Leafy greens like kale, arugula, swiss chard, spinach, bok choy and romaine lettuce (among others) are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They help with weight loss because they're packed with fiber, which helps us feel full, and they're packed with nutrients, the substances our bodies are truly seeking when we raid the pantry going from snack to unsatisfying snack.
Eating greens for breakfast is like a breath of fresh air for your mind and your body, literally.
Greens contain chlorophyll and chlorophyll contains oxygen. Fascinatingly, the molecular structure of chlorophyll is similar to that of human blood and studies show that when consumed, the production of hemoglobin in blood is increased. Higher amounts of hemoglobin in the bloodstream means more oxygen-rich blood, the first and most important element that cells need to thrive (foodmatters).
Since mornings are often one of the craziest times of the day, here are three green breakfasts that you can make on Sunday night and eat throughout the week.
Breath-of-Fresh-Air Green Smoothie
Yield: 1 quart (make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for 3 - 5 days)
2 cups kale, chard or spinach, torn
2 small frozen bananas (regular bananas work too)
1 cup frozen berries
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Milk (plus water as needed while blending)
In a high speed blender blend your choice of greens and milk. Add bananas and strawberries and blend until smooth.
Green Eggs and Seeds
1 leek, white part only, chopped (can be substituted for red, or yellow onion)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 heads of kale (you can also use swiss chard or spinach), chopped
2 - 4 eggs (optional)
Sprinkle of sesame seeds
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 TBSP coconut oil
Heat oil in a saucepan and add leek and garlic, cooking until soft or about 5 minutes. Add greens and cover to cook for another 2 - 5 minutes until wilted (add a tablespoon of water if needed to help the greens wilt). Push vegetables to one side of the pan, add eggs to the other side and lightly scramble. Once the eggs are cooked, mix the vegetables and eggs together and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Kick-Start-Your-Day Kale and Avocado Salad
Serves 4 (can be kept refrigerated for 3 days)
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped (you can also use romaine lettuce or arugula if you plan to eat it that day)
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- A drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.
How do you sneak greens into your first meal of the day?