Happy first day of The Community Cleanse! Depending on our time zone – we made it! I woke up this morning thinking I could use some spinach strength. I mean who doesn’t relate spinach to biceps and Popeye the Sailor Man? After being around all the sick people over the holidays, my immune system could use a good boosting. So I’ve decided to concentrate even more energy on increasing my intake of green vegetables this cleanse-around.
It’s pretty amazing how easily we can increase our green intake. I put about one half of a bunch of spinach (at least 2 cups) in our fruit/veggie smoothies every morning (for two people) and add two large stalks of kale per person. If your blender seems labored, add ingredients in small doses.
I also make a green pesto that incorporates 7 cups or 7 ounces of spinach (or arugula) with a whole head of kale. Add a large bunch of spinach to any pesto recipe to increase greens. You’re going to need a food processor or a super strong blender. See the past blog entry Pesto Pizza. Incorporate spinach into green salads or grain based salads like quinoa and millet.
I often sauté spinach in garlic and olive oil and eat this as a side vegetable. About six cups of raw spinach produces one cup of sautéed or lightly boiled spinach – now that’s shrinkage. This amount of spinach nourishes us with 1000% of our recommended daily intake of vitamin K to help strengthen bones. It’s important to sauté, or boil, spinach for only about one minute to help preserve nutrients.
I also add spinach and arugula to scrambled eggs or omelets. We keep spinach in the fridge and top our veggie burgers or sandwiches with a bunch of leaves. When making tomato sauce, chop up a large head of spinach and add this to your sauce. You won’t even know, or taste, it’s there. Add greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and arugula to chili or any other type of soup, stew or sauce. You may be hesitant to add the whole bunch for fear that it’ll be too much, but go on – just try it. We have everything to gain by increasing greens in our diets.
For instance, spinach is a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A. It’s high in fiber, folic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. It’s also very high in iron. Spinach has serious anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects on the body and helps to keep our bones strong. Now we’re cleansing with green power!
Regardless of how much spinach I ingest, I’ll most likely never be able to squeeze a can of spinach open with my bare hands. But I sure plan to give Popeye a run for his money. Happy cleansing community cleansers!