Dubbed by Keri Russell as the "easiest way to get [her] greens on the go," 8G sounds so very promising. With eight greens including spinach, kale, chlorella and wheatgrass packaged nicely together in a dissolve-in-water tablet that features merely nine calories and no added sugar, 8G seems way too good to be true.
That's because it is.
Let’s first define what "greens" are – healthy green vegetables, typically leaves, that provide the body with healthy nutrients like dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Greens are not just any food that has a green appearance and greens especially are not foods or drinks that contain artificial colors or flavors...or artificial sweeteners like 8G does.
So how can you get your greens easily and efficiently – without chemistry lab project ingredients? Here are my top tips.
Opt for broccoli, the king of glucoraphanin, as your healthy green choice. Why? In addition to its minerals chromium, phosphorus, and manganese, and vitamins A, C, K, and folate, broccoli is the richest natural source of glucoraphanin, the precursor to sulforaphane, which helps to boost the body's natural detoxification process and supports powerful antioxidant actions. Let broccoli be an "efficient" choice by using frozen broccoli so that it keeps longer. Keep broccoli frozen for inclusion in smoothies, or thaw it to use in soups and sautees.
Buy your greens ready-to-eat. I admit it, I can’t count how many times I have let a bundle of Swiss chard or romaine hearts go to waste simply because I missed out on the opportunity to wash and cut it. But I have learned my lesson and you can, too. If you are like me, purchase the pre-cut, triple-washed greens or spring mixes so that your greens are ready to go...no cutting, washing, or effort required. Use these ready-to-eat greens as the base of a salad, added to your eggs, topped on your wraps and sandwiches, sauteed with red pepper flakes and olive oil, or added to your smoothies.
Meal prep at the beginning of the week with Salads in a Jar. When salads are prepped and packed nicely in a glass jar, it is easy to grab one as you head out the door in the morning for lunch that day. Prep your salad in a jar with your greens, of course, but also include a protein (I chose chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds in the photo at right) and a healthy fat (my salad dressing of choice is a simple olive oil and vinegar combo). Be sure to keep your liquids (i.e. your dressing) on the bottom. Then, add your densest ingredients as you move up the jar to keep your greens from getting soggy.
Freeze greens that are on the cusp of turning bad. Freeze kale and spinach in ice cube trays for easy and efficient use in smoothies and soups. Simply blend your greens in a blender, pour the liquid into ice molds, and then pop out and use when needed.
If you choose greens powders, liquids, and tablets for when you can’t or don’t want to eat your greens, make sure they're quality. Powdered or liquid greens can be found in a variety of products on your grocery store shelves, but like 8G, not all may be of quality nature. Be sure that yours do not contain artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, chemistry lab project ingredients like carrageenan or polysorbate-80, and opt for organic – especially when the supplemental food contains spinach, celery, cucumbers, collard greens, or kale since those green foods are part of the EWG’s Dirty Dozen Plus List and contain the highest levels of pesticide residues.
This month is the perfect month to celebrate your favorite healthy green foods -- after all, March is home to National Nutrition Month, St. Patrick's Day, and St. Broccoli Day. So tell me: from pre-cut and pre-washed leafy green vegetables to green tea like Brassica Tea with truebroc, what are your favorite ways to enjoy your green foods? Leave a comment below or tweet me on Twitter @ToriHolthaus (and be sure to tag my friends @truebroc)!
This post was sponsored by truebroc. Thank you for supporting brands that support YES! Nutrition.