Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? He is a personal finance guru. Many people praise his method of getting out of debt, and building financial freedom. He says that the personal finance is 10% knowledge and 90% behavior. You can read all the books about finances, but if you don’t do the work, you will not gain financial freedom. I believe that it is the same for personal health. Just go to the diet section of a bookstore. You will find tons of books on how to eat healthy, how to loose weight, or how to prevent diabetes. You can also google "how to be healthy", and you will get thousands of results. In my school, Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I learned over 100 dietary theories, all of which are aiming to help people to be healthy. How about Facebook posts? I "liked" pages such as Dr. Hyman, Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver, and read their posts regularly. It is not uncommon when one article leads to another and before I know it, I spent one hour in front of the computer. During the “lost” hour, I did not make the green smoothie I was planning to make for breakfast. I did not do 20 minutes of Yoga that I wanted to do, but I read the benefits of Goji Berries, Chia Seeds, and Hemp Seeds, and I read the success story of a girl who has overcome personal health issue. Did I do something toward my own health? Mmmmm, not really. Just as many of you, I love being informed. I love to read about healthy eating and lifestyle. I believe that being well-informed is very important. However, if you do not put the knowledge into action, there will be little change in your health. You can read all the books on dietary theories, but if you don’t get into the kitchen and start making food, the information stays as information. I want you to make information into TRANSFORMATION. The only way to do this is through action/behavior.
Moreover, if you do not make your behavior habitual, it is likely that your old behavior will return, and your health will go back to where it was before. For this reason, I like to make things easy. Complicated calorie calculation and diet regimens will make it difficult for people to continue. Especially with two little kids at home, I need something healthy AND easy.
I do not think anyone will argue that increasing vegetable intake is beneficial for your health. "Eat your vegetables!" your parents might have said to you thousands of times when you were little. You know what? That was really simple and good advice! Only thing I might add is “eat a VARIETY of vegetables”. The most common vegetables I hear people eat are lettuce, carrots, broccoli, green peas, green beans, and tomatoes. I want to challenge you to start adding new vegetables in your diet. How about red cabbage, zucchini, red bell pepper, cauliflower, beets, eggplant, kale, or celery? How do you incorporate these vegetables? I suggest two easy ways: Roasting and Shredding.
Basic Roasting Steps:
Cut up the vegetables of your choice into bite sizes. Rub them with some olive oil (1-2 tbsp), garlic powder (1tsp), and sea salt (1/2 -1 tsp). Roast them at 350F for 15-20 minutes, turning them around every 5-10 minutes.
The vegetables I usually group together are:
Group 1: Broccoli, Cauliflower & Green Beans
Group 2: Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Kabocha Squash (dice them into 1/2 inch, and roast them longer for 20-30 minutes. Don’t add garlic powder, but do add a dash of balsamic vinegar 1-2 minutes before they are done)
Group 3: Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion
Basic Shredded Salad Step:
Shred everything! You can use food processor, or you can use your knife. This salad is like coleslaw, only it is very colorful and more nutritious.
The vegetables I usually use are:
red bell pepper
You can add sliced black olives, shredded apple, shredded beets, etc. I like to use either Sesame (or peanut) Dressing, or Maple Lime Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp tahini or 2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp lime juice
Mix all together in a food processor or mixer.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
pinch of salt
Put the ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake it hard to mix them together. Discard the clove of garlic before using it.
Now, stop reading. Turn off your computer. Put down your device, and start cooking!
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