2 Smoothies, 6 Cups of Veggies, 3 Meals
I received a bunch of questions about the blog I wrote last week, My Daily Wellbeing and Spiritual Practices…how do you sneak more veggies into your diet? How did you transition to three meals per day? Below is how I found success with these practices. Again, this might not be the right path for you, but if you feel like there’s a better way, or you’re struggling with stress related health issues (adrenals, leaky gut or thyroid stuff), then some of this might benefit you! You body will guide you to your truth, just as mine did with me.
I have three rules of thumb to make sure I’m getting in my 6-cups/day…
1 – Start your day with a smoothie
Pretty much every day starts with a smoothie. I have two all-time favorite recipes, which I share below. I am a total food snob and only eat things that taste delicious and are high quality food sources (organic, grass fed, fresh). I kept working on these smoothies until they became something I craved but were also healthy for me.
- Green Smoothie…despite it’s name, it’s the bomb, and I don’t even taste the spinach! 😉 After one of these, I’ve already had three of my six veggie servings.
- Chocolate Berry Smoothie…this is my way of eating the rainbow as peppers, tomatoes and higher sugar fruits aren’t the best options for my system. This smoothie adds some reds and/or blues to my diet.
As a side note, my protein powder does contain veggies too but I don’t count that towards my six cups since it’s technically a processed food, even if it’s all natural and healthy.
2- Add some greens to your lunch
I eat either a salad for lunch or a protein source with two cups of veggies. A few awesome ways to feel like you’re not eating as many veggies as you really are:
- Sautéed spinach…a giant box of spinach becomes a tiny bowl of cooked spinach. For me, cooked veggies work better for my system than raw veggies. I add some salt, pepper, lemon, olive oil, and it tastes amazing after only a few minutes in the pan. (I should also add I am “kitchen lazy” and like to spend as little time in there as possible so anything I mention in this blog can be done in a few min!) I also use the same ingredients with a head of red kale, sauté it for a few minutes, and throw some protein on top and even sometimes top it with a fried egg – so good – don’t judge lol. 😉
- If you’re going the salad route, chopping your green source allows you to eat quite a bit of greens without feeling like you’re eating your salad and making no progress! Plus, then you can have fun adding different colors to your salad that agree with your system. I usually use olive oil, lemon and sometimes avocado for a dressing to avoid the sugars and other stuff in processed dressing.
You can see by lunch I’ve had 4-6 cups of veggies already, so I don’t feel pressured in the evening to eat too much or worry about not meeting my quota for the day.
3 – Connect with your inner food rebel
Make kale chips or sweet potato fries…season to your desire and add some fun into your veggie life! The food rebel in me feels so happy when I’m baking my own “fries” or baking my own “chips.” Maybe it’s me but sweet potato fries (which are really just cut and baked with olive oil, pepper, salt and a little cinnamon) sound so much more appetizing than mashed or baked. Totally your call.
Transitioning to three meals a day…
When I started having thyroid issues, I spoke with my friend Jade, who is an amazing doctor helping people around the world recover from hormone and stress related health issues. I learned from him that giving our metabolism a rest (not eating every 2-3 hours) helps heal hormonal, digestive and other issues. Also that paying attention to our hunger, energy and cravings helps us understand what’s working for our body. Now as much as I love Jade and fully trusted him, I had so much inner resistance. Something along the lines of…NFW can I move to three meals a day…I will get hangry and hurt people and/or pass out and die. I have low blood pressure. I’ll never last.
Enter my health coach Jenn. Through working with her, I realized a big part of why I always felt hungry, and “needed” to eat every few hours, was because I wasn’t eating the right kinds of food for my body. (I do need animal protein even though I wanted to be a vegetarian.) So I did some elimination work and played with different portions of carbs, proteins and fats, and eventually figured out what works for me. Zero to very little grains, and a mix of carbs, proteins and fats. No calorie counting or anything like that. Just paying attention to my own hunger, energy levels and cues from my body, kind of like Jade said in the beginning of my process LOL.
So trust me, if I can do this, anyone can – if it’s right for your body! It was actually pretty easy once I started giving my body what it needed. The more I stuck to my new way of eating, the more my health issues cleared up. My hunger and cravings went down, so did my inflammation. My happiness went up. It created major mindset shifts for me and escalated my sense of self-worth. My body is the expert?? Not some celebrity TV doctor with the hottest new health trend?! No more stressing and eyeing the clock obsessing about what time to eat or what to eat. Plus, eating three meals instead of five cuts down on prep and planning!
Some weeks I notice my body wanting a mid-afternoon mini snack, and I listen to and honor it when it does. But that afternoon snack feels much more rewarding now that it’s for nourishing my body rather than for my fixations or my emotions. I no longer get that 3:00 energy dip. I no longer constantly think about food. I don’t randomly binge on crap anymore either.
I hope sharing my story helps you create your new food and health story, if you want one! Let me know what other questions you might have!
And, in case you are like me, and would like support to help you transition into healthier eating, here is some more info about Jade and Jenn. I don’t receive anything from them for passing their info along – sharing because they helped me in my journey. Jade has a bunch of awesome programs and books. Jenn has an amazing “cleanse challenge” and other programs, during which she teaches you how to eat for your body, understand your metabolic profile, and so much more.
They are dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and low sugar.
Green Smoothie Recipe
- Add one 1-cup carrageenan free, sugar free coconut or almond milk to your Vitamix (or blender, but get a Vitamix some day if possible!)
- Add 2-3 large handfuls of organic spinach
- Blend those two together until the spinach is liquid
- Add 1 scoop of protein powder
- Add ½ organic avocado
- Blend ingredients
- Add ice
- Blend again
Notes: if you are on a highly processed, high sugar diet, you could add a date to this, but it already tastes sweet and isn’t necessary. My favorite protein powder is Vega Performance Protein (has more protein than other versions) in Vanilla. Favorite milk is organic, unsweetened coconut milk by Pacific.
Chocolate Berry Recipe
- 1-cup carrageenan free, sugar free coconut or almond milk
- 1 scoop of protein powder
- 1 package of fresh organic blueberries (my fav but use any available berry)
- 1 tsp. organic cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. organic cacao powder (my fav is Healthworks certified organic)
- 1 tbsp. organic coconut oil
- Put all ingredients in the blender, mix, add ice, mix and ENJOY!
Happy to Heal (Everything Your Doctor’s Not Telling You About Healing Your Thyroid, Adrenals and Leaky Gut) is starting this September! Get on the waitlist today for discounted pricing! 🙂
Molly Hamill, MA, is a certified life coach, Kundalini yogini and mediation enthusiast. She works with people around the country helping them lose their stress and feel their best. After recovering from her own health journey (Hashimoto's Hypothyroiditis, Adrenal Fatigue, and Leaky Gut), she is especially passionate about helping others establish mindsets and habits that support their health and happiness. For more information about Molly, get her weekly emails (sign up in green bar below), follow her on her Instagram and Facebook page, or chat with her in her private Facebook group, where she posts daily to help keep you connected with truth, dreams and desires. Prior to breaking free of the 9-5 life, she was an award-winning human resources executive for a national healthcare company.