Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Greens are Groovy!

I had five dates for Valentine’s Day.

Now, before the rumors start flying, let me clarify. My dates were of the fruity kind.

And by “fruity” I don’t mean a guy who wears a tutu.

My dates were, literally, fruits.

Why is this such a blog-worthy event, you ask? I’ll tell you. The fact is, I am a chocoholic, and the fact that I didn’t consume even one ounce of chocolate on Valentine’s Day is practically miraculous.

See, when I’m stressed and working too much (which you know from my previous post is all the time these days), I tend to stray from my usual healthy plant-based-full-of-fruits-and-veggies diet and go for the instant stimuli of sugar, caffeine, and refined carbs.

What’s better than a mocha latte (soy, of course!) for breakfast? My usual snack of raw, organic almonds were replaced with chocolate covered almonds. Salad for lunch? No time! A bag of chips will do. Instead of a nutritious homemade dinner, it was take-out, take-out, take-out.

Months of this, of course, lead to the inevitable mood swings, energy dips, weight gain, headaches, stomachaches, and an all-around anti-groovy vibe.

No wonder I lost my mojo. It was buried under mounds of fudge.

And so the detox began. Goodbye lattes. Goodbye chips. Goodbye chocolate-smothered almonds.

Let’s face it… we are what we eat. If we live on chips and cheese, then we’ll feel heavy and globby. If we live on fruits and vegetables, then we’ll feel light and crisp. Then of course there are the actual facts to consider: people who eat the most fruits and vegetables tend to have the least amount of disease. And dammit, they look better, too. While I myself do advocate a vegetarian diet, I’m not foolish enough to try to convince you to do the same. Why? I’ve learned firsthand that food is right up there with politics and religion as a topic you want to avoid if you’re looking to keep your friends. Besides, I’m not a nutritionist (although I play one in my mind), but my friend Elisa is. If you really want the skinny (pun intended) on plant-based diets, visit her website at www.eaturveggies.com.

Whether you’re an omnivore, a carnivore, an herbivore, or a chocolativore, here are our tasks for the week:

We will incorporate more fruits and veggies, and less processed food, into our diets. In fact, let’s be bold and make this pact… we will eliminate anything white from our diet (white rice, white pasta, white bread, white sugar) and replace said white food with whole grains.

And since I’m feeling sassy let’s go all out! Let’s also agree that EVERY meal will contain at least two servings of vegetables. Greens are groovy! Eat as many of them as you can. Toss a variety of lettuces in salads… try adding something you don’t usually eat, like a handful of arugula for a nutty taste. Instead of a big bowl of pasta, try reducing the amount of pasta and instead add more veggies, like garlic, onion, and broccoli. For all you fiery friends, feel free to spice up the dish with red-pepper flakes for that added punch.

You can even eat veggies for breakfast! Make an omelette (with or without the eggs), by stir-frying potatoes, onions, kale, broccoli, asparagus, or whatever veggies happen to be hiding in the bottom of your fridge.

Want dessert? Fruit is fabulous! I recommend dates.

We can do this, my mojo-minded mates! I can’t wait to hear how good you feel after this week is over. You may never go back to your old way of eating again!

Can’t wait to share recipes!