Breakfast: Cereal with milk, coffee
Lunch: Sushi, or chicken and iceberg lettuce sandwich, or pasta
Snack: Low fat cheese on Vita-wheats
Dinner: Eggs on toast, or beef casserole, or pizza
For many years this would be a typical day for me. Sure, the pizza option would be a rarity, but the other things on the list were on high rotation. I thought I was healthy, choosing low fat options over full fat ones, and having a sandwich on brown bread for lunch rather than a kebab. It seemed healthy enough, not too many calories, a variety of proteins, and hey, even salad in there in the form of iceberg lettuce.
But there’s a huge, big, gaping hole in this typical Western diet, Happies, and that comes in the form of greens. We’re simply not eating nearly enough greens. Raw, flavourful, nutritious greens filled with micronutrients that will help your body resist disease, build strength and immunity, and fight free-radicals while they’re there. Oh, and iceberg lettuce doesn’t count, by the way.
I’m reading the most extraordinary book right now called Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It talks about diet in relation to building your immune system up to a point of optimum health, a point so high your body is able to fight colds, flu, disease and even cancer.
At the crux of this ‘diet’ (it’s not really a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice) is the focus on eating far more greens, as they contain essential micronutrients that have been left behind in the modern Western diet. At the top of Dr. Furhman’s list are Kale, Watercress, and Collards, all of which score the highest points on his ‘Nutrient Density Chart’.
As well as these three super greens, fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts need to make up the majority of our diet. Not processed foods. Not highly refined sugars. Not heavily pumped-up meats. It makes so much sense, doesn’t it? It’s so clear and simple and the more I read and learn about health and nutrition, the more that penny drops and I wake up to myself and my habits over the past twenty-something years.
But back to the greens. I’ve recently been upping my kale intake in all its glory, eating it raw in salads, buying it in super green juices from my local juice place (I get kale, spinach, cucumber, romaine lettuce, ginger, lemon, and apple), or even dehydrated in the form of raw kale chips. Delicious!
As for the cress and collards, you can eat them cooked or raw. I prefer cress raw and collards lightly steamed, then munch, munch, munch. Your immune system will love you for it. So will Dr. Furhman.