In homage to my bestie and Egyptian Hydrofarms I am writing this piece. Anyone who knows me in person knows my addiction to ALL vegetables, so these words will come from the bottom of my heart and easily.
Through out my university years where I trained hard and heavy, ran, mediated and stretched, did power-lifts; my one meal to overdose on was indeed vegetables. Particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cabbages, and green beans; I’d eat 2-4 kilos a day- not joking! I was a girl with a big appetite like always!
My family always mocked how I think “I’m a grazing horse” or that I turned “into a cow” with my eating habits. I honestly always hated how kids grow up in the Middle East with families putting meats and carbohydrates as the only food options that are vital. Vegetable plates were always drowned in tomato sauces and oils, and salads in dressings!
The thing is, vegetables ARE carbohydrates very nutrient-dense ones that your body does NEED to function optimally. You have many kinds of vegetables to: cruciferous, leaves, legumes, squashes, seeds and sprouts, grouds, fungi, root vegetables… it’s a wide array as colorful as food can get!
I also have an undying adoration for salads. Leafy greens are the soil to my being. Around 3 years ago I realized I couldn’t just consume kilos of leafs in one sitting so I got obsessed with green smoothies. I started off with mixing my greens with fruits, almond milk, herbed water, and some superfoods.. then transitioned to vegetable green smoothies. It’s amazing how your taste buds readjust! And with every sip I felt the goodness spread within me 🙂 I still have my big salad bowl daily too.
Now I’m not saying you go all out eat 2-4 kilos in this post- certainly not raw. You need to make sure you gradually add the fiber into your diet so as not to be left with bloating and gases! With time your body will get adjusted to the fiber and will develop the right enzymes to facilitate their digestion in large amounts, but it takes time! Listen up to the real deal of living life in your best state within and best body outside…
I remember a phase just a year ago where I ate only raw foods- being in Egypt I ended up with kidney stones. Vegetables and particularly greens here are loaded with pesticides and chemicals. No matter how much I washed them. But thanks to Egyptian Hydrofarms I can finally load up on all greens fathomable that I never thought would grow in this heat to begin with and without fear of my health being affected negatively.
If you want to lose fat and look great; if you’re overeating and not sure why; if you want to feel energized, light, and fantastic; if you’re working on your flexibility; if you want to control your moods; if you want to be healthy inside out; and I mean from every organ within to your skin, hair and nails: EAT AND DRINK YOUR VEGETABLES! As a general rule you should aim for at least 5 servings of vegetables/greens daily (around 2 and 1/2 cups).
Leafy greens have numerous benefits. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help you fight off any disease! Sulphoraphane is one phytochemical that can fight off colon cancer. By eating vegetables and greens you’re reducing the risk of getting cancer, heart disease, blog clots, strokes, digestive issues, lowers type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, eye diseases, and reduces risk of kidney stones and bone loss.
They do not just keep you healthy and prevent disease starting within but their benefits will radiate outwards in your skin, hair and nails like said.
They’re loaded with fiber that will satisfy you in nourishment, helping you control your hunger.
They’re the best for a low body-fat level, to keep your blood sugar levels stable, for endurance, and to keep you feeling full!
They’re detoxing! Thus helping you removed toxins from your body without extreme regimes or withdrawals.
They can heal you and repair your tissues because above all after fermented foods and taking probiotics, the best thing you can do to regulate your digestive system and ensure you’re meeting your body’s need in terms of vitamins and minerals is indeed to eat greens and other vegetables. Your immune cells (innate lymphoid cells) are actually in the linking of your digestive system. So imagine how vital it is to take care of your gut and heal your digestive issues?
Vegetables which include leafy greens are mandatory in order to prevent disease and inflammation. They also help fight off the acidic state that too much protein intake can lead to. The more protein you eat, the more you need vegetables. They alkalize your body’s state and cure inflammation.
I know without greens and vegetables my gut is a disaster. I get constipated, irritable, easily lethargic, impatient, bloated, depressed, drained of energy,.. you name it! I seriously can’t be my best self without my morning rituals which involve a green smoothie for breakfast, my huge bowl of loaded salad for lunch, and my plant-based meals.
The answer to health, a stronger immune system, weight/fat loss all lies in your GUTS. It is 80% of your immune system. The rest is your nervous system, that is learning to control your thoughts and so stress, and resting enough. Also, 90% of our neurotransmitters are made in our gut- like serotonin.
So when I say.. WHAT YOU EAT, HOW MUCH OF IT, AND YOUR EATING HABITS IS EVERYTHING. I mean it! However, here’s the good news: eat as much of greens and vegetables as you wish!!! It’s the only food group that you can eat in abundance!
I know you’re probably thinking “But how can a huge bowl of salad satisfy me? I need rice, I need pasta!” Well let me tell you, it WILL satisfy you. The thing is with white refined carbohydrates is that they’re empty calories that is exactly why you and I can eat a pan of rice and pasta and still “be hungry”. You will not meet your body’s nutritional needs by eating these foods! Vegetables and leafy greens on the other hand are very low-calorie, yet are able to fill you up due to their nutritional content.
Furthermore, even things like grains, whole-wheat, and brown rice and bread aren’t easy for most to digest! I actually prefer simple white rice. If you know of food combining, there’s one food group that mixes great with all other foods and only one. Guess which? Vegetables and greens. They mix well with starches or you can mix them with protein. Nothing easier on your digestion than plant-based meals! And they’re delicious and for me, a spiritual benefit as well.
Your food choices and habits, MAKE YOU! Your every cell is renewing itself on regular basis with the foundation of what you take in. What you eat today, you will become tomorrow. So eat junk, then you’ll feel and look like junk! Fuel yourself with nutrient dense healthy foods, and you’ll feel great and glow (okay well to be honest, depending on how much toxins you’ve accumulated inside you will be the opposite of glowing for a while lol till your body heals itself, years of bad habits take time to reverse, keep that in mind). It’s that simple.
To be at peace with food, it starts and ends with listening and respecting your body and it’s needs- and not letting your emotional voids, family upbringing/typical diets, and fads get in your way. Everyone is different. Just learn to be in tune with your body and work WITH it and not against it! It’s a lifestyle change, were progress happens in small steps and consistent little changes.
And no matter all the contradicting information out there and myths on health, diet and exercise, the one fact remains: you cannot go wrong eating vegetables and greens! (Unless you have rare stomach ulcers).
As for those that don’t really like the taste of certain greens and vegetables, eat the ones you do like till your taste buds adjust. Either or you’ll love the effect they have on you! Before you know it, you’ll be not just eating, but truly enjoying all the colors of the rainbows in plant form.
Your body is the greatest thing you’ll ever own. Remember, your soul resides in there. Treat it like your temple, your greatest miracle, like it’s the only one you get- cause that’s the only truth!
So to sum up: include as much fresh produce in your daily diet as possible, only then can you ensure you’re eating healthy and satisfying your body.Learn to eat what God put on this earth; if it doesn’t spoil within 7-10 days, don’t eat it! Focus on nutrient dense quality whole foods. For as long as you focus on getting your vitamins and minerals from real food, you won’t be craving the unhealthy junk. Eat lots of fresh colored vegetables, dark leafy greens, cruciferous and fibrous vegetables and some fruits that are in season. Focus on plant-based proteins and if you eat meats- have wild-caught fish, organic cage-free eggs, organic lean chicken- sparingly! There’s so more than enough protein in plants. And have naturally gluten-free whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds occasionally. Keep it real. Only eat whole, natural, nutrient-dense foods. When it comes to vegetables, the more colors the better.