Kale moving to #3 on the list in 2019. Conventionally grown spinach has more pesticide residues by weight than all other produce tested. Nearly 60% of kale samples sold in the U.S. were contaminated with residues of the pesticide DCPA. The EWG is listing their dirty dozen foods as well as, the clean fifteen foods on their shoppers guide pesticides EWG is ranking pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables, a great eye-opening read that has been updated every year since 2004. To properly clean your produce, make a DIY vegetable wash. It’s very simple to do: fill your kitchen sink with cold water, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda and wash the greens thoroughly and rinse.
Turmeric or as it’s called “the golden spice” has played an important role in traditional medicine for centuries as a treatment for inflammatory conditions. On its own, turmeric has a slightly bitter flavor, however, turmeric shines when combined with other spices. Extensive research shows that turmeric may be one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence. Turmeric is like a medicine cabinet of its own.
The superfood with so many benefits. To name a few: Ginger has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial benefits. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea, and motion sickness, can help normalize cholesterol, improve circulation, and directly enhance brain function and working memory.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, we’ve all heard that saying. Look for firm apples with brightly colored skins. Apples are rich sources of vitamin C and fiber. Apples, in general, are on top of the dirty dozen list. So I recommend washing apples with the DIY vegetable wash and buying organic and local when possible.
Honey’s sweet flavor makes it an ideal substitute for sugar in the diet. Honey is still a sweetener, so remain mindful of how much honey you are using. Make sure to choose a high-quality brand, some lower-quality brands may be mixed with cheap syrup.
Chefs’ mindful eating tips:
The most important step is to address your shopping list. Purchase real food, eat smaller portions, focus on protein size, add more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Regarding the oil, use misted olive oils exclusively with appropriate cooking applications. Olive oil is known to be a key health benefit of the Mediterranean diet. Evaluate your cooking methods and select the right method to maximize the nutritional quality of your meal.
The Power of Green
Clean fresh flavor.
I recommend drinking it chilled.
If you like it a little spicier, add more ginger.
It’s as simple as it gets.
For all Produce, I recommend making your own simple DIY vegetable wash.
Leafy greens offer incredible health benefits.
There is a reason why greens are called superfoods.
Fat-free, sugar-free, low-calorie, salt-free, a beverage that is full of good minerals and vitamins.
The Power of Green
The Power of Green
- 1 handful fresh Kale
- 1 handful spinach fresh
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 knob fresh ginger ( about 1" piece)
- 1 knob fresh turmeric ( about 1" piece)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp honey
Make a DIY vegetable wash
- Fill your (clean) kitchen sink with cold water and add 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Wash kale and spinach, then give it a final rinse. Wash the apple, remove the core and cut into quarters. Peel ginger and fresh turmeric root.
- Add washed kale, spinach, apple, ice cubes, honey and orange juice to a Vitamix blender. Add the juice of half a lemon, lemon zest, turmeric, and ginger then blend the hell out of it. Serve chilled and enjoy!1 handful fresh Kale, 1 handful spinach fresh, 1 apple, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1 knob fresh ginger ( about 1" piece), 1 knob fresh turmeric ( about 1" piece), 1 cup ice cubes, 1 cup orange juice
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate